When the Boston Bruins acquired Marcus Johansson at the NHL trade deadline, he was expected to serve as veteran depth for the team and hold down a wing role on the second line. However, it appears that the team is moving him up to the first line ahead of their next game.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy expressed confidence in Johansson's abilities after practice on Friday, and he also confirmed that the team had him slotted on the first line during that session.
Well, he’s got playmaking ability and finishing ability. We haven’t seen the best of Marcus yet, for obvious reasons. He’s been moved around. He’s been injured. We just him [on the first line] today.
Cassidy also cited the excellent performance of the team's second line, which featured David Pastrnak in addition to David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, on Wednesday against the New York Rangers, as part of the impetus for putting Johansson on the first line.
Obviously, [Pastrnak] did a nice job with [Krejci] and DeBrusk. That’s something we’ve talked about doing for a long time this year.
Pastrnak had previously been playing on the top unit, but a five-point night with the second unit should ensure that he stays there moving forward.
On the first line, Johansson will get a chance to play alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Both have been excellent this year and each has set a career high in points (Marchand with 97, Bergeron with 77). Perhaps that will jumpstart him offensively after a slow start to his Bruins career (one point in five games).
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