There was both good and bad to take away from the play of Boston's new-look second line of David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork on Tuesday night in Nashville.
If you were to only fixate on the underlying offensive numbers, you’d likely want to look away — with the Predators holding a 14-4 edge in shot attempts during the 7:31 of 5v5 ice time that Krejci’s line logged.
But there were plenty of positives to draw away from Bruce Cassidy’s latest shuffle in the top-six.
Bjork’s improved defensive play was evident under the added minutes he’s earned, especially when it came to winning loose pucks in the O-zone and clearing them out of danger. The winger also generated a high-danger scoring chance off of a mini-breakaway that was thwarted by Pekka Rinne in the opening period of play.
Elsewhere, DeBrusk added a primary helper on Patrice Bergeron’s power-play tally in the second period, while Krejci scored an empty-net goal to snuff out any semblance of a Nashville rally with 55 seconds to go in regulation.
But when it comes to that second line’s impact on what was a convincing 6-2 victory over the Predators, most of the focus shouldn’t be fixated on the tangible production generated when those three were out on the ice.
Rather, one should take a look further down the lineup, with Bjork’s promotion allowing a couple of key cogs in the bottom-six to finally fall back into place.