In an effort to once again jumpstart his team’s offense, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has broken up ‘The Perfection Line’ for Game 6 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
David Pastrnak will be back on the second line with Erik Haula and Taylor Hall, while Jake DeBrusk jumps back up to ride shotgun with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the top line.
Of course, this is the top 6 forward setup that the Boston Bruins leaned on from January 1 right through to Games 1 and 2 of this first round series before Cassidy reunited ‘The Perfection Line’ for Game 3. The top trio, that has carried the offense for the Boston Bruins since the 2017-18 season, immediately found their chemistry again. Marchand (3g, 5a) had eight points in Games 3 and 4, while Bergeron had a goal and an assist and Pastrnak had two goals and two assists.
Unfortunately, the Bruins seemed to once again lean too heavily on that top line. The second line of Hall (1g), Haula (no points) and DeBrusk (1g, 2a) wasn’t bad in Games 3 and 4 but in the 5-1 loss in Game 5, when the Perfection Line was silenced, that second, and the third line too, didn’t step up.
It should be noted, as he has throughout the series, Cassidy stressed after the game-day skate Thursday, that ‘the game will dictate’ how long he keeps this current setup in effect.
Boston Bruins winger Chris Wagner will also sit up top as Trent Frederic will draw back into the series Thursday.
There will also be changes on the blue line for Game 6 as Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm returns after a three-game absence with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 2. As a result, Matt Grzelcyk will be the odd-man out with Cassidy telling the media on Thursday that Grzelcyk is ‘playing through stuff’
Here’s what the lineup should look like for the Boston Bruins when they take to the ice and try to stave off elimination in Game 6 at TD Garden Thursday night:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Nick Foligno – Tomáš Nosek – Curtis Lazar
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly- Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton