Bruins New Look Second Line Make an impact in different ways
Let me know if you’ve heard this before. Behind their front line, Boston Bruins are looking for consistency with their bottom nine, mostly with their second line. It seems to be an ongoing issue, season after season. At the beginning of the 2021-22 season, things are still the same.
Looking for a spark, coach Bruce Cassidy changed everything when Nick Foligno and Craig Smith have returned from early-season injuries and the possibility of an early return on the second line is very positive. In fact, they were so active, do we dare that the new line has found some chemical substance?
The First Bruins Combination Second Series has struggled to start the season
Charlie Coyle missed most of training camp and pre-season games because of a “persistent injury” from off-season knee surgery, which kept him out of attendance. roster until the end of last season. That caused Jack Studnicka to miss most of the middle shifts Taylor Hall and Smith. When Coyle returned at the start of the season, the trio struggled to find a match.
Related: Bruins’ Craig Smith has time to recover from a slow start
Smith then went down with an undisclosed injury, which placed the gland behind the eight-ball in terms of chemical formation and consistency. The hall was even prepared in the final 10 minutes of a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on 9 November after shuffling in his defensive area and scoring a penalty in the attacking area in the third inning. After their lackluster performance, you know that Cassidy will have changes.
New look Second line provides stability
When Foligno returned from injury, Cassidy formed a new second squad consisting of Foligno, Coyle and Hall. With each passing game since the trio was put together, they are playing better, matching and slowly attacking.
The biggest example of their strong play happened on Wednesday night 5-1 win over Buffalo Sabers at the KeyBank Center. This line adds up for 10 shots, two goals, and a plus/minus plus 6. Coyle scored the winning goal in the first half as he collected the ball along the wall, cutting back. side of the net and hit a wrist shot under the crossbar, over the shoulder of Sabers goalkeeper Aaron Dell. Foligno made the biggest impact in the play, winning a match on the board to allow the player to get into his center.
Unfortunately for Dell, he only lasted one period in the game as he was replaced by Dustin Tokarski between the first and second periods after scoring four goals on 22 shots. To be fair, it wasn’t his fault that his teammates in front of him put up little resistance for the first 20 minutes.
Hall, who was booed by Sabers fans every time he touched the shuttlecock for the second straight game in Buffalo this season, scored the winning goal in the third inning. Charlie McAvoy was attacked from behind by Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons, who were rated for in-game and serious misconduct for 5 minutes for the hit. In the big game, Hall scored Black and Gold’s fifth and final goal on a shot from the top of the left circle. Since he competed with the Senators and got to play with Coyle and Foligno, Hall has been better both with his skating game and overall performance.
Foligno provides second line spark
When Foligno started the season in the third line with Jake DeBrusk and Erik Haula in the third, he was doing the little things on the ice, winning the battles that were intense, strong in the check, while providing leadership. Since joining Hall and Coyle, the 16-year veteran is doing the same thing, which Cassidy wants to see.
“He did a good job of collecting money, he did a good job of being a monitor. I think he just needs to figure out his pace, get some games below his means. He missed a number of times, some at the end of last year. Just play and then we’ll worry about where he fits best by position and even route. I like him with Coyle and Hall because he’s going to be in the net, a good presence on the net. He did it with (Erik) Haula and (Jake) DeBrusk. That’s one of the reasons he’s there but he can switch back and forth.”
Foligno has also brought similar energy to the Bruins’ first powerhouse team, as he replaced Hall when he returned from injury. He caused problems for opposing teams and their goalkeepers, setting up screens and causing distraction. That was evident in David Pastrnak’s power ball goal against Sabers when he darted from the edge of the net and cut in front of Dell as Pastrnak once fired a shot into the near corner.
Still in the early stages together, but this trio is clearly playing the best second line that the Bruins have this season. All three are veterans and know what it takes to be successful in the NHL. Foligno is yet to score a goal this season and you have to think his moment to find the back of the net is coming. Even though he’s not scoring, he’s doing little things to help Coyle and Hall play better.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. One who frequently uses the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for various websites and daily newspapers. Writing was originally just a hobby, but it has become Scott’s passion over the years.
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