After tinkering with his forward lines throughout his team’s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was at it again Monday in practice in advance of the Bruins’ tilt in Nashville Tuesday night against the Predators. The most notable change had struggling winger Jake DeBrusk flanking center David Krejci on the right wing so that fellow left winger Anders Bjork could slide into his spot and shoot from his natural side. Cassidy has been impressed with Bjork’s tenacity after his first two seasons were riddled with injury.
“His skating is fine. His attack mentality is good,” Cassidy said of Bjork who has six goals and five assists in 35 games this season. “He is starting to shoot more as opposed to beating guys one-on-one. So that part of it is coming.”
Cassidy also praised the 23-year-old Bjork’s puck instinct as well, which thanks to the aforementioned hustle, he’s able to apply better.
“I think he is good at hunting pucks,” said Cassidy. “I think he has earned the right to get extra minutes.”
As Cassidy pointed out, as the rest of his game seems to be rounding out, the focus now for Bjork, needs to be on his shot. Cassidy likened it to Bruins sniper David Pastrnak – who now leads the league with 31 lamplighters – earlier in his career.
“His shot will have to improve, we saw that over time with [Pastrnak] and it improved,” Cassidy said. “He’ll have to get more minutes, probably end up on the power play. It’s tough to get 20 goals in this league if not on the power play. Part of that will go with if his shot improves if we find a place for him whether that’s the elbow or the bumper.”
Forward Joakim Nordstrom was absent from practice Monday with the flu and will not play Tuesday. With Nordstrom out, Sean Kuraly slid over to the left wing on the ‘Energy Line’ and Par Lindholm rode between Kuraly and Chris Wagner. The third line had Danton Heinen-Charlie Coyle-Brett Ritchie together. Here’s how the Bruins should look in Music City Tuesday night.