BRIGHTON, Mass -- The first step in addressing that you have one, and the Bruins have finally done that by shaking up their forward lines and power play groups.
Less than 24 hours after scoring two goals or less for the 20th time in 29 games this season in a loss to the Maple Leafs, Claude Julien has moved David Pastrnak to the Bruins top power play unit while also putting the 20-year-old scoring phenom on a line with David Krejci as well. Pastrnak replaces Ryan Spooner on the top PP unit, and gives that crew a true play-finisher and goal-scorer to go with playmakers like David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug and David Backes.
Pastrnak is second in the NHL with 18 goals scored this season, and leads the Bruins with four PP goals this season. So that particular change was probably a long time coming given his production this season, and the wicked one-timer he's displayed on a couple of occasions. Julien said after practice it was about sparking his players and getting more balanced scoring, and there isn’t much to lose with a team that’s already 26th in the league in offense and 27th in the NHL in power play success this season.
“Sometimes changes can create some excitement and some changes, and you do what you have to do [to spark the offense],” said Julien. “It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time. We’ve made changes before, but this is more of a full overhaul, I guess you’d call it, rather than tweaking one or two [players].
“We’re just going to play our game, and hope that it turns into some goals. My only concern right now is that we find ways to score goals. Right now we’re putting a lot of pressure on our goaltenders to stand tall every night because we’re only scoring one or two goals.”
Ryan Spooner has also returned to his natural center position on the third line with the hope that he can spark some offense there between a couple of young speed players in Danton Heinen and Austin Czarnik. Here are the newfangled Bruins line combos and D-pairings from Sunday’s physical, intense practice with Ryan Spooner, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Tim Schaller, Dominic Moore and Jimmy Hayes all getting looks with the second power play unit: