WILMINGTON — Good morning from Ristuccia Arena, where the Bruins have started their first practice in preparation for the Eastern Conference final.
As expected, Chris Kelly has moved up to replace Patrice Bergeron on the second line. Although Kelly is a left-shot center, he is the best defensive approximation for Bergeron. The second line is sure to see shifts against Tampa’s top six.
“It’s something we think can be a good fit,” Claude Julien said of Kelly for Bergeron. “He’s had some pretty good numbers in the playoffs. But he’s also very reliable at the other end of the ice as well. It’s a starting point.”
Rich Peverley is centering the third line. Tyler Seguin is riding shotgun with Peverley and Michael Ryder. This will be more of an offensive-minded line. Think of the Blake Wheeler-David Krejci-Ryder line from two years ago. Claude Julien will deploy the third line against Tampa’s bottom-six forwards.
“Watching the playoffs, I guess it really does make you hungry. You hope he’s hungry enough that he steps in there and showcases what he can,” Julien said of Seguin. “He’s a good player. He certainly has improved from Day 1 to now. Right now, it’s crunch time. It’s about winning. As I mentioned to him, it’s not so much about being patient and seeing things. It’s more about results right now. It’s going to be important that he tries and gets us some results. Results for him would certainly be competing really hard in all areas and utilizing his skill assets to create some scoring chances and some goals.”
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Chris Kelly-Mark Recchi
Michael Ryder-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Jordan Caron-Trent Whitfield-Jamie Arniel
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid
Matt Bartkowski-Shane Hnidy