Once again the Bruins will shake things up amongst their bottom-6 headed into the last game prior to the Christmas break while looking to snap a funk that’s seen them lose eight of their last nine games.
The Bruins will pull Chris Wagner from the lineup for Monday night’s game against the Washington Capitals and insert Joakim Nordstrom back in after he had been scratched for Saturday night’s overtime loss to the Nashville Predators. John Moore will also draw back into the lineup as Charlie McAvoy’s defense partner with Zdeno Chara out for this game after a procedure to remove the plates from his healed jaw.
“Now it’s just a matter of we’re healthy and we’re going to be using different players and different lineups,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Sometimes the message is ‘Hey, you’re a solid player, but we have other solid players around here and we need you to be better.’ That’s some of what’s been going on around here lately. Sometimes it is performance-oriented and some of it is team record-oriented.
“[Wagner] is always going to be physical and give you what he’s got, but I’d like that line getting back to what they were the second half of last year where you know exactly what you’re going to get, and teams can’t stand playing against them. Maybe juggling those guys in and out will help us achieve that.”
Wagner does play with intensity and physicality, but he’s also got two points in his last 22 games while being unable to provide much in the way of secondary scoring from his third and fourth line roles.
So the Bruins will shake it up and try again on Monday night after similarly scratching both Nordstrom and David Backes ahead of the loss to Nashville just a couple of days ago.
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings against the Capitals based on the morning skate:
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||David Pastrnak|
|Jake DeBrusk||David Krejci||Danton Heinen|
|Anders Bjork||Charlie Coyle||Brett Ritchie|
|Joakim Nordstrom||Sean Kuraly||Par Lindholm|
|John Moore||Charlie McAvoy|
|Torey Krug||Brandon Carlo|
|Matt Grzelcyk||Connor Clifton|