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A closer look at whether Carl Soderberg’s line scores too much to be broken up 12.21.14 at 2:51 pm ET
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Carl Soderberg

Carl Soderberg

Claude Julien does not want to separate Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg. That much we definitely, definitely know.

On Sunday, Julien reiterated that stance with a quote that got us thinking.

“Right now, the Soderberg line is the only one that’s scoring for us,”€ Julien said, “€œso do you guys want me to break that up and we get no more scoring? So you pick your poison.”€

Krejci has been in the lineup for 13 games and has had Seth Griffith as his right wing for 12 of them, with Simon Gagne also getting some shifts and Eriksson getting a small taste late in Friday’s game. The Bruins might not be 100 percent on Griffith being their first-line right wing, but they won’€™t try Eriksson to see if they have any other internal fits for the job before potentially trading for one.

So, given Julien’€™s quote, we looked at every goal the Bruins have scored when Krejci has been in the lineup. In each game, Soderberg and Eriksson have been together, so it’€™s actually rather easy to tell whether Julien has a point. Keeping in mind that different lines (Krejci’€™s and Patrice Bergeron‘€™s) have tougher matchups, here were our findings:

Total goals (13 games): 35

Soderberg line: 9

Krejci line: 8

Bergeron line: 7

PP: 7

PK: 2

Campbell line: 1

Krejci during change with Kelly, Eriksson: 1

The findings aren’€™t overwhelming, but they do illustrate that when the Bruins have their full offensive lineup, the Soderberg line does pretty much all of Boston’€™s secondary scoring (nine of 10 goals). That might be reason enough for Julien to not want to tinker with Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson.

That said, the Bruins are 22nd in the league with 2.42 goals per game (2.69 with Krejci in the lineup). They need goals, and Eriksson had a four-point game against the Flyers last season when skating with Krejci and Lucic.

Following is a goal-by-goal breakdown, which also takes into consideration that Julien changed half of his lines on Oct. 30 against the Sabres but kept Griffith with Krejci while also keeping Eriksson with Soderberg.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Carl Soderberg, David Krejci, Loui Eriksson,
5 things we learned as Bruins get David Krejci back and win 12.17.14 at 10:47 pm ET
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On Wednesday, the Bruins got three things Bruins fans thought they might never see again: three goals, a win and David Krejci.

After an up-and-down showing from the B’s in Minnesota, Loui Eriksson took a feed from Carl Soderberg and tucked it behind Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom to give the Bruins a 3-2 overtime win over the Wild (click here for the boxscore). The win was Boston’€™s first in four games.

Krejci returned to the lineup after missing the last 11 games. He had one shot on goal and had a minus-13, even-strength Corsi, which was worst among Bruins forwards.

Krejci played a part in Minnesota’€™s game-tying goal in the third period. A turnover from Krejci in the defensive zone led to a Ryan Suter point shot that Niklas Svedberg stopped with his blocker. Zach Trotman picked up the rebound, but Jason Pominville whacked it away from Trotman and into the net to tie the game at two goals apiece.

That said, Krejci’s return is mammoth for the Bruins, who have had their first-line center for just 12 games this season and fell out of a playoff spot without him.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:

BRUINS STILL LIKE GRIFFITH WITH KREJCI

With Krejci returning to the top line, so too did Seth Griffith. The Bruins have played Griffith as their first-line right wing in every game Krejci has played this season, but they have generally used Griffith as a bottom-six player without Krejci.

It’€™s an odd choice on the Bruins’€™ part to not try other players with Krejci and Milan Lucic to determine how many potential in-house candidates the B’€™s have to fill their seemingly up-for-grabs first-line right wing job. The Bruins have still not tried Loui Eriksson with Krejci and Lucic this season.

The lines were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Cunningham

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Carl Soderberg, David Krejci, Loui Eriksson, Niklas Svedberg
Top to bottom: Bruins’ strange usage of Seth Griffith 12.15.14 at 4:29 pm ET
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Seth Griffith

Seth Griffith

When players get called up to the NHL, it’€™s typical for them to play in lesser roles before working their way up to higher lines. It’€™s been the opposite for Seth Griffith.

