While there are many questions that still need to be answered up front with the Bruins forward group, the fourth line is not one of them with 11 games in the books for the Black and Gold.
It’s been a strong energy line that has earned entry into the Claude Julien circle of trust, and veteran center Dominic Moore has been a strong contributor offensively and defensively right out of the gate for the Bruins. The 36-year-old is actually third on the Bruins with his three goals scored in 11 games, and Moore has brought some feistiness along with a little bit of offensive wiggle to a fourth line center spot that’s been much more workmanlike in recent B’s past.
As a veteran of nearly 800 NHL games, the Harvard graduate is smart enough to understand that his effectiveness relies on playing solid defense and succeeding in the face-off circle when called upon in big moments. But it’s also nice to score a goal every once in a while, so don’t let all of the quiet modesty fool you with Moore.
“It’s always an adjustment for sure, and it’s one of those things you want to approach each day trying to get better as an individual, as a linemate and to your teammates out there,” said Moore, who had six goals and 15 points in 80 games for the Rangers last season. “So far there are been some good things [for the fourth line], and we’re just focusing on trying to get better each day.
“It’s nice [to produce offensively], for sure. But at the same time you just want to focus on communicating well with your linemates, supporting each other well on the ice and just trying to get better.”
It’s clear by their usage, that Julien has trust in Moore and young linemates in Tim Schaller and Noel Acciari, and that good things will come their way as long as they can get physical on the fore-check, pop in a goal every once in a while and keep the puck out of their own net.
Moore is simply a part of that successful fourth line equation, but he’s been able to lead the group thus far with a very strong season in all areas.
“He’s been good. Obviously his experience has been invaluable to us on our bottom two lines whether he moves up to the third or stays where he is,” said Julien. “He’s done a good job, and he can play center or wing, but right now with all of the new faces in our lineup it’s important to get some veteran presence as well. He’s got lots of it, he’s been good on the penalty kill with Riley Nash and he’s been a good left-shot face-off guy as well. So he’s been a good addition to our group.”
For Moore it’s not about riding out a hot streak to the season, and instead it’s about continuing down the path to being a solid pro as he’s carved out for himself during an 11-year career spanning ten NHL teams all over the North American map.