There’s a new bunch of Bruins in town.
The recall of left winger Pascal Pelletier from the Providence Bruins reunited that AHL team’s former line of center David Krejci
, Pelletier, and right wing Vladimir Sobotka.
All three players have been recalled within the past month: Krejci on December 30, Sobotka on January 11, and Pelletier this past Wednesday.
“I’ve known Flash (Providence head coach Scott Gordon) for a long time, and he’s done a good job there,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien before Saturday’s shootout win against the New York Rangers. “A lot of credit goes to the coaching staff there.”
With many veteran players out due to sickness and injuries, the newcomers have had a chance for ice time, especially in this week’s three games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rangers.
“(In the beginning of the season) we had guys like (center Glen) Metropolit and (left wing Milan) Lucic playing on the fourth line. We had (center Phil) Kessel playing on the third,” said Coach Julien. “Now those guys are all second- and first-line players, and…your third line…is a totally new line.”
They may be newbies, but the former P-Bruins players aren’t playing like it.
“They want to produce, and they’ve been doing a great job,” said center Marc Savard
after Thursday night’s loss against the Leafs.
“I think they are playing fantastic,” said goalie Tim Thomas
on Saturday. “They have been getting some great chances out there.”
Before his first NHL game on Thursday, Pelletier knew he would have to play the same as he did before, only “quicker and faster.”
Coach Julien knew the same thing.
“We play similar games,” he said Saturday morning. “It’s not like those guys come up here, and they have to adjust to a totally different game or type of play.”
And he had a master plan, bringing together the three former linemates and sending them out to create pressure and wear down the other team, especially at the end of periods.
“I put them together because I had the feeling, knowing (Krejci, Pelletier, and Sobotka) individually and the way they work and the fact that they had played a little bit together in Providence,” Julien said Saturday. “They’ve done a great job, not only working hard, but dominating and winning battles, and creating scoring chances.
In a move that surprised Pelletier, the line was sent out near the end of the third period during Thursday’s tie game.
“I actually wasn’t expecting that, especially…when all the points are important,” he said afterwards.
Veteran players have been supportive of their new teammates.
“(Krejci) really has a new life, and he’s played well,” Savard said on Thursday morning. “Sobotka…I love the way he plays; he’s a little killer, likes to go and (hit) guys. He’s a little guy, but he’s solid on his feet.”
The Baby B’s have kept their opponents at bay, allowing no goals during their shifts.
And while they haven’t netted any goals themselves, it hasn’t been for a lack of effort. In the past week, the line has taken 12 shots on goal.
“It’s unfortunate in a way that they haven’t been rewarded yet,” Coach Julien said.
“But certainly they’ve given us everything, and probably more, than we’ve asked.”