Krecji's injury forces shuffle of top line

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Krecji's injury forces shuffle of top line

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON The Bs top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton heard the faint calls for something fresher after three straight stale performances to start the season.

But the Bruins forwards are preaching patience and more importantly so is the coaching staff after a Columbus Day wakeup call against the Colorado Avalanche.

Coach Claude Julien was perplexed enough that he hinted there might be a breakup of the underperforming line after they were shut down once again this time against an Avs bunch that scored their only goal while Lucic, Krejci and Horton were all out on the ice.

Krejci's knee injury, suffered Tuesday in practice, will force the shuffle that Julien talked about; Tyler Seguin will move up to the No. 1 center slot. But before Krejci was hurt, he and Lucic and Horton were on the ice early Tuesday morning at Ristuccia Arena, trying to regain that feel they lost somewhere along the way.

Still, felt like more patience should be showed to a group of forwards that led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals before Horton was lost to a Game 3 concussion.

I think its too early. Obviously if things keep dragging on then its time to make a change, said Lucic, who has six shots on net and six registered hits in the first three games this season. But right now we have to bring the right mindset to our game and the rest will take care of itself.

We dont want to have any excuses. We just went out there to pass the puck around, shoot it and have some fun. We kind of wanted to get the fun back into it and enjoy it again. Thats all we were trying to establish. We just want to enjoy being back out there, get the frustration out and play exactly the way that we want to play.

In his talk with media Tuesday, Julien backed off his edgier comments about Lucic and Co. that he made Monday in the immediate aftermath of the 1-0 loss to the Avs. He hoped pride would kick in a little bit.

Its a line that isnt clicking on all cylinders, but were just three games into the season, said Julien. Its getting better, but theyre a work in progress. If we start panicking three games into the season then were really in trouble.

Theyre going to be good players for us and theyll find their game. Theyve been good for us and theres no reason to think they wont be good players for us again.

With Seguin now temporarily filling in for Krejci at the top pivot position, its even more incumbent upon Lucic and Horton to elevate their game with a new guy skating in between them.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.