Carl Soderberg

Carl Soderberg

Claude Julien does not want to separate Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg. That much we definitely, definitely know.

On Sunday, Julien reiterated that stance with a quote that got us thinking.

‘€œRight now, the Soderberg line is the only one that’s scoring for us,’€ Julien said, ‘€œso do you guys want me to break that up and we get no more scoring? So you pick your poison.’€

Krejci has been in the lineup for 13 games and has had Seth Griffith as his right wing, with Simon Gagne also getting some shifts and Eriksson getting a small taste late in Friday’s game. The Bruins might not be 100 percent on Griffith being their first-line right wing, but they won’€™t try Eriksson to see if they have any other internal fits for the job before potentially trading for one.

So, given Julien’€™s quote, we looked at every goal the Bruins have scored when Krejci has been in the lineup. In each game, Soderberg and Eriksson have been together, so it’€™s actually rather easy to tell whether Julien has a point. Keeping in mind that different lines (Krejci’€™s and Patrice Bergeron‘€™s) have tougher matchups, here were our findings:

Total goals (13 games): 35

Soderberg line: 9

Krejci line: 8

Bergeron line: 7

PP: 7

PK: 2

Campbell line: 1

Krejci during change with Kelly, Eriksson: 1

The findings aren’€™t overwhelming, but they do illustrate that when the Bruins have their full offensive lineup, the Soderberg line does pretty much all of Boston’€™s secondary scoring (nine of 10 goals). That might be reason enough for Julien to not want to tinker with Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson.

That said, the Bruins are 22nd in the league with 2.42 goals per game (2.69 with Krejci in the lineup). They need goals, and Eriksson had a four-point game against the Flyers last season when skating with Krejci and Lucic.

Following is a goal-by-goal breakdown, which also takes into consideration that Julien changed half of his lines on Oct. 30 against the Sabres but kept Griffith with Krejci while also keeping Eriksson with Soderberg. 

Oct. 13 vs. Colorado

PP (Eriksson)

Oct. 15 at Detroit

Krejci (During change; Kelly and Eriksson on ice)

Bergeron line (Smith)

Oct. 16 at Montreal

PP (Chara)

Soderberg line (Soderberg)

Soderberg line (Eriksson)

Krejci line (Gagne)

Oct. 18 at Buffalo

Bergeron line (Hamilton)

Bergeron line (Chara)

Krejci line (Krug)

Soderberg line (Soderberg)

Oct. 21 vs. San Jose

PP (Marchand)

PP (Krug)

Krejci line (Griffith)

Campbell line (Campbell)

PK (Krejci)

Oct. 23 vs. Islanders

Krejci line (Lucic)

Soderberg line (Eriksson)

Oct. 25 at Toronto

PP (Soderberg)

Krejci line (Krejci; Campbell took shift)

PK (Campbell)

Bergeron line (Hamilton)

Oct. 28 vs. Minnesota

Krejci line (Griffith)

Krejci line (Griffith; amidst line change)

Oct. 30 at Buffalo (Note: Julien used Lucic -€“ Krejci – Griffith, Kelly -€“ Bergeron – Gagne, Marchand -€“ Soderberg -€“ Eriksson, Paille – Campbell -€“ Smith to begin game and reverted back to Marchand – Bergeron – Smith late.)

Soderberg line (McQuaid)

Soderberg line (Marchand)

Bergeron line (Marchand)

Nov. 6 vs. Oilers

Bergeron line (Smith)

Soderberg line (Eriksson)

PP (Soderberg)

PP (Hamilton)

Krejci line (Lucic)

Dec. 17 at Minnesota

Soderberg line (Soderberg)

Bergeron line (Bergeron)

Soderberg line (Krug)

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Loui Eriksson

Loui Eriksson

It appears Claude Julien is sticking with Seth Griffith on David Krejci‘€™s right wing Sunday after trying Loui Eriksson on the first line late in Friday’€™s game against the Jets.

After Sunday’€™s morning skate, Julien answered a question about not trying players other than Griffith on Krejci’€™s line by saying it was tough to do with Krejci out of the lineup. When it was pointed out that he has still only really used Griffith as Krejci’€™s right wing, Julien again pointed to his reluctancy to split up Eriksson and Carl Soderberg on the third line.

“When we don’t win, we get second-guessed. I understand that. But right now, Soderberg line is the only one that’s scoring for us,” Julien said. “So do you guys want me to break that up and we get no more scoring? So you pick your poison. As much as we’d like to do that and we want to do that, and we did the last game a few times, it’s hard to really see when it’s only in spurts. But at the same time, I’m trying to win a hockey game here, so that’s the bottom line.”

Griffith has been Krejci’s right wing in each of Krejci’s 13 games this season, with Simon Gagne spending parts of games on the line as well. Eriksson has not spent a game with Krejci and Lucic this season, though he played with them late last season and at points during training camp.

