The Boston Bruins first line has been their most consistent so far this season. David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Jarome Iginla are a combined plus-71 on the season and their physical style of play sets the tone for their teammates. While Krejci has been in Sochi playing for his native Czech Republic, his linemates Lucic and Iginla have been home enjoying some well deserved rest. That rest will serve both players well as the Bruins head down the stretch towards the NHL playoffs.
Being well rested and healthy this time of year, as the pace and intensity of games picks up across the league, will be especially beneficial for Lucic and Iginla. Both skaters play a physical brand of hockey that requires them to throw their bodies around. That style of play is not easy, but for them to be effective out on the ice they need to get to the dirty areas and win puck battles.
Lucic in particular has shown signs in previous seasons that he cannot sustain his level of play throughout an entire 82-game regular season. Each year it seems there are points in the season where he looks sluggish and has little to no affect on the game. Fortunately for the Bruins, he always seems to turn it on when it counts come playoff time. This year however do not expect to see that same slump in Looch’s play. The two-and-a-half week rest he is enjoying now should keep his productivity at a consistent level for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Although Iginla does not play at the level Lucic does in terms of physicality, the 36-year-old still has plenty of sand paper in his game. He gets into corners and to the front of the net, administering some big hits and taking some too. Iginla has also played in nearly 1,300 NHL games and being able to rest in the middle of the season will only benefit him.
So what does this break for Iginla and Lucic mean for the Bruins? It means that the team’s second and fourth leading point producers respectively, can continue their excellent play in Boston’s final 25 regular season games.