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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Boston Shake Things Up For Tonight's Game vs. Toronto

With more than enough of a sample size and losers of three of their last four games, Bruins head coach Claude Julien has made a few moves in an attempt to spark the underachieving Bruins offense.

The Bruins inserted Tyler Seguin into the first line when center David Krejci went down with a core injury in practice and the results have been lukewarm. The second year playmaker has looked much more comfortable with the puck amd is also skating better without it. He is clearly progressing as an all-around player and his increased role has given Bruins fans a reason to be optimistic.

However, the problem lies with his linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Both players have been struggling to put the puck in the net and have not been much of a factor early on in the season. Both have been frustrated with their play so far and that was apparent against the Hurricanes. Both players racked up the penalty minutes against Carolina and have been non-factors in most of their games so far.

Knowing this, Claude has made a switch, dropping Nathan Horton to the second line with presumably Bergeron and Marchand, while sending Chris Kelly up to the first line center position. Seguin will shift back to right wing for the time being.

Julien has been criticized in the past for being too stubborn with his lines in the past and clearly Krejci's injury forced his hand. However, this move should be a wake-up call for Horton, who has more than enough skill to be on the second line. With regards to Kelly, I'm not sure what to expect from him on the first line, as he has shown flashes at times. He's hardly the typical first line center. Still, the Bruins need a surge from their scoring, as they are currently dead last in the NHL in scoring with just 11 goals in six games. This has to improve.

The Bruins will unveil their new lines tonight against the resurgent Toronto Maple Leafs, who lead the division and feature the NHL's leading scorer-Phil Kessel.

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