WILMINGTON, MA – During the 2012 postseason, Rich Peverley led the Bruins in scoring. In seven games – all against Washington in the first round – Peverley had five points (three goals and two assists). During the 2011 run, he put up 12 points in the 25-game march.
But on Wednesday night, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Peverley was watching from the press box as a healthy scratch.
It was a tough regular season for Peverley, who tallied six goals and 12 assists in 47 games, though the forward was turning it on towards the end of the regular season and put up a goal and an assist in the final two games.
Kaspars Daugavins was inserted into the lineup for Game 1 alongside Jaromir Jagr and Chris Kelly after a strong showing in the season's last two games when Nathan Horton was still injured.
On Friday morning, however, Peverley was back in a grey practice sweater, skating alongside Kelly and Jagr during B’s practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington.
“Absolutely,” said Julien, when asked if he wants to get Peverley into the lineup at some point during the series. “I don’t think we intended on sitting him out the whole time. I think we started off with a lineup that we thought was deserving of starting last game. We have an opportunity here moving forward to decide what we want to do.”
Though, Julien said he had not decided his lineup yet for Saturday's game.
“If you’re asking whether he’s in or out, that’s another thing that I’ll decide tomorrow,” said the B’s coach. “Even though I put him on that line, I think I have a decision to make, it doesn’t have to be made today.”
Despite having to sit out a playoff game, Peverley was not upset about the decision.
“No, I wasn't mad,” said the winger, of not being in the lineup for Game 1. “We won the game and we played a great game. It was a lot of fun to watch. You want to be a part of it, obviously you want to play, but at the end of the day, it's not my decision. The team played well, so it really doesn't matter.
“We have a lot of depth on this team. Whatever way it takes to win the game. From watching that game, that was one of the best games we've played all year.
“We were talking, the guys up there [in the press box], that was fun to watch. Whatever it was, we did a great job and let's just focus on winning.”
That said, Peverley is looking forward to getting back in the lineup at some point during the series. If that happens to be on Saturday night, there will be some extra motivation for Peverley to play better.
“Absolutely,” said Peverley when asked if his motivation level will be higher next time he plays. “For myself, it hasn't been what I expected the year to be. Something I've been looking forward to was playing well towards the end of the regular season, and playing well in the playoffs. I take a lot of pride in that, hopefully something can happen."
Peverley finished the 2013 season with six goals and 12 assists in 47 games. He recorded nine points (4-5) in his first 27 games. After being a healthy scratch on March 21, he played the final 19 games, matching his nine-point output (2-7).
But, as every Bruin preaches, it's a new season, and Peverley is looking forward to hitting refresh.
"Hope so - that's the plan," said Peverley, on putting the regular season in the past. “I've always tried to pride myself on playoff play. If I get the chance to play, hopefully I can prove that I can be a valuable piece of the team.”
If Peverley does enter the lineup in Game 2, he will be reuniting with his former linemate, Kelly. The two have played on the same line for much of the past three seasons, including during the run to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The line of Peverley and Kelly, along with former Bruin Michael Ryder, was a vital piece of the championship puzzle that season, providing scoring depth and great defensive play.
“We seemed to play well together in the past, hopefully we can keep it going,” said Peverley after practice at Ristuccia Arena. “This is a time for us to prove that we can play well together.
“I just try to play my own game if I do get in there, try to get in on the forecheck, create energy. I think, obviously, Jags’ pedigree speaks for itself. I think it's just about playing my game, and hopefully I'll fit in there.”