Patriots

Marchand, Rolston switch wings, looking for results

658586.jpg

Marchand, Rolston switch wings, looking for results

TORONTO It was pretty clear that Brad Marchand was uncomfortable with the line combinations when Tyler Seguin was slotted in with Milan Lucic and David Krejci.

The Bruins agitator was happy to be skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brian Rolston, but it means Marchand moving over to the right wing to allow the 39-year-old Rolston to play on the left side of the line.

That forced Marchand to his off-wing and it was pretty clear in the loss to the Ottawa Senators last week the lines first game together that he wasnt able to create and handle the puck with his normal amount of speed and skill. So Marchand and Rolston put their heads together, and switched sides to allow Marchand back into his happy zone on Bergerons left side.

The line hasnt produced points since reconfiguring things, but Marchand admitted things feel a lot closer to normal since they made the adjustment. Rolston did pick up his first point as a member of the Bruins when he assisted on Milan Lucics power play goal over the weekend, and his minutes have picked up drastically as the Bruins work into the proper shape to handle 15 minutes plus per game.

Weve had some decent games. You need to adjust and find some chemistry. Its about building and establishing that chemistry as a line, said Patrice Bergeron. Weve got to find a way to score now. We know we good we are, how good we can be and how good we need to be. Theres a lot of difference between those three words.

With any new line combinations it can take a couple of games to get things clicking at a good rate, and the BergeronMarchandRolston trios play has been trending upward for each of their first three contests together. They finished with a combined five shots on net and another nine that were either blocked or missed the net, and its clear the familiarity and comfort level is growing.

It just took a little bit to get used to each other out there. Were new linemates. It was just getting comfortable. We kind of switched around on the wings and we were reading off each other better. Were talking a lot out there and on the bench, said Marchand. Were just trying to get comfortable there and its showing on the ice. We had a lot more chances in that last game against the Rangers. We werent able to get any of them to go in, but we can keep building on that and eventually get a couple of goals.

The increased chatter on the bench and shots created on the ice are both good things, but a few goals scored over the next couple of games would go a long way toward making the new line a success story.

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

The Washington Nationals will ask to speak to Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora after the ALCS, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, which could throw a wrench into the Red Sox' plans to name Cora their manager.

The Sox appeared close to naming Cora to replace John Farrell after the Astros season is finished, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this week. Then the Nats decided to part ways with manager Dusty Baker after consecutive N.L. East titles but Division Series flameouts.

Cora, 41, as Cafardo points out, was once offered a player development job with the Nats, who were the last team he played for (2011) in his 14-plus years as a major league infielder, including 2005-08 with the Red Sox. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo obviously has a fondness for Cora, telling MLB.com in 2011:

"I think it comes natural to him to be a teacher. Alex still has a lot left in his tank as a player. But he has my number, and when he’s done playing, he can make a call. It will be well-received."

After interviewing Cora, ex-Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who took the Tigers job this week, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI.com that he was still "undecided" if he'll interview anyone else.