In a crucial matchup against a division foe in the Maple Leafs, Bruce Cassidy is set to roll out a revamped third line with an average age of just 22.3 years.
On Saturday morning, Cassidy announced another shuffling of his bottom-six forwards, with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to center Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen on the third line.
Noel Acciari will be scratched for Saturday’s tilt against Toronto, while David Backes will slot back down to the fourth line and skate on the wing with Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly.
While he’s had a slow start down in Providence, “JFK” projects as a reliable, two-way center at the NHL level. He already saw extended reps with some of Boston’s younger forwards during the preseason and training camp.
“He's a new face with some young (wings),” Cassidy said of Karlsson. “Danton, he played a bit with in training camp, (and hope) they just get on the same page as quick as possible. The easiest way to do that to me (is) play your own game. Take care of your job and you'll all end up on the same page if you're all playing the system together, which is expected every night. ... Who knows if it will work out?
"It's a bit of an unknown with JFK (and I) hope he's ready for it. This is kind of where he was pegged a couple years ago, to come in behind (Patrice Bergeron)and (David Krejci) -- give us 200-foot play and make some plays. Hopefully have a bit of both offense and defense. We have to give him a little bit of time to get up to speed, but at the same token, opportunity knocks and you need to be there, ready to answer it. That's what we're looking for.”