Seven of the Bruins’ past eight goals have come from so-called “bottom six” forwards.
That’s not how anyone would draw it up; you want to win with your best players.
But while David Pastrnak deals with what’s been a postseason-long slump and the power play scuffles at the outset of the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, those secondary scorers have a big role to play.
No one writes a script in which Noel Acciari opens the second round scoring shorthanded, or Charlie Coyle ties and wins the game in overtime, just like no one would have fathomed a scoring trio of Joakim Nordstrom, Marcus Johansson and Sean Kuraly putting away a Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs.
The result, though, is a 1-0 series lead for the Bruins, and the Blue Jackets sitting with a loss for the first time in the playoffs.
“If you’re going to be a successful team in the playoffs, there’s always a story of a guy who rises up,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Whether a guy who you deem a secondary for scorer, right now it’s (Coyle) for us. I’m sure if you look down the league. … There’s usually, that happens. It’s happening for us. We need it.”
If the Bruins are to win the series, it’s not going to be from relying on the Kuralys and Acciaris or even Coyles of the world. It’s going to be playing to their strengths, which includes the power play and top six forwards.
But to win, it can’t be just those guys; there needs to be a mix.
While the Bruins struggled at times this season to find the right mix, having more than just the top two lines contribute, and to get even strength goals, it seems there’s some sort of balance in order.
“Some of our guys who have scored all year haven’t found that level yet,” Cassidy said. “I’m hoping soon they do, but until they do, we need that to stay in the mix.”
Marchand fires back
Cam Atkinson wasn’t happy with an overtime incident in which he alleges Brad Marchand stepped on his stick during a neutral zone faceoff.
“Hey, if that’s how he wants to roll,” Atkinson said after the game. “I don’t know, that’s who he is. I’m not going to let it get to me. It is what it is.”
Marchand had a different perspective Friday morning.
“I think he was trying to dull my blade there,” he said. “Send me to the room, get it sharpened. It’s kind of rude of him to do.”
Atkinson also told Columbus media during their availability that Marchand should pay for the broken stick.
“He owes me $300,” he told Blue Jackets reporters. “Me. It says my name on it right here, ‘Atkinson.’ ”
David Krejci took a hit from Riley Nash in the third period of Game 1, and didn’t finish out the period or return to the ice in overtime. According to Cassidy, Krejci is day-to-day and could be a game-time decision for Saturday’s Game 2.
After the game, Cassidy said it wasn’t a concussion and he wasn’t in protocol for that.
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