TORONTO -- It’s a good thing that David Krejci’s line has been the most productive forward line in the first week of the Stanley Cup playoffs because Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin haven’t been able to find the back of the net.
That trio helped carry the offensive load for the Black and Gold during the regular season, but they have exactly zero goals in the first three games of their series with the Maple Leafs. It’s certainly not for lack of trying as the Bergeron line has a combined 36 shots on goal in the first three games versus Toronto, and Seguin himself has 17 shots on goal since the start of the playoffs.
Seguin was excellent in each of the first two games in Boston, and could have had goals in either one of those games. But No. 19 managed only a couple of shots on net in 15:25 of ice time during Game 3 in Air Canada Centre, where he’s usually dominated through the years. Some of the offensive slowdown might be attributed to their defensive duties: Bergeron’s line has been assigned to help lock down Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk most shifts when they’re on the ice.
Marchand stressed after Tuesday’s practice session that the line isn’t squeezing their sticks or panicking because chances are coming.
“It would be nice if pucks started going in for us,” said Marchand. “But the good thing is that the opportunities are there. We had a few in the last game, and especially the first two games. We need to start worrying if we’re not getting the opportunities. We just need to keep going.
“I don’t think we’re [squeezing the stick] in any way. We’re still making plays and getting chances. They’re going to go in eventually.”
To be sure, what Marchand said is true when it comes to the first two playoff games in Boston. But the trio managed only a combined six shots on net in the 5-2 Game 3 win over the Maple Leafs. Like everyone else, they've been watching Krejci and Co. do their thing instead. That line has accounted for 17 points and five goals in the three games, and has thrown down the gauntlet for Boston’s other top scoring line.
“They’re doing everything right now. They’re battling hard and scoring some goals for our team,” said Marchand. “They seem to be pushing that little extra bit that you need to during the playoffs. We can all take a lesson from them, and push a little bit harder.”
The three forwards were on the ice for the Johnny Boychuk goal in the third period of Game 2 when Seguin was paying the price with Tyler Bozak in front of the net to screen goaltender James Reimer. So technically they've produced a a goal, but the expectation is that top scorers like Seguin, Marchand and Bergeron should be lighting the lamp with a little more frequency for Boston in the postseason.
The Black and Gold hold a solid 2-1 series lead with Game 4 on tap for Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre, but there's a nagging feeling that Bergeron, Marchand and Seguin will need to get something flowing offensively if the B's want to finish off the Leafs and advance to the next round.