But the truth is, the Bruins aren’t ready to give up on Coyle. Or DeBrusk. Or even Ritchie (and neither should they considering the fact that he’s the only one to have anything somewhat close to constant production in 2021).
If only because they may not be able to really move forward on such a path. The Bruins can make in-game changes if needed, of course, but in some ways it’s kind of like destroying a second line to address one. The ripple effect is noticeable, especially when you move someone like Lazar out of their spot on the fourth row. It also seems almost fair to suggest that the Black and Gold’s second line is bordering on untouchable at the moment. Building their chemistry for the long haul seems infinitely more important than a quick change in the game.
So, no, the Bruins aren’t exactly full of bodies ready to step into that line-saving third-line role.
“Well, I don’t know if we have a bunch of guys who have scored at this level on the cab team,” Cassidy admitted. “I mean, there have definitely been guys a bit here and there. We hope they can do that.”
Right now, the Bruins’ taxi team options up front include Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic, Karson Kuhlman and Greg McKegg. All four seem more suited for fourth row roles, and raising a fourth row player to third row hasn’t really worked out this season, for whatever reason. Frédéric, who missed out on time with a non-COVID illness, has some experience skating with Coyle this season, but he’s left the Boston roster with one goal and no assists in his last 15 games. He has not yet reappeared.
Center Jack Studnicka is currently skating in Providence and has two points in his last three AHL games, but it’s starting to feel like he’s not going into the mix for the Big B’s in 2021 unless he is. either as a replacement for Bergeron or Krejci. . (It’s also worth noting that Studnicka hasn’t been in an NHL game for almost a month now, and has played under nine and a half minutes in three of his last four appearances, he is. so far from a slam-dunk option. for black and gold.)
It just seems that these struggling bodies are still considered the optimal bodies of B.
“The demand and the responsibility lie [the third liners] a little, “Cassidy admitted.” The guys who scored in this league [have] to start finding ways here. I mean we kind of settled on our top six here and we can move a piece here or there, but I think most nights they did a really good job creating an offense.
“But you need that side stuff. We’ve gotten a bit more of our D lately, but some of these last six have to at least have games where they’re close and [Sunday] I didn’t think that was the case with them. This is precisely what we will have to rely on them. And yes, we can get a guy in and out to motivate him. But we know that at the end of the day the guys who have come here just have to look within themselves to see how they can help us create a little more. ”
A little more … or even not at all.