Bruce Cassidy isn’t diverting too much energy into fretting about his top line in the Stanley Cup Final. Not yet, at least.
So far, Boston’s top trio up front in Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have left much to be desired so far against the Blues — combining for one goal (an empty-netter from Marchand in Game 1) and just one assist.
Down the other end of the ice, it hasn’t been much better for Boston’s usual shutdown combination — with the Blues top line of Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko tallying three 5v5 goals during the 8:10 of time on ice in which Schenn and Bergeron have been out on the ice at the same time together.
Through two games, Schenn vs. Bergeron has been a mismatch that few really expected going into this best-of-seven series, but Cassidy and his club aren’t exactly sounding the alarms quite yet.
As has been the case throughout this postseason, the Bergeron line has both the skill and moxie to impose its will against the opposition when it's clicking. After combining for just two goals and six total points through the first three games of the Eastern Conference Final, they swept the leg against the Hurricanes in a clinching Game 4 — combining for four goals and eight points in a dominant showing.
They certainly have the track record when it comes to flipping a switch over the course of a seven-game series, and Cassidy doesn’t have much of a reason to believe that won’t change against St. Louis.
“So far this series, Schenn’s line’s got some 5v5 goals. ….They're going to go to that matchup in St. Louis, can't speak for them. If that's the case, it's a big challenge for Bergy, March and Pasta,” Cassidy said “They've been up to it. I don't imagine that will change. I suspect in Game 3 we'll see their best game of the series. That's speculation, but I suspect that's what will happen.”
Cassidy’s rationale when it comes to his positivity about his top line is well-founded. After all, it can’t get too much worse.