The Boston Bruins’ two-point divisional lead over the Ottawa Senators is a bit deceptive because they have four games in hand, but it does hint at two squads going in different directions.
While Ottawa is surging behind a dynamic offense and a do-enough-to-win D, the Bruins are starting to stumble in some part because of injuries to forwards. With Nathan Horton (concussion) and Rich Peverley (knee injury) sidelined for what looks to lengthy amounts of time, it’s looking like picnic time is over for Claude Julien.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reveals that Julien is beginning to try new things – including moving talented but struggling center David Krejci to right wing. It seems that experiment might just stick for a while, too.
“I thought [Kelly] has done pretty well with some guys that can score this year,” Julian said. “I told Krejci to move to the right side and I thought they responded well. They did some good things. There’s a good chance we may go back with that.”
As Haggerty points out, the reformatted line combos created 22 shots in the third period on Sunday but still couldn’t beat Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom.
Sometimes you just run into a keyed-in netminder, which Backstrom certainly was in compiling an impressive 48-save shutout. The odds are strong that the Bruins will find themselves on the right side of most battles if they can produce those kinds of efforts more often than not – wherever Krejci might be on the ice.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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