BOSTON -- If things were a little different for the Boston Bruins, perhaps it would pique their interest when a former good B’s soldier like Gregory Campbell has become available after having his contract terminated by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
But the Bruins have ably filled that fourth line center role on their roster this season with Dominic Moore, who has given the Black and Gold much, much more than they could have hoped for when they made him a late summer free agent signing. Moore has been excellent for the Black and Gold providing secondary scoring (tied with David Backes for third on the team with seven goals scored), steady face off work, top shelf penalty killing and now has worked himself into power play time as a net-front presence for Boston.
That part in and of itself has been impressive given that the 6-foot, 192-pound forward is getting the call as the front of the net guy over 6-foot-6 power forward Jimmy Hayes.
“[Moore] has done it before and he’s smart. He may not be the biggest body for the front of the net, but we’re getting some shots and he’s willing to go to the front of the net,” said Julien. “It’s okay to have a big body, but if that big body can’t find loose pucks then there is inefficiency there. He’s a smaller body, but he’s able to find pucks a little bit better. Loose puck retrieval is what we’re looking for, so we’re giving him a try right now.”
Needless to say it’s been a satisfying first few months for Moore in a Bruins uniform after always being something of a casual observer of the B’s while living in Boston during the offseason after his collegiate career at Harvard University. That isn’t to say that Moore is satisfied with his early work with the Black and Gold, and it’s clear that his drive to improve is why he’s still in the league after playing for ten different NHL teams over the years.
“Obviously we want to continue to improve individually, as a line and as a team. That’s what we’re always trying to do with a lot of moving parts at forward,” said Moore. “So we’re always prepared to kind of play with whomever, but we’ve been fortunate to make some things happen and make some plays.”
Combine all of the above with the fact that Moore has been the fourth line constant with a revolving door of wingers skating on either side of him, and the 36-year-old has been a considerable factor in the B’s current standing in a playoff spot.
“I think you have to give him a lot of credit for that [fourth] line because of the fact the wings have changed almost every game, or every second game. But the wings on that line have done a good job as well,” said Claude Julien. “Whether it’s Blidh, Schaller, Acciari and even Jimmy Hayes, as we all know played one of his best games in the last game, that line has helped us immensely, and Moore is the guy that deserves the most credit. To see the number of goals he’s got, that’s hard to find that with a guy that’s played mostly on the fourth line.”
Moore has been such an integral part of the fourth line this season for the Bruins, it’s tough to imagine the B’s getting anything better out of anybody else they could have possibly had in mind for that role prior to the season.