Saturday, June 22, 2013
Julien still tinkering with fourth line
By Joe McDonald
CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was noncommittal as to whether he would make a lineup change for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center.
Based on the Bruins' morning skate, it appears forward Kaspars Daugavins will remain in the lineup on the fourth line, which means Carl Soderberg would remain a healthy scratch. Julien raised some suspicion during Friday's practice when he had Soderberg playing on that line with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley.
The coach was asked after Saturday's morning skate why he's been tinkering with that line since the team lost Gregory Campbell due to a broken right fibula.
"Why? Because I'm the coach and because I can," Julien said with a smile. "You guys ask me why I make those changes. I didn't spend three days thinking about that. It's a situation that I can do. If I do that tonight, we'll see where it goes. I may just go back to Daugavins, because again I'm tinkering between those two like I have from the beginning of the series."
If Julien does decide to go with Soderberg, who played only six games for the Bruins during the regular season after he arrived in Boston at the conclusion of his season in Sweden, Julien hasn't seen enough of the forward to make an assessment on his play.
"I haven't seen him that much," Julien said. "He's only played a few games and that's probably the main reason he's hasn't played in the playoffs is we went with some experienced players. Injuries have forced us to kind of look elsewhere, and that's the injury to Gregory Campbell. So Daugavins, we've looked at Carl Soderberg, Jordan Caron and there's Jay Pandolfo. So there's situations there that we can look at. We're trying to find the best fit possible.
"I have to look at whether I feel comfortable staying with Daugavins, or it's been between Soderberg and Daugavins. But they're two different players. Size-wise they're different. One is obviously real gritty along the walls, and the other one is probably more of a playmaker. So, there's a difference there and that's where I have to make my decision what I feel I may need tonight."
That line played less than six minutes in Game 4. With the little amount he's played this series, Daugavins is happy with his game.
"I've played fine," he said. "I did the little things right, but maybe didn't create enough offense as I wanted to. Defensively, our game was pretty solid on our line. I was finishing my checks and shooting the puck on net. I was keeping it simple."
Being on the bench for the majority of the game also has its challenges.
"It's more nerve-racking sitting on the bench than being on the ice," Daugavins said. "When you go out there you go into game mode; you don't even think about it, you just do it. Your instincts come in and you play. When you sit on the bench and watch, you're a super fan. You cheer for the guys and you get nervous when the puck is close to your net and you pull your hair when there's a good scoring chance. It's definitely more nerve-racking sitting on the bench than playing."