The top six forwards have been challenged by their coach to step up their production.
That much was pretty clear after the lines were thoroughly rearranged at Bruins practice on Friday morning.
But the one player out of that player group that doesnt have anything to hang his head about after the last couple of games is Rich Peverley. The shifty winger now leads the Bruins with a pair of goals scored in the last two games, and has three or more shots on net in three of the four playoff games against the Washington Capitals.
Ive been able to sneak a couple through, but we lost the last game so it doesnt really matter, said Peverley.
So Peverley was skating with Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille at practice while Brad Marchand was dropped to the fourth line, and Tyler Seguin was similarly demoted to the third line with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot.
Theres no real thought about one particular guy with the changes. Its more about moving guys around and trying to give lines a spark more than the individual. Right now were not getting the production wed like to, but were doing a good job, said Claude Julien. Were not playing a bad game. Were breaking out of our own end no problem, were going through the neutral zone no problem and were getting pucks in deep no problem.
At the end of the day its just trying to resolve the situation of capitalizing on our chances and that kind of stuff. So, thats the only problem area.
It also seems that Bruins coach Claude Julien wanted to get a little more experience and poise under pressure balanced throughout the forward lines, but Peverley is perhaps the only Bs forward that is playing his best hockey of the last month in the postseason. Most of the last month was spent getting back on track after missing six weeks with a sprained right knee, and now Peverley is there.
The faked move to pass on the odd-man rush that led to Bostons only goal in Game 4 spoke to a skilled forward thats getting a little swagger back into his game. Many of his teammates could use the exact same thing right about now.
They blocked a lot of shots. We could definitely use more net-front presence. We had a few chances and there were definitely a few that rolled off to the side and we couldnt get there to bang them in, said Peverley. We definitely need to do that if were going to win this series. Braden Holtby likes to glove the puck and hold on to everything. He saw everything Thursday. Thats for sure. We need to get more bodies in front of him.
Most of the goalies in the league will stop it if they can see it. Hes another example.
Holtby has been doing a lot of that against the Bruins during their four playoff games, and more Bs skaters need to take a page out of the Peverley book if theyre to start generating some more needed offense.