David Pastrnak

Eriksson-Bergeron-Pastrnak an intriguing option for Bruins

DJ Bean
January 07, 2016 - 6:29 pm
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It looks like the Bruins are going to use David Pastrnak the right way. After recalling the 19-year-old scorer from Providence, the Bruins skated Pastrnak on the right wing of Patrice Bergeron'€™s line in Thursday'€™s practice. Loui Eriksson was at left wing, as Brad Marchand will serve the final game of his three-game suspension Friday night. The line is extremely intriguing. Playing Pastrnak on Bergeron'€™s line has always seemed to make sense (see: Tyler Seguin'€™s 29-goal 2011-12 season), but "the Bergeron line" usually means "the Bergeron and Marchand line." Bergeron and Marchand have pretty much been a package deal since midway through the 2010-11 season, and for good reason. They'€™re among the best duos in the NHL. Yet having Eriksson at left wing could have an interesting impact on Pastrnak. Both Eriksson and Marchand are scorers -- they have 15 and 14 goals, respectively -- but Marchand is more of an electric player with the puck on his stick than Eriksson. Bergeron, a very good scorer in his own right with 15 goals, can pretty much just dish to Marchand, count to three and be part of a scoring chance. Eriksson does a lot of things, but he isn'€™t the skater or offensively ambitious player that Marchand is. With the exception of the 2011-12 season, when Seguin scored 29 goals, Marchand has always scored more goals than his line'€™s right wing. Having Eriksson on the line could open up the door for the Bergeron line'€™s right wing to be more of a scorer. "Brad creates a lot by having the puck and by me trying to send him with his speed," Bergeron said. "I think Loui'€™s more territorial and possession and kind of slowing the play down a little bit more. They'€™re different in their own rights. "Me being a righty, my tendency is to go to my left side a little bit more, so maybe my righties are not as happy with me, but we'€™re trying to use both sides. Brad'€™s got the puck a little bit more than Loui would. Loui likes to kind of send it and chip it and dump it a little bit more."€ Speaking after Thursday'€™s practice, Pastrnak seemed thrilled by the idea of playing with Bergeron. After not playing since Oct. 31 due to a foot injury and a lengthy rehab tour that took him to Finland for the World Junior Championships, he was probably just relieved to be back with the B'€™s. Pastrnak played a little with Bergeron and Marchand last season, but most of his season was spent on David Krejci'€™s line. When Krejci got hurt, Pastrnak played with Ryan Spooner and Milan Lucic. Skating with both Eriksson and Bergeron will be a new experience for the young forward, but based on what Bergeron would want in a right wing on a line with Eriksson, Pastrnak sounds like a good fit. "I think the righty needs to go a little bit more and use his speed more and try to [have] us find him," Bergeron said. Brett Connolly, who has spent a lot of time on the right wing of Bergeron'€™s line this season, has had both Marchand and Eriksson as his left wing. "Obviously Marchy'€™s more gritty, in your face," Connolly said. "Loui'€™s more [about] using his hockey sense to make some plays. He seems to always be in the right areas. Two good players. Two smart players." If Eriksson'€™s presence allows for more facilitating, Pastrnak could be beneficiary for at least a game. One would think Marchand and Bergeron would be reunited once Marchand'€™s suspension is up, but for now Claude Julien has an interesting line at his disposal.

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