By Joe Haggerty
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.