Boston Bruins

Fourth line provides winning energy, example

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Fourth line provides winning energy, example

BOSTON -- The forward line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille fondly likes to think of themselves as the energy line, and they lived up to their billing on Friday night.

With some of their teammates sleepwalking through a game against a scrappy New York Islanders bunch, the Bs fourth line pumped in a pair of goals in the first two periods and provided a jolt of energy that helped propel the Black and Gold to a 4-2 win over the Isles at TD Garden.

Claude Julien had no problem crediting the fourth line with being their best forward group in the ugly win, and that stands as the second time in the first four games of the season that the energy line proved a felt impact in victory.

Thats a pretty good start for a trio that doesnt get some of the fanfare of the other groups, but brings bundles of pure energy for everybody else on the roster to use as momentum-building nourishment.

Theyve always taken pride in doing that for our team in the past, said Julien. Tonight theyre the ones that were doing the right things.

Thornton kicked it off with his first goal of the season as he battled through the Islanders defense to reach the rebound of a Dougie Hamilton shot, and shoveled it into the open net with a quick backhanded attempt. It was an important goal for No. 22 coming off Wednesday night when his inability to clear a puck led to a Rangers goal just 46 seconds after the Bruins had tied things up in the back-and-forth.

It was clear he wasn't happy about the play, and -- in true energy line fashion -- he did something about it.

One period later a David Krejci shot from far outside of the left face-off circle bounced off New York defenseman Joe Finleys skate and right onto Gregory Campbells stick. The fourth line center fired back at the net, and allowed the Bruins to head into the third period tied at 2-2 despite some lackluster, out-of-sync play overall.

Both goals the fourth line scored they had somebody in front of the net: Thorty Shawn Thornton on the first one, and Soupy Gregory Campbell on the second goal, said Julien. So they did things that our others lines werent doing for two period. Once we got ourselves going we were a lot better. They set the example, I guess, for the rest of the team for the third period.

The line finished with eight shots on net for the game, and also gave the team 1.21 jigowatts of energy when Paille clobbered Brian Strait in the corner toward the end of the first period. Matt Martin tried to jump Paille while standing up for Strait, but Thornton grabbed the Isles tough guy to protect his linemate. The B's enforcer was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct, but the Bruins actually went on the power play following the exchange.

Following the game Thornton didnt speak to reporters as he was feeling under the weather, but Campbell said the energy and opportunistic offense are what they are all about.

We have been playing together for the last two years, which is a rare thing in hockey. We get along off the ice, which is good because it transfers on the ice, said Campbell. We accept our role and know our role. Sometimes it is not an easy job but we are willing to help the team. Its a role that we take pride in.

I think energy is part of our job description, every night, is to bring energy to our team, whether it was tonight or any other game. For us I think it is important to read the game and learn from our mistakes from the last game, where we came out kind of flat and fell behind.

Better than the energy or the occasional offense: Campbell shares the team lead in points with Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Brad Marchand after four games. It speaks to just how big a role the fourth line has played as they once again set the tone early in a season where theyve been sorely needed by their team.

Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

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Morning Skate: Kassian completes transition from villain to hero for Oilers

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that US democracy still works even there are extreme factors that our founding fathers couldn’t possibly have imagined. 

 

*Edmonton Oilers reclamation project Zack Kassian continues his journey from villain to hero in the eyes of the Oil Faithful. 

 

*Old warrior Chris Neil is weighing NHL offers right now along with a number of other older veterans still waiting for the right situation to present itself for next season. Many of these veterans are probably going to have to report to training camps on tryout agreements and beat out younger players for jobs, and that may be exactly what happens with a grizzled, tough old bird like Neil. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins bring in a veteran or two on PTO agreements in camp, and that could be the ultimate fate for guys like Neil, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and even Thomas Vanek. 

 

*The Vegas Golden Knights are still looking to inspire with a developing locker room message as their maiden voyage still awaits this season. 

 

*PHT writer James O’Brien has longtime Habs defenseman Andrei Markov leaving for the KHL after he couldn’t come to an agreement to stay in Montreal with the Canadiens. 

 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Kennedy has a prospects mailbag at this quiet point in the summer, and he’s very, very high on Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat. 

 

*The Hockey News details why somebody needs to step up and sign the legendary Jaromir Jagr as one of the aforementioned veteran forwards still looking for a job. 

 

*For something completely different: Solid Steve Lattimer reference in this Pro Football Talk story about performance enhancing drugs. 

Morning Skate: Star players must get more involved in CBA negotiations to make Olympics a reality

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Morning Skate: Star players must get more involved in CBA negotiations to make Olympics a reality

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling that we’re just now learning about the massive rap skills of the brotherly duo of Andrew and Pete Frates. 

 

*Ken Campbell from the Hockey News says that if influential players, like Connor McDavid, want to go to the Olympics then they need to get more involved in the CBA negotiations

 

*Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang shows what a class act he is by taking the Stanley Cup to a children’s hospital in Montreal.

 

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the Minnesota Wild looking to find long term deals for both restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter. That was pretty clear when they chose to deal off Marco Scandella in order to clear up some cap space to afford both of them. 

 

*The Edmonton Oilers are going to face higher expectations for next season, and are willing to embrace that kind of pressure.

 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance wonders aloud whether there will be any offer sheets coming for restricted free agents. I appreciate Craig wanting to add a little more intrigue to the NHL’s offseason, but it isn’t going to happen as long as GMs are treated like they have small pox once they go that route with an offer sheet. Take a look at the future job prospects for general managers that went with offer sheets in the past, and you’ll see why GMs simply don’t do them. This is why the Bruins are uncomfortable with David Pastrnak sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent, but not overly concerned that he’s going to sign a mega-offer sheet elsewhere.  

 

*The CCM hockey brand is apparently changing hands from its former home at Adidas

 

*For something completely different: Speaking of Pete Frates, MLB has announced a fundraising drive for ALS research in his name.