With only three goals through their first three games of the season, the Bruins recalled Griffith from Providence to play on their first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Griffith, a second-year pro, has been Krejci’€™s right wing in all 11 of Krejci’€™s games this season.

Yet Krejci, who may be nearing a return to the lineup, has missed a lot of time due to injury and the Bruins haven’€™t been as confident in Griffith as a first-line player when No. 46 hasn’€™t been centering him.

The last two games, Griffith has been on Boston’€™s fourth line in place of the absent Simon Gagne. Griffith, who scored as many as 45 goals in a season in his junior days, is not a prototypical fourth-line grinder. Prototypical or not, however, he’s a fourth-liner.

“€œFor now,”€ Claude Julien said Monday. “€œWe don’€™t have any extra forwards and we’€™d still like to be able to see our fourth line be able to bring some offense, so that’€™s why we put him there. That line was actually pretty good with Simon Gagne, and Simon Gagne’€™s been a top-line player his whole career.”

With all due respect to Julien, that line was not pretty good. The trio of Gregory Campbell between Daniel Paille and Gagne struggled in much of its time together, though it turned a corner on this month’€™s California trip.

Going from a top-line to a bottom line can be quite the adjustment. For one, you have to deal with playing fewer minutes. In most cases, you’€™re also working with less skilled players around you and opposing different types of players. Elite scorers who skate on top lines can be easier to oppose when you have the puck, as many top-liners are there mostly on offensive merit. The bottom-six is a working man’€™s game.

Guys like Brad Marchand in 2010-11 had to hone their craft in such roles before graduating to higher lines.

“€œI think it’€™s just going to help me,”€ Griffith said. “It’€™s my first year in the league. You look at this whole lineup; everybody plays hard. It’€™s not like it’€™s really a fourth-line role. You’€™re playing the same.

“€œYou’€™re just trying to play hard every shift. If you want to be in this league a long time, you’€™ve got to learn to do little things like that. It’€™s just something that can help improve my game, if anything.”

The Bruins’€™ attempts at changing their fourth line from the Merlot Line days have been unsuccessful so far, and Griffith has been unsuccessful without Krejci so far. The 21-year-old has five points (three goals, two assists) when Krejci’€™s been in the lineup and two points (both goals) in 11 games without Krejci.

The Bruins have used Krejci on a couple different lines in practice over the last week, but Griffith hasn’€™t been a part of them. His return could either return Griffith to the first line or move him out of the lineup altogether (Craig Cunningham is more of a prototypical fourth-liner), but for now, Griffith will take whatever minutes he can get.

“Griff is a pretty smart player,” Julien said. “It’€™s not the same definition as what we had before –€” bang and crash and that kind of stuff –€” but that’€™s where he fits right now.”

Read More: David Krejci, Seth Griffith,
David Krejci to travel with Bruins, return date unknown at 1:23 pm ET
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David Krejci will travel with the Bruins for their three-game road trip this week, Claude Julien said after Monday’€™s practice.

Julien did not indicate whether Krejci would play. The B’€™s have three games in the next four days beginning with Tuesday’€™s contest against the Predators.

“I hope so. I can’€™t guarantee that, though,” Julien said of Krejci playing. “I hope so.”

Krejci has missed the last 10 games and has been limited to just 11 games this season due to lower-body injuries. He skated on a four-man line with Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Craig Cunningham Monday.

The lines were as follows:

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Lucic – Kelly – Krejci – Cunningham
Paille – Campbell – Griffith

When Krejci has been in the lineup, he has been productive and the Bruins have been successful. Krejci has three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 11 games, with the B’s going 7-4-0. The Bruins have gone 8-9-2 when Krejci has not been in the lineup.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: David Krejci,
Zdeno Chara expected to return vs. Blackhawks, Bruins not counting on David Krejci 12.11.14 at 11:36 am ET
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Zdeno Chara is expected to return to the lineup for the Bruins Thursday against the Blackhawks, while it appears David Krejci will not.

