63+37=100. No, that isn’t a math problem I had on a quiz. Well, maybe I did one time, but when I write that now I mean that Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are almost unstoppable together.
Bergy and Marchy were united as line mates in the 2010–11 season and they’ve been quite possibly the best duo in the NHL since. Through the years they’ve had many linemates that have suceeded while playing the role of third wheel. From Mark Recchi to Tyler Seguin to Reilly Smith to most recently David Pastrnak, one thing has stayed consistent, the line is extremely challenging to contain on both the offensive side of things and the defensive side of things.
As we get set to start the 2018–19 campaign some people, including myself, believe that the duo will be in search of a new line mate to start the season. Though David Pastrnak helps them create possibly the best line in hockey, it looks like the Bruins could shift him to the wing of David Krejci so that the Bruins can break up the offense and have more fire power throughout the top-6. Let’s take a look at who could possibly fill the right wing spot on the B’s top line this season:
Okay, I just said he could be taken off the line, but the reality is, he may stick with these guys. The three of them together we’re nearly unstoppable last season, which means they could play together next season. I’m still in the camp that believes the Bruins will break them up to start the season, but if the offense starts out slow expect the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line to be put back together.
After a strong showing in camp last year, Bjork got a spot along side Bergeron and Marchand to start the 2017–18 season. He immediately formed chemistry (no surprise) with the two and got his NHL career off to a good start. Despite his hot start, head and shoulder injuries ended his season extremely early and prevented him from getting in a full slate of games at the NHL level. If Bjork has a good start to camp he should be the most likely fit along side the dynamic duo to start the season and hopefully he can pick up right where he left off at the start of last season.
Heinen had a terrific rookie season for the Bruins with 16 goals and 31 assists in 77 games. Though he’s a lefty, he does have the ability to play both wing positions. Heinen sliding in on the top line is something that shouldn’t be taken out of consideration. He put up big numbers last season while primarily playing with Riley Nash and David Backes, who aren’t nearly as skilled offensively as Bergeron and Marchand. If he has the ability to score with Nash and Backes then he has the ability to put up some big points with a much better duo.
This one could be a stretch because Donato is a left shot and doesn’t have a ton of experience on the right side. However, he showed up to the NHL last season and lit the lamp as advertised. If the Bruins are struggling for offense then he could be a guy to turn to. Donato knows how to score and Bergeron and Marchand know how to find their linemate. Again, this one could be a stretch, but it could also be a terrific match. There’s only one way to find out the answer.
Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)