The Bruins fourth line has combined for five goals, eight assists and a plus-13 rating in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and proved to be a major factor in the B's 4-1 series win over the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
But now an even greater challenge awaits in the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, and The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont said on UNO Sports Tonight that he doesn't expect the same kind of offensive explosion from the Merlot line in the conference finals as there was in the first two rounds.
“I think they'll still be good, and I think they'll be effective, but I think the power of Pittsburgh, again, paper and practice...are often different," Dupont said. "But I think they're so stacked here I think the Merlot line's chief duty, as it always is, is going to be keeping points off the board rather than putting them on.”
The same also goes for the Bruins' defensemen, who have scored a combined 13 postseason goals, including four apiece from Johnny Boychuk and Torey Krug. The B's blue liners had more room to work at the point due to the Rangers' defensive style of packing players in front of the net and trying to block shots. But Dupont says that won't be the case with the Penguins.
“I think you're going to see Pittsburgh really cheat at the point, especially on the pk, where the Rangers don't do that," Dupont said. "The Rangers are so passive, and I think to their detriment. They've gone overboard with that system. So I don't think we'll see as much."
Take a look at the video above to see what else Dupont had to say to Lou Merloni on the Sports Tonight set, including his thoughts that Tyler Seguin be moved back up to the second line.