The Boston Bruins have hit a bit of a slump as of late and now it seems their head coach is trying to break that funk by making some relatively minor adjustments to the lineup ahead of a tough game against the Nashville Predators.
According to a report from Boston Bruins insider Joe Haggerty, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has made a total of 4 lineup adjustments today prior to facing the Predators, swapping out some of his most experienced players after a tough stretch for his team. Coming out of the line up will be forward Joakim Nordstrom as well as veteran forward David Backes and they will be replaced by Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm with Cassidy looking to shake things up. According to the Bruins bench boss this is not a slight against either Backes or Nordstrom, but rather an attempt to rejuvenate his team and get them back on the right track.
“Those guys have been working hard, Lindholm and Ritchie. When they’ve been in there at times they’ve done well and at times we’ve replaced them. Backes and Nordstrom are coming out tonight and Monday we’ll worry about them,” said Cassidy as per NBC Sports. “But sometimes it’s a way to get certain players’ attention and this is a bit of that. We’re not at the standard we want to be. Certainly, I’m not putting it all on David Backes and Nordstrom, but maybe you’ve got to rotate players through.
“You still need to eat pucks when it’s your turn to eat a puck. You’ve got to put out fires when it’s your turn to put out a fire. We’re not going to be perfect and we’re not going to execute 100 percent. We’re going to break down. Our system is designed for help. It’s not man-to-man all over the ice. A little bit of that could be blocking a shot or putting yourself in harm’s way a little bit. Then at the offensive end, I don’t think we’re generating consistently by getting our nose dirty or getting inside. We need to start getting back to that style of play.”
It seems unlikely that making changes to the 4th line will result in any type of dramatic change for the Bruins but given the lack of depth for Cassidy at the forward position he is restricted in the swaps he can make in his lineup. A decline in production from the red hot David Pastrnak certainly has not helped matters for the Bruins but if he can regain the form he showed earlier this season that in and of itself could prove to be a cure all for the Bruins current troubles.