Bruce Cassidy has sometimes employed his fourth line to take lots of shifts towards high strains to throw some power on the opposition’s high-end ability, to frustrate them and, ideally, power them to play in their very own finish.
However the coach plans on taking a special strategy this 12 months, at the very least to start out. With the Bruins’ fourth line – presently consisting of left wing Trent Frederic, heart Tomas Nosek and proper wing Karson Kuhlman – nonetheless discovering its manner, Cassidy plans on using the extra veteran third line of Jake DeBrusk, Erik Haula and Nick Foligno to hold a few of that heavy lifting.
“The function we’re asking (Foligno) him proper now’s that that line has be a superb 200-foot line, as a result of I’m undecided that fourth line is precisely the place we needed it,” mentioned Cassidy. “For Nosek, it’s a brand new system and as a centerman, it’s going to take just a little bit for him to get his pass-offs, closing fast. Getting Freddy comfy enjoying towards good gamers. We already misplaced (Curtis) Lazar on the opposite aspect. Kuhlman actually has carried out that. However that (third line) is perhaps requested just a little extra for a few of these checking assignments. And if they will contribute offensively like they’ve, then that’s a really perfect third line. That’s the ask proper now.”
Haula, one of many three offseason signees within the backside six together with Foligno and Nosek, has nonetheless seemed very comfy within the preseason and ought to be an asset in how Cassidy desires to make use of the road.
“He’s received good tempo, he’s killed penalties the vast majority of his profession. If you may get across the ice, it often means you possibly can test. He can nonetheless go on offense and get better. He’s good on the dot on his robust aspect, so we’re comfy utilizing him there,” mentioned Cassidy. “And I feel for any line you’re asking to play towards good strains or test just a little, is can they counter-punch? And that’s the place they’ve a bonus from the strains we’ve put out up to now. They will rating. All three of them have the power to complete. If they will do this and benefit from the opposite crew’s aggressiveness or lack of desirous to play protection or mismanaging the puck or no matter, it’s good to have a line that may go down.”
One fascinating ingredient of a 3rd line is how suited DeBrusk will probably be for the function. He actually is aware of the ask, bringing it up in his media availability earlier within the week and seemingly embracing it, although it’s not one thing he’s carried out up to now. We will see.
However in a basic sense, Cassidy believes DeBrusk is in the correct state of mind to regain his recreation after a really troublesome 2020-21 season.
“He appears just a little extra engaged with the group, each on and off the ice and within the fitness center, no matter,” mentioned Cassidy. “I don’t know precisely how a man feels when leaving the rink. We simply attempt to focus on it with them and are available to conclusion to get him in a superb place, however on the finish of the day, solely he can reply that. However he certain appears that strategy to me. Hopefully it is going to translate on the ice. Usually, it is going to.”
Cassidy will let strains play out
Cassidy has by no means been afraid to combine up his strains and it’s a superb wager that in some unspecified time in the future, he’ll rev up the blender. However he mentioned he doesn’t anticipate to do a lot of it early within the season.
“I’d wish to see the way it goes just a little bit first. Prior to now I’ve actually moved them round. I feel this 12 months, I’d assume that may be much less as a result of I feel the items match higher than up to now. We had been nonetheless finding out who went with who. There was inconsistency with a few of the youthful guys,” mentioned Cassidy.
“I feel in the event you take a look at our high 9, guys have performed within the league. They need to know the expectation of what it’s wish to be an NHL participant with the consistency issue, so we shouldn’t have to maneuver folks round. Generally you’re doing since you’re not getting the end result you need and also you wish to ship a message. So I’m hoping there will probably be much less of that and our guys know precisely what the ask is. So I might anticipate a lot much less of that.”
Hold your head up!
The Bruins had been one in all simply 4 groups who had not performed an actual recreation till Saturday. What’s worse, they hadn’t performed a recreation of any sort in 10 days. Going into Saturday’s opener towards the Stars, Cassidy was involved about puck administration, in addition to different points.
“Having your hockey consciousness when it comes to moving into visitors and physicality. I’ve little question our legs will probably be there. I feel we’re skating properly. Guys are excited. However, hey, get your head up,” mentioned Cassidy. “This crew’s already performed a recreation. They’ve been banging already for actual and we’ve solely been hitting one another, so don’t put your self in a susceptible spot.”