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Line changes for Bruins are all about balance

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 3:11 PM / NHL Insider

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Line changes for Bruins are all about balance
Bruins coach Claude Julien shuffled his lines recently, not because of poor play by any individual, but in an effort to spread around the offense with Patrice Bergeron sidelined.

NEWARK, N.J. -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien made a point Wednesday morning of clarifying why Tyler Seguin has been shifted down to the third line and Gregory Campbell is now playing in the middle of Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand.

"There were no demotions and there were no promotions," Julien said. "For us it was balancing our lines, because it just seemed like every night we had one line going. It could have been a different line, but we could never get some offense from all of our lines.

"With [Patrice] Bergeron going out that changed things a little bit, so we felt with him out and Jags coming in it was important to balance our lineup a little bit."

It worked Monday night, when the Bruins got goals from three different lines to beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 6-2.

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Because Bergeron is still out of the lineup with his concussion, Boston will go with the same lineup Wednesday at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2), meaning another game for Seguin on the third line with Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille, and more scoring chances for Campbell in between Marchand and Jagr.

Campbell likes the sound of that.

"Scoring is something that doesn't come easy to me, and when I'm playing with two extremely gifted offensive players that see the ice well, make plays, that have the ability to beat guys 1-on-1 and score, it's definitely an opportunity for me," Campbell told NHL.com. "That's just a fact."

However, Julien doesn't want Seguin and Campbell to change the way they play just because of the new roles they're in.

For example, as much as Campbell wants to score more and realizes he has that opportunity playing with Jagr and Marchand, Julien said he should still be a center who forechecks hard, creates space in the offensive zone for his linemates and is responsible defensively.

Campbell agrees.

"I'm not going to become a different player," Campbell said. "That's not going to serve me well or my linemates well. I have to complement their game by playing my game; be responsible defensively, work hard to create space for them and let them do their thing."

Julien liked what he saw from Campbell's line Monday. Marchand scored twice and Jagr and Campbell each had two assists.

"When you look at Jags and Marchand last game, they seem to have a bit of chemistry building between the two of them and you've gotta give credit to Campbell for creating that chemistry," Julien said. "He creates room. At the same time, he comes back in his own end and works hard. Defensively he's really reliable. He's served in both purposes in my mind."

As for Seguin, whose line was held off the scoresheet Monday, Julien still wants him to be an offensive threat despite the fact he's playing in a third-line role with Paille and Kelly, not the top-six role with Bergeron and Marchand that he's used to.

"For Tyler's sake he's there because of what he brings, so he doesn't have to change anything," Julien said. "Chris Kelly is still a good player, although he's been out for a while. The other guy [Paille] is a real speedy winger and he's got a fair amount of goals this year too. He just has to go out there and be himself."

Seguin sounds like a guy willing to accept the change even though it may have taken him out of his comfort zone.

"When you lose a guy like [Bergeron], it's hard to replace that guy so you shift things up," Seguin told NHL.com. "I'm not the coach, but I think he's shaken it up to see what's clicking, what's working. As you saw last game, we had six goals so something was working there."

The Bruins will try to make it work again Wednesday. It'll be that way until Bergeron comes back into the lineup.

"Hopefully we can continue what we developed last game and carry that into how many games it takes to get [Bergeron] back," Campbell said. "He's a guy that is irreplaceable, so it's not like anybody is trying to fill his spot or do what he does. As a team we'll just be that much better when he comes back."

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