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.
‘I 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.
‘So 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. ‘That’s part of the situation that you’re in at times,’ Julien said. ‘You 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 ‘top player up front’ and said that he will be missed in all areas of the ice. ‘He’s a guy that can play every situation,’ Lucic said. ‘He’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. ‘I think we’re a line that has a lot of speed,’ Lucic said. ‘We’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. ‘It’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 ‘bump 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. ‘We’ve got to play north-south type of hockey,’ Lucic said, ‘just 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.’