Since I've been back on the beat, fans have been asking my thoughts on the possible opening-day lineup.
On Sunday, I posted potential lines and defensive pairings. It’s a fun discussion, especially with rookie and training camps quickly approaching. While Bruins Nation patiently awaits a new contract for David Pastrnak, let’s dig a little deeper into the combinations and pairings.
We’ll start with the top line today and then break down the rest as the week progresses.
Dissecting the possible roster, I like Frank Vatrano, David Krejci, and Pastrnak as the top line. Many believe David Backes would be better on the right side, which means Pastrnak would play with Patrice Bergeron.
Backes is versatile and can play either position, but he’s a natural center, so having him as the third-line center gives the Bruins better depth down the middle.
Pastrnak is dynamic. His 34 goals and 36 assists for 70 points in 75 games last season proved his offensive prowess. Krejci’s points (23 goals and 31 assists) were down last season but he’s still a solid two-way player. His ability to get Pastrnak the puck, especially through the neutral zone is an important factor for the Bruins’ success. His presence will also help Krejci.
Vatrano is a solid compliment on the left side. His ability to produce shots helps create traffic in front and the possibilities for rebounds. He registered 116 shots on net in 44 games last season and posted four or more shots in a game 12 times.
Krejci’s hand-eye coordination is off the charts, so a lot of his goals could come from redirects or rebounds from Vatrano’s shots.
On Tuesday, we’ll discuss which prospect could fit well on Bergeron’s right side.