Zach Trotman and Matt Fraser appear to be the healthy scratches Sunday against the Sabres. The lineup in morning skate was as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Cunningham

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Seidenberg
Krug – Miller

Rask

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

None of the Bruins are happy about losing, and it’€™s obvious.

Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

None of the Bruins are happy about losing, and it’€™s obvious.

On Saturday morning, Claude Julien joined that club, holding his most honest press conference of the season as he dug into the Bruins’€™ struggles.

After the press conference –€” in which he pointed to Dennis Seidenberg’€™s struggles and lamented the inconsistency of many of his forwards –€” Dougie Hamilton admitted that “€œeveryone’€™s frustrated,” and that he can see why his coach would be.

“I think one of the biggest things is that he gives us a game plan and we don’€™t follow it,” Hamilton told WEEI.com. “There’€™s a lot of times where he’€™ll say, like, ‘€˜There’€™s nothing more to say.’€™ He’€™s telling us exactly what we need to do to win and we’€™re not following it. I don’€™t know. Hopefully we can win and not have to worry about all this stuff.”€

None of this is good for the Bruins, obviously. The B’s have had several injuries this season — most notably to Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, both of whom are currently back in the lineup — but frustration from a winning coach coupled with a group not following directions might be an even bigger problem with the season just eight games away from the midway point.

Entering Sunday’s game, the 16-14-3 Bruins sit 10th in the Eastern Conference.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

A frustrated Claude Julien may be a more honest Claude Julien.

A frustrated Claude Julien may be a more honest Claude Julien.

After Sunday’€™s morning skate, the Bruins coach held his most telling press conference of the year as he discussed some of the issues that have the Bruins on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture looking in.

Julien, who later clarified that he does not intend to throw players under the bus, was most critical of Dennis Seidenberg, whom he said has not been as effective as in years past as he returns from a torn ACL suffered last season. He also lamented the inconsistency of Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line and noted Milan Lucic‘€™s struggles when he was without David Krejci.

Here are some highlights of the press conference:

On Seidenberg (the question was about why Matt Bartkowski and Seidenberg have struggled when paired together):

When we look at Seids, he’€™s come off a major injury. I don’€™t think anybody here thinks Seids is playing at his full potential right now. No matter where he’€™s been, he’€™s had his share of struggles. I don’€™t think it has anything to do with right or left. You can look at Seids; with whomever he’€™s played, they’€™ve had their fair share of struggles. He’€™s got to find his game. Once he finds his game, he’€™ll be a lot better.

When you look at the game and you see what’€™s going on and you look at it again, sometimes you realize that maybe you’€™re pointing the finger at the wrong person. We have to look at it objectively; that’€™s our job.

And that job is not for me to come out and publicly throw my players under the bus, but I see certain things and that’€™s what I’€™m trying to tell you guys. I’€™m not here to explain my every move, but we see certain things that we have to make decisions on.

Again, I’€™m not one of those guys that’€™s going to start carving my players because if I have something to say to them, it will be behind closed doors.

On the team’€™s lack of scoring:

Do you guys watch the games? K. So I’€™m going to say Bergeron’€™s line last game did not have a good game. They didn’€™t have many scoring chances. They weren’€™t that good. They were good the game before. There’€™s some games they play well and they score some games, and the problem with our team has been inconsistency in our games.

If you guys watch the games, you’€™ll see those kind of things that certain lines, even though you say, ‘€˜Well Bergeron and Smith and Marchand are great players,’€™ that doesn’€™t mean their line is really firing on all cylinders every game. Once we get all our liens more consistent in that area, we won’€™t be just saying that the goal-scoring’€™s coming from the Soderberg line. So we need a little bit more, and at the same time, Krejci’€™s just gotten back. We hope that sooner than later, we’€™re going to get a little more depth in our scoring.

On Bergeron’€™s line:

I said one game they’€™re good, the next they’€™re not as good. Does that mean you break them up because they’€™re not good one game and the next game they’€™re good? Again, who do you put where? It’€™s easy to skew. We’€™ve seen Lucic play well with Krejci. Lucic struggles a little bit more with others. Again, when I say second-guessing, [I mean] you guys can wrack your brain all you want; that’€™s what I do from midnight to six in the morning. I wrack my brain trying to figure out what to do the next day.

On why he generally hasn’€™t tried anybody but Seth Griffith as David Krejci’€™s right wing this season:

Yeah, because Krech has hardly ever played. When we don’t win, we get second-guessed. I understand that. But right now, Soderberg line is the only one that’s scoring for us. So do you guys want me to break that up and we get no more scoring? So you pick your poison. As much as we’d like to do that and we want to do that, and we did the last game a few times, it’s hard to really see when it’s only in spurts. But at the same time, I’m trying to win a hockey game here, so that’s the bottom line.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins sent defenseman Joe Morrow to Providence Saturday after scratching him for seven of the last eight games.

