Predicting Bruins playoffs defensemen pairings

Predicting Bruins playoffs defensemen pairings
March 31, 2014, 1:15 am
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DJ Bean of WEEI joined Michael Felger on Sports Sunday to talk Bruins as they streak toward the playoffs.

Bean's offered his thoughts on playoff defensive pairings as the B's mix and match with healthy scratches in the final days of the regular season

"[Torey] Krug is bajillion percent safe. Given what he brings to the power play, I think he's safe," Bean said. "I'd go [Zdeno] Chara-[Dougie] Hamilton. The second pairing is where it gets interesting. Either [Matt] Bartkowski-[Johnny] Boychuck or [Andrej] Meszaros-Boychuk, but there hasn't been a lot of Meszaros-Bocyhuk...From there, it's Krug and Meszaros depending on if Meszaros is in that other pairing or not, then-Meszaros-[Kevan] Miller. There's a wild card in [injured] Adam McQuaid. Once he comes back, what do you do? In my mind, Kevan Miller brings everything Adam McQuaid does, and you're not worried about him getting out of the lineup every three seconds."

As for the forwards, Felger mentioned Reilly Smith's offensive struggles and moving Loui Eriksson to replace him on the second line, but he doesn't want to break up Eriksson and fellow Swede Carl Soderberg, who help form a great third line.

"Next year," Bean said for the Smith move. "As far as 1-2-3 lines goes, you're as strong as anyone in the NHL. Eriksson used to get Selke votes in Dallas...Eriksson's a first-liner anywhere else."