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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chris Bourque Is The First Casualty From Boston's Underachieving Third Line

Even when they were playing great, winning six in a row and being talked about as the top team in the Eastern Conference last week, Bruins fans weren't satisfied with left wing Chris Bourque. To get him going, the team made him a healthy scratch a few times but nothing seemed to wake him up. Today, they were forced to waive him since somebody had to pay for the third line's season-long struggles.

Teams around the NHL will have until 12 p.m. tomorrow afternoon to make a claim on Bourque, if he clears then he'll go to the Providence Bruins. That's where he played during the lockout and truth be told, where his limited skills make him best suited for. In 18 games, Bourque had one goal, three assists, six penalty minutes and 24 shots on goal.

For whatever reason, Bruins head coach Claude Julien thought that Bourque deserved more than his share of ice time on Boston's awful power play. How'd that work out? The real numbers that show the third line's struggles are their plus/minuses: Bourque (-6), Kelly (-7) and Peverley (-8) have the three worst marks on the team. Obviously, Kelly and Peverley have more value so the B's are more reluctant to give up on them yet.

Still, the NHL Trade Deadline is less than a month away (April 3) so stay tuned. Boston is almost guaranteed to add another defenseman or Top-9 winger by then. Boston hosts Toronto tonight, Jay Pandolfo will be on the fourth line with Daniel Paille bumped up to the third line (where he's been taking regular shifts latey).

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