How Bruins' depth is winning them this series

Evan Marinofsky
May 12, 2019 - 8:39 pm
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If anything describes the 2019 Bruins it's that they scored six goals Sunday afternoon and only one came from a forward who spent the regular season in the top six. 

Two goals came from an undersized, third-pairing defenseman, one came from his partner who spent most of the season in Providence, another came from a guy who's alternated between the bench and the ninth floor, and the final one came from Danton Heinen. 

That tells you just about everything you need to know about this Bruins team. 

"Well the guys are coming to play at the right time," said Torey Krug, who had three assists in the Bruins' 6-2 victory in Game 2. "Depth scoring is so crucial for playoffs. Most of the time when you see a matchup, the two big lines are going head to head, that kind of washes each other out typically over a series and then you have the depth scoring that comes into play and that's what wins you games and series, so we have it right now." 

Even crazier is that after Connor Clifton's goal to make it 3-0, the Bruins tied a franchise record with 19 different goal-scorers in these playoffs. 

"I think this year because we've scored a lot more up and down the line, it's just a little easier to roll lines and look for your matchup but roll lines and not have to over-extend skill guys," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "I think any team that advances generally gets some level of that where everybody's contributing, where someone steps up in a different night." 

With all the depth scoring, it's given Cassidy the chance to allow the Patrice Bergeron line to just focus on eliminating the Sebastian Aho line, which they've done almost perfectly. In Game 2, Aho's Corsi-for percentage was a meager 33.33%. 

Because of Cassidy's confidence in the Sean Kuraly line, he's been deploying them against the Jordan Staal line and similarly to the example just given, this matchup has also been very much in the Bruins favor. 

Get ready for some more lines. I promise there's a point to this. 

That leaves the David Krejci line to face the Lucas Wallmark line and the Charlie Coyle line to face the Greg McKegg line. Those are two mismatches that give a favorable edge to the Bruins and on Sunday, that's where the bulk of the scoring came from. 

Jake DeBrusk and David Backes both had goals and they're from the Krejci line. Danton Heinen had a goal plus a helper and then Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle both had two assists. 

"The Charlie Coyle line right now creates a big problem I think for the other team," said Cassidy. "Okay, you've got Bergy's line right out of the gate. You've got Krejci, who's a known playoff scorer, now with DeBrusk. Now you've got a third line to deal with, so usually getting your d-pairs out there is a lot of work to play against, you know, if you want to play your top pair against two of those three lines." 

Matt Grzelcyk had two goals in Game 2. Connor Clifton added one. And if we're looking at the whole series, Steven freakin' Kampfer scored the first lamp-lighter in Game 1. 

"I think it takes pressure off everyone when they're doing well," said DeBrusk of the scoring depth. "Obviously that was our thing at the start of the year was depth scoring, it's coming at the right time." 

The Bruins have the talent edge, on paper and on the ice, in all facets of the game -- offensively, defensively and in net. But it's that depth from bottom of the lineup players that excites leaders on the B's like Zdeno Chara. 

"I think that it's nice to see players that aren't known for scoring goals getting rewarded for hard work," he said. "That's something that at this time of the year nobody really cares who scores the goals, as long as we keep winning games." 

Through two games in this series, the Bruins have outscored the Hurricanes 11-4. Only two goals have come from top-six regular season forwards. 

"I said it all along that if we were going to make it and go on a run, it was going to be those bottom two lines that feed energy into this team and score big timely goals," said Krug. "We're going to need that going forward." 

With the way things are going for the Bruins, it appears as though Krug could be proven correct.

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