|Kelly (23) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Travis Moen (32) battle for the puck during the third period of Game 7 in a first-round NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff series in Boston Wednesday, April 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
Forward Chris Kelly
(4-3-7 playoff totals), who had been playing left wing on Rich Peverley
's line opposite Michael Ryder (2-3-5 in the postseason) on the right, slid into Bergeron's center spot between Brad Marchand
and Mark Recchi. Tyler Seguin
, who has been a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs, took the right wing beside Peverley (1-5-6), with Ryder switching to the left.
"Well, it’s one of the fits we have in mind right now," said Julien of Kelly's placement. "As we speak, I think it’s something that we think can be a good fit.
"He’s obviously had some pretty good numbers in the playoffs, but also very reliable at the other end of the ice as well.
"So, it’s a starting point," he said.
That starting point allows Marchand (5 game playoff point streak with 3-3-6 line during that time) and Recchi (2-2-4 totals over the same span) to remain on the same unit, as well.
"Those guys have been together, I’d say, at least three-quarters of the season," said Julien. "So there’s some chemistry there, and I think the guy we put in the middle is a pretty smart player that’s adapted well to our team, as you’ve seen since he got here.
"Again, we’re comfortable with that to start with, and if there’s adjustments to be made, that’s part of the process of a coach, and we’ll make those adjustments as we go along, if needed."
Kelly doesn't think he'll need too much time to make an adjustment from Peverley/Ryder to Marchand/Recchi.
"Whatever needs to be done, I will go out and do that," said Kelly. "[Wherever] Claude feels best to put me, or put other guys, I think we are all willing and capable.
"They are great players and if I do end up playing with them it will be a fun experience."
Not so fun will be the immediate comparisons to Bergeron, the B's leading playoff scorer with two goals and 10 assists for 12 points.
"Obviously you can’t replace Bergy," said Kelly, who hopes to see number-37 hit the ice sooner-than-later. "He does every little thing that maybe goes unnoticed by a lot of people, but not by us.
"And he does all the big things too that you guys notice as well.
"So, like I said, you can’t replace him, he’s irreplaceable, so hopefully he’s good to go," he said.
Perhaps the hardest adjustment for the Bruins will come when Seguin hits the ice for the first time in the postseason, but Julien thinks that Tyler has put in the effort and the time.
"I always told him to stay ready," said Julien. "And the reason we dress him for every warm-up was that I needed him to...get the experience of seeing how guys are getting ready for playoff games.
"And he was in the dressing room before it started, and I think those are things that hopefully will have allowed him to grow and get even better.
"So those things were done purposefully and his opportunity when it comes to step in there and show that he’s going to be a contributor to our hockey club," he said.
And keeping Ryder and Peverley together certainly can't hurt either.
"Our guys have adapted well," he said. "If you look at that Peverley line with Michael Ryder on the left -- Michael had some decent success playing on the left, releasing his shot. He’s got a quick release and that’s been good for him. And he feels comfortable there so that’s not an issue.
"I think in putting Seguin on the right side, if anything you want to make his as comfortable as you can and he’s more comfortable on the right side than he would be on the left.
"The main issue too is making sure that guys that we’ve moved around are fitting into those spots."
After Seguins' first practice with Peverley and Ryder, Julien said he liked what he saw from the B's first round pick of the 2010 draft.
"The way Tyler practiced today is really encouraging," said the B's bench boss. "You saw him use his speed, his skill.
"Again, watching playoffs I guess it really does make you hungry and you hope that he’s hungry enough that he steps in there and showcases what he can do because he’s a good player and certainly is improved from day one to now.
"And right now is crunch time, it’s about winning. And as I mentioned to him, it’s not so much about being patient and then seeing things.
"It’s about results right now and it’s going to be important that he tries to give us some results. And results for him would be certainly competing really hard in all areas and utilizing his skill asset to create some scoring chances and then some goals," he said.
For his part, Seguin said he is ready.
"I get to see the guys prepare and just see how much of a higher level it is in the playoffs, higher intensity," he said. "You can see a whole new game up there, you can see your time and space.
"I am ready to go," said Seguin. "I’ve been looking from up top and cheering on the boys, I know all the intensity that comes with the playoffs and I am ready to be a part of it.
"It’s just a whole other speed and everyone is finishing their check. You have to go in being prepared and that’s what I am."Notes:
Defenseman Adam McQuaid
(sprained neck) returned and was paired with Tomas Kaberle. The forward lines were (white) 17-46-18, (gold) 63-23-28, (silver) 73-49-19, (merlot) 20-11-22, (green) 42-72-38.