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‘More To Give’ Offensively For Boston Bruins Fourth Line

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Boston Bruins

BRIGHTON, MA – Things couldn’t be going much better for the Boston Bruins at this point.

So that’s a natural time to make a hockey club as impactful as they can be with roughly a month less to go until the Stanley Cup playoffs and round out any edges while so many other things are working for the Black and Gold.

That means now is a natural time for the Boston Bruins to fine tune the fourth line and perhaps look for a little more offense out of that trio. It’s been a slow month for them with just one goal in the month of March from the trio of Nick Foligno, Tomas Nosek and Curtis Lazar to go along with just a combined four assists from Nosek and Lazar in 22 games so far this month. Certainly, it’s not hurting the Boston Bruins amidst a 14-2-1 record in their last 17 games and averaging a respectable 3.05 goals per game, but there’s always room for improvement.

“I know the numbers aren’t there, but you always try to do the little details like getting our team on the power play or being good defensively. Kill some penalties,” said Boston Bruins fourth line center Tomas Nosek. “Eventually, hopefully the goals will be there for us. We’ve been good together and we’ve been building chemistry, so hopefully it shows up on the score sheet soon too.”

Lazar actually has zero points and a minus-4 rating in 10 games this month, but the Boston Bruins coaching staff sees glimmers of offense from all three players even if it’s been a startingly quiet offensive period for the energy trio.

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“Well, there’s more to give. I’m not going to automatically say that it’s coming, but there are pockets of games where it looks like it’s right there,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Then the next game they’re not able to generate as well. I think they need to be more connected offensively in the O-zone, hang onto to pucks a little bit longer, be a little more predictable when they get [the puck] with what they’re going to do.

“They’re not ad-lib guys like maybe [David] Pastrnak or [Brad] Marchand are. I don’t want to say they need to be regimented because it’s a fluid game but being a little more predictable with their structure when they do get pucks [could bring more offense]. I know Chris Kelly is sitting down with them today to go over some things. They’re playing well for us, they’re getting their minutes and they’re getting some O-zone touches now. So now let’s translate that with some action at the net. There was some of that with the [Coyle] line, but they eventually kind of found their connection with one another. That’s what we’re hoping to build because I think they are capable of more [offensively]. Now it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Job No. 1 continues to be keeping the puck out of the Boston net and injecting energy into games as the schedule begins to get heavy for the Black and Gold, and to stand up for their teammates Foligno did dropping the gloves with the Isles Matt Martin in a blowout win over the weekend.

But the Boston Bruins are looking for maximum effectiveness and efficiency right now, and that means wringing out even a little bit more from a forward group that’s firing on nearly every cylinder late in the regular season.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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