Where is the secondary scoring?
The Bruins didn't show much life in Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. After a few strong shifts to start the game, the Bruins allowed two goals in just over a minute midway through the first period. Montreal never looked back after that.
The Bruins have 34 goals through 11 games, 19 of those have come from the trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak. Thats a whopping 56% of their goals coming from one line.
Way too often the Bruins are relying heavily on the Bergeron line. When a team can come in and lock down the trio, as Montreal did Saturday, the task becomes even more difficult for the Bruins.
Outside of the top line, Cassidy has juggled his lines on a near game-by-game basis, trying to find any sort of chemistry and any sort of production from his other three lines.
Not much luck there.
The second line led by David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk has played well of late, but have yet to get to the point where they're scoring consistently enough to give the Bergeron line the support they need when they don't have it going.
"I think Krejci’s line has been good the last few games," said head coach Bruce Cassidy. "Jake’s [DeBrusk] generating they’re just not going in. At some point they’ll have to start going in."
Entering the preseason the Bruins were pretty comfortable with what they projected to be their four lines. The second line right wing and the third line center were the only two positions that had competition behind it. But no one really came in and earned themselves either job.
11 games in and we still don't a clear answer as to who should be at those positions.
As Cassidy continues his rotation of forwards across lines two, three and four, rookie Ryan Donato may be in store for a better look at a top six role. Donato was the Bruins best forward on Saturday and technically was the lone Bruin to get rubber past Canadiens goalie Carey Price. The goal however, was called back after a reply deemed the play offsides.
"You never want to be negative after you score, right? You kind of just want to enjoy it. But I think when we were at the beginning by the bench I think I heard somebody say “offsides” and I was kind of going ‘oh no, could this be happening right now?’ And I mean, that stinks but that’s hockey," said Donato.
"And if was offsides then it’s offsides you really can’t do anything about it, no matter how nice of a pass it was was from Bjorky [Anders Bjork] or how nice of a shot it was, it’s offsides. So, it’s part of the game and hopefully I’ll learn from that."
I'm not sure what more Cassidy can do with what he has on the roster as he looks to get something, anything for that matter, from his other three lines.
He's done it briefly for shifts, but at this point the only move he hasn't done to start a game has been breaking up the Bergeron line.
"I don’t know if that would have solved the problem tonight [Saturday]. Pucks seemed to be bouncing on Marchy [Marchand] anyway. Pasta [Pastrnak], he did eventually get his looks in the power play, but not tonight. Even [Joakim] Nordstrom’s line was skating and had some chances. We hoped the other ones would eventually come around, and it didn’t happen," said Cassidy.
If the Bruins are to go anywhere in the 2018-19 season, it's going to be on the backs of the Bergeron line, but they undoubtedly will need some help.
Being a one-line team wont win them a Stanley Cup.