MONTREAL – The Bruins shook up their lines in a big way on Thursday morning at the Bell Centre entering a big Game 4 where they trail 2-1 in the series against the hated Canadiens. Carl Soderberg was absent from the skate and “took his option,” according to Bruins coach Claude Julien.
The forward lines have been pretty similar for most of the season. The KIL (Krejci, Iginla, Lucic) Line has been a productive constant for the Bruins throughout the regular season. So, it would appear that breaking all of the forwards up and putting them with different groups was perhaps a way to mess with the Canadiens just a little bit. It was also something to simply break up the tension for his own players.
Skating with different forward partners in practice will certainly get the attention of Lucic, Iginla and especially Krejci, who has just three assists in eight playoff games this postseason. The sight of different forward partners for morning skate rushes was the perfect little bit of the unexpected for a group that’s been the same all season.
“A lot of the times when that happens it’s just to lighten the mood,” said Reilly Smith. “It’s just to get everybody used to different things, and get your mind in a different spot rather than any negative things or negative emotions. There’s no reason to think too much over the [different line combos].”
All that being said, this humble hockey writer doesn’t think there’s any chance of seeing these wacky new forward groups together when the puck drops at the Bell Centre.
Here are the forward combos and D-pairings based on the morning skate: