With the Bruins looking to get things a bit more fired up tonight on the physical side of things, they’re shaking up the lineup just a little bit.
Tyler Seguin will be scratched tonight in favor of physical force and locker room good guy Shawn Thornton. Seguin, who appeared to break out against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals with a pair of great offensive games, has gone quiet since then and hasn’t earned a point in the Stanley Cup finals.
Thornton has not played since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals and has just one assist through 13 playoff games. Thornton has averaged 6:30 of ice time through the playoffs and don’t expect him to see a boatload of minutes in Game 3 tonight either as he’s due to play on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille. Rich Peverley figures to be promoted to the third line.
The choice to put Thornton in is curious as he’s not a quick skater like Seguin and the Canucks speed has been an issue. Thornton also doubles as the team enforcer but with fights being so rare in the playoffs, in the Stanley Cup finals especially, that’s not likely to happen. If the Bruins think intimidation and further physical presence is in their best interests they’re playing with fire.
After the Bruins insisted that they needed to keep playing the same way this subtle change is curious. If it pays off for Boston, don’t expect to see Seguin again the rest of the series.