Coach Dave secretly juggles lines prior to B’s win
Dave Lewis apparently thought that his charges needed a little bit of a shock going into the Ottawa game.
Before the game the lines looked like this: Kessel, Bergeron, Murray Axelsson, Savard, Boyes Hoggan, Primeau, Donovan Brookbank, Mowers, Stastny
During the Ottawa game they looked something like this: Kessel, Bergeron, Boyes Donovan, Primeau, Murray Axelsson, Savard, Mowers Hoggan, Stastny, Brookbank
Maybe the changes, and the surprise start of Thomas following the Montreal game, didn’t necessarily shock the Bruins out of their doldrums, but perhaps a different perspective was useful to everyone.
“You do different things to change it up,” explained Coach Lewis. “We changed the lines and didn’t tell the players.
“So some of them didn’t realize that until [Saturday’s] game. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. So you try different things.
“We’re not generating goals, we’re generating scoring chances,” said Lewis. “So you try to do different things to stimulate that.
“Mowers going on that line…I thought I would put him there to help that line…and they had a few more chances. And then, it’s sort’ve a feel -- a feel for change. When you don’t win you want to do things…to try and change it up, because it is not going the way it’s supposed to.”
While the changes didn’t produce any tangible difference (in terms of goals), the new lines seem to have jumpstarted the club’s checking game, overall physical presence, and allowed the B’s to play the coaching staff’s defensive game at more effective clip.
“I thought our guys were really physical,” said Lewis. “And if you ask any of them and I’ll bet they feel pretty good about that part of their game.
“It can be done. It doesn’t matter who you are…it doesn’t matter about your size or make up.
“You can still get in the way and be physical,” said Lewis.
Which is exactly what the coaching staff had asked them to do on Friday when coach challenged them to take some pride in their game.
“The boys protected their own turf. They did a tremendous job – to a man,” said the Head Coach.
As a result, the Bruins were very hard to play against on Saturday, and that led to other things, like emotion.
“The bench was pretty excited,” explained Lewis. “There was a lot of individual emotion tonight.
“I…saw the bench after we scored the power play goal, that happened to be the winning goal, and it was [obviously] what the guys needed…it was like the cheese on the pizza. You need it to have the pizza.”
Coach thought about the pizza comment, chuckled, and said, “Don’t ask me where I got that.”
But all the writers knew what he was talking about.
“You have to play games like that to win in the playoffs,” said Lewis. “And we’re so far away from the playoff that it sounds like an odd statement.
“But those are the games you have to win.
“If you saw the goals, a turnover – we capitalized on it,” explained Lewis. “The power play goal that the goaltender had no chance on. He could not see the puck. Savard made a tremendous play out to Chara and Chara fires it…and then defending the lead. We didn’t shut down.
“Tight games are good games to win,” he said.
“And how,” says Bruins Nation.
Let the good times roll… Phil Kessel continued his own excellent play on Saturday night and, although the goals have not been there, the effort certainly has been there.
As far as this scribe can tell, Kessel’s potential energy is obviously high and, at some point, the rookie’s offensive numbers will certainly explode.
“I don’t know how many chances [Phil] had tonight,” said Dave Lewis on Saturday. “But he had chances.”
“He’s offensively gifted. He’s a dangerous player.
“Whether or not we are playing him in the right spot, as far as wing, I still don’t know that yet,” explained the coach. “I haven’t really given him an opportunity at center much.
“So maybe he could move to center and we could do something else that could exploit his game even more.”
The above will be something to watch at practice this week.