Oilers Game Day: At Boston Bruins

Oilers Game Day: At Boston Bruins
Bruce Cassidy Sheds Light On Whether Hell Tinker With Bruins Top Line
BRIGHTON, Mass. – Jake DeBrusk knows its been a slow start for him and his line offensively this season, and the second-year left winger is looking to change that starting immediately. DeBrusk and the Bruins will take the ice Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers team he grew up watching in Western Canada, so what better time would there be to break into the score sheet this season?

Ryan Donato and David Krejci each have a point apiece while DeBrusk has zero points in the first three games of the season. Its easy to overlook when the Bs top line ramps up for five goals and 11 points in a win over Ottawa, but the Bs will need more offense from everybody as the opponents get tougher. 

For a guy expecting to build to bigger and better things from last years rookie totals of 16 goals and 43 points, its been a disappointing start for the 21-year-old DeBrusk.

Bruins coach Bruce Casssidy said he wont be breaking up his first line any time soon

I think we just need to generate more. These first three games are a pretty small sample size, but personally, I dont like the way that things have been going, said DeBrusk. I think it a matter of me being better, and all of us working better as a group out there. I think sometimes were not trying to make the simple plays, and being too cute here and there.

[Depth of scoring] was a focus going into the playoffs last year. So obviously when the first line is doing their thing its easier to get away with it, but in saying that wed like to get on the board just as much as everybody else would like us to.

In other words, the Bruins need to get pucks to the net, get forwards in the slot and around the scoring areas and start putting a little more anxiety in opponents playing defense. 

The good news is that DeBrusk is fourth on the team with six shots on net, so hes getting his chances and throwing pucks at the net. Now, hes just got to be a little grittier around the scoring areas while the entire Krejci line needs to simplify things a little bit more at the start of the regular season.

How they generate [offense], I think, said Bruce Cassidy, when asked about what hed like to see his second line do better offensively while moving forward. We had a conversation this morning about simplifying to net drive, get a guy in the high slot and get the pucks there. I think theyre turning down too many opportunities to throw stuff at the net and see what happens. 

A good example is the last two goals that Bergerons line scored [against Ottawa]. Bergie throws one at the net, but theres net drive and Marchand in the high slot. It rattles off [Cody] Ceci and goes in. The next goal its Pastrnak driving the net, he gets there and its a tap-in. Marchand again has inside position in the slot. So its about getting back to the basics, generating shots to create anxiety. The conversation with Krejci right now is that guys are playing with a lot of energy right now, so the turn-up plays arent really there as much because guys are back-checking hard. So its a little more getting it in straight lines and getting it to the net.

So now DeBrusk and the rest of the second line have their marching orders on offense, and now its up to them to roll up their sleeves, get to the scoring areas and start making things a little simpler while looking for some signs of offense.  

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