Chara, who has not played since tearing his PCL on Oct. 23, left Thursday’€™s morning skate with the rest of the regulars, while Krejci stayed out extra with anticipated healthy scratches Joe Morrow and Matt Bartkowski.

Chara was taken off injured reserve Thursday, while Krejci remained on it as of early Thursday afternoon.

“Not officially, but I’€™m counting on [Chara],” Claude Julien said. “Krejci, nobody’€™s told me anything yet, so unless somebody tells me something after this morning skate, I’€™m not going to count on him. If they tell me he’€™s ready to go, then he’€™ll be in.”

Craig Cunningham was on the ice for Thursday’€™s skate after being recalled Wednesday. Assuming Krejci does not play, the Bruins will not have any extra forwards, meaning Cunningham would be in the lineup.

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice in morning skate, indicating he will start in goal against Chicago.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: David Krejci, Zdeno Chara,
David Krejci wants to play Thursday, Simon Gagne’s leave of absence ‘indefinite’ 12.10.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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Both Daniel Paille and Carl Soderberg were back practicing with the Bruins Wednesday at TD Garden after missing Monday’s skate with a virus.

David Krejci and Zdeno Chara practiced for the second straight day. Chara is optimistic about playing Thursday against the Blackhawks, while Krejci remains an unknown. Krejci was noncommittal about his chances of playing Thursday, though he said he feels “much better” and would like to play. He has been limited to just 11 games this season due to multiple lower-body injuries.

Simon Gagne remains away from the team on personal leave, with Claude Julien saying that his absence is “indefinite.” Gagne is not currently listed on the Bruins’ roster, though his stall and belongings are in the team’s dressing room.

The lines in practice were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Eriksson
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Fraser
Paille – Campbell – Griffith

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: David Krejci, Simon Gagne,
Chris Kelly and David Krejci remain out, Bruins have multiple game-time decisions vs. Penguins 11.24.14 at 11:50 am ET
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David Krejci and Chris Kelly remain out for the Bruins as they face the Penguins Monday night. Both players were absence from morning skate, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that Krejci has taken a step backwards with his injury and that Kelly is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Brad Marchand is also a game-time decision for the Bruins, with Julien saying there are other forwards who could be in or out due to injury. Both David Pastrnak and Jordan Caron were present for the skate. The lines in morning skate were as follows:

Marchand/Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne
Caron – Khokhlachev – Pastrnak/Griffith

Krejci has dealt with multiple lower-body issues. He battled a hip injury earlier in the season and is believed to be nursing a different issue in the same area. Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald reported Monday that the current issue is a groin pull. Playing through one issue in that area creates strain on others, so it’s possible the current injury is a result of the previous one.

“Right now what I’€™ll tell you is we’€™ve taken a step back again,” Julien said. “It’€™s something that I can’€™t even go into. It’€™s been way more complicated… again as you know, these are not machines, these guys, and there’€™s certain things you try and fix and then you find out there’€™s a little bit more and nobody knows and nobody should know until you go from one stage to the next.

“The one thing I can tell you is that when he played he was one hundred percent, but we took him out because after that he wasn’€™t one hundred percent anymore. That’€™s where it’€™s tough. You say he’€™s one hundred percent, should you hold him back? I don’€™t believe in holding anybody back because if he’€™s ok the next day then we wasted a game with him, so we’€™re working on that. The only thing I would tell you is that everything I’€™m being told, it’€™s not something we’€™re going to have to manage all year and I know that’€™s a big issue in wondering what’€™s going on but it’€™s something that’€™s going to be fixed is what I’€™m being told. So don’€™t shoot the messenger.”

Tuukka Rask was the first Bruins goalie off the ice Monday, indicating he will be in net against the Penguins.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Chris Kelly, David Krejci,
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