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What to expect without David Krejci in the Bruins lineup Wednesday

11.09.10 at 2:50 pm ET
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WILMINGTON ‘€“ With David Krejci still out because of a concussion that was suffered in overtime of the Bruins 2-1 shootout loss to the Blues on Saturday, the Bruins did some work with their power-play prior to the official start of practice Tuesday morning. They plan to have Nathan Horton fill in for the injured Krejci on the No. 1 power-play unit, assuming the left-side half-wall position.

‘€œI think he’€™s one of those guys that can take that step on the half wall and then shoot the puck very well,’€ coach Claude Julien said about the switch after practice. Julien also said he’€™s been impressed with the improvements Blake Wheeler has made on the goal line position.

‘€œSo we thought that was for now the best way to kind of stabilize our power-play and hopefully keep it going in the right direction,’€ Julien said.

The lines otherwise remained the same in practice today as yesterday, with Patrice Bergeron centering the first line between Milan Lucic and Horton. Here’€™s how the other lines were organized:

Mark Recchi-Blake Wheeler-Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille-Tyler Seguin-Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Julien says he feels confident with the line decisions that have been made for the game against the Penguins on Wednesday, but that he also won’€™t be afraid to shuffle it up some more if it doesn’€™t work. ‘€œThat’€™s part of the situation that you’€™re in at times,’€ Julien said. ‘€œYou have to be open minded about maybe moving some guys around.’€

Krejci leads the Bruins in assists, and is tied for second in points among the team.  Lucic referred to him as perhaps their ‘€œtop player up front’€ and said that he will be missed in all areas of the ice. ‘€œHe’€™s a guy that can play every situation,’€ Lucic said. ‘€œHe’€™s great on the PP, he’€™s great on the PK, and he plays in important situations on five-on-five.’€

Lucic said that the transition of Bergeron in to his line has been going smoothly so far in practice. ‘€œI think we’€™re a line that has a lot of speed,’€ Lucic said. ‘€œWe’€™ve got to do whatever we can to come up as a three man unit and get pucks in deep and use our puck protection skills to create chances for ourselves.’€
It’€™s important for a team to figure out how to compensate in other ways when it loses a top line player like Krejci.

Julien said the Bruins work ethic and commitment to the game has been strong and that this isn’€™t a challenge that is new to them in any way. ‘€œIt’€™s one of those things where you’€™ve got to expect your players to be, maybe a little bit grittier, and willing to play that type of a game than when you’€™ve got a healthy team,’€ Julien said.

Lucic referred to the injury situation as just a ‘€œbump in the road that you have to face throughout the season.’€ He said the key is going to be keeping things simple in these next few games. ‘€œWe’€™ve got to play north-south type of hockey,’€ Lucic said, ‘€œjust go up and down, good shifts and establish a hard forecheck. If we try to be cute and try to play east-west and diagonal, and try to stick handle through three guys – that’€™s not our game even with them in the lineup.’€

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci, Nathan Horton,
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