Joseph Morrow

Joe Morrow

The Bruins sent defenseman Joe Morrow to Providence Saturday after scratching him for seven of the last eight games.

Morrow was recalled by the Bruins in late October to play in place of the struggling Matt Bartkowski. He stayed in the lineup as the Bruins dealt with injuries on the back end, but the B’€™s began scratching him earlier in the month.

The decision to take Morrow out of the lineup was somewhat perplexing given how well the former first-round pick was performing for the B’€™s, but the Bruins opted to stick with Zach Trotman and, at points, Bartkowksi. Trotman was scratched in Friday night’€™s loss to the Jets, but Bartkowski took his place rather than Morrow.

After being scratched for two of the Bruins’€™ four games on a West Coast road trip earlier this month, Morrow told WEEI.com he understood there was a chance he could be sent down given that the B’€™s had so many defensemen.

“It’€™€™s in the back of your mind; you know it is [a possibility],”€ Morrow said. “€œIt is a chess match. You know they’€™€™ve got to strategically do things to help this organization and to keep it intact. Whatever that may be, I know I’€™€™m a part of it and I’€™€™m here to help out, too, so if that’€™€™s the case that it does work out better that way, you can’€™€™t be mad or you can’€™€™t be disappointed about it. It’€™€™s just the way things are.”

In 15 games for the B’€™s, Morrow had one goal, no assists and a plus-3 rating in averaging 16:41 of ice time per night.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins got back to not scoring goals Friday.

The Bruins got back to not scoring goals Friday.

After getting points out of the first two games of their three-game Western Conference road trip, the B’€™s wrapped it up with a 2-1 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg (box).

The loss dropped the B’€™s to 16-14-3 on the season. Boston continues to look up at the Panthers and Maple Leafs in the Wild Card race as they sit on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The game marked the ninth time in the last 12 games that Boston has scored less than three goals. They are 3-6-3 in that span.

Here are four more things we learned Friday:

FIRST IS THE WORST

The Bruins had a whale of a first period, spending most of the frame in their own zone and attempting less than half the shots (12) of what Winnipeg attempted (26).

The B’€™s took a pair of penalties in the period, with Torey Krug sending the puck over the glass in the defensive zone and Dougie Hamilton later hooking Blake Wheeler following a horrid neutral zone giveaway that created a Jets rush into the Boston zone.

All things considered, the Bruins were extremely fortunate to escape the period with just a one-goal deficit to overcome.

JULIEN TRIES ERIKSSON WITH KREJCI LATE

Claude Julien told reporters in Winnipeg Friday morning that he was considering giving Loui Eriksson some looks with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. He didn’€™t end up doing that, as he clearly (he’€™s stated it multiple times now) does not want to break up his third line of Carl Soderberg between Chris Kelly and Eriksson.

For the second straight game since Krejci returned to the lineup, Julien kept Eriksson with the Soderberg line and, for the second straight game since Krejci returned, the Soderberg line scored.

With the B’€™s trailing in the second period, Soderberg skated the puck through the neutral zone and into offensive zone and fed the puck across to Kelly, whose bid yielded a rebound that a trailing Torey Krug tapped in to tie the game. This followed a performance Wednesday in which both Soderberg and Eriksson scored in Minnesota.

It wasn’€™t all good for the trio, however, as they were also on the ice for Dustin Byfuglien’€™s second-period goal.

Julien gave Eriksson a shift with Lucic and Krejci in the final minutes of the game, with Daniel Paille taking Eriksson’€™s place on Soderberg’€™s line

Speaking of Eriksson…

B’€™S CATCH A BREAK ON PENALTIES

Milan Lucic appeared to put the B’€™s in a real bad spot with a hit on Mark Scheifele that left the B’€™s killing an interference penalty with 8:20 left in a game in which they trailed.

Fortunately for the Bruins, the officials bought what looked to be a Loui Eriksson dive on a swinging Andrew Ladd stick just 36 seconds later. The only call on the play was a trip on Ladd, which wiped out Winnipeg’€™s power play.

I’€™ve said this a million times, but diving happens with every team. Nobody likes it, but it happens. On Friday, it helped the B’€™s.

BARTKOWSKI RETURNS AND IT DOESN’€™T GO GREAT

After being scratched for the previous five games, Matt Bartkowski made his return to the lineup Friday in place of Zach Trotman.

Bartkowski’€™s return moved Dennis Seidenberg to the right side, with the two being paired together. The Bartkowski-Seidenberg pair was on the ice for both Winnipeg goals through the first two periods, the latter of which came amidst a lengthy stay in the Boston zone in which Tuukka Rask lost his stick in the final minute of the second period.

Joe Morrow, meanwhile, has now been a healthy scratch for seven of the last eight games. Not sure why.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean