Matt Kalman and Ken Laird debated how Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy should align his top three lines in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday Skate, 8-9 a.m., this Sunday.
Laird argued that the importance of getting center David Krejci going should mean David Pastrnak plays on Krejci’s right side with Danton Heinen moving back next to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, a spot Heinen filled while Pastrnak was out following thumb surgery.
Kalman, though, recalled that the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line had 30 points in the Bruin’s seven-game win against Toronto. And with the Maple Leafs all but guaranteed to be the Bruins’ first-round opponent when the playoffs begin in two weeks, the best way for Cassidy to attack them is with his No. 1 line together.
“When it comes down to it and you see Toronto on the other side, you’re putting that line together. That’s their nightmare,” Kalman said. “[Maple Leafs coach] Mike Babcock loses sleep at night thinking about that line and thinking about how he has to put Ron Hainsey against that line, again. And that’s part of what he’s saying when he’s taking shots at the GM. He’s like ‘you’re giving me Ron Hainsey to against Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak?’”
Kalman and Laird also discussed how the Bruins are going to fare without Sean Kuraly, what Zdeno Chara’s contract extension means for him and the team. In the second half of the show Toronto-based NHL.com writer Mike Zeisberger talked to Kalman and Laird about what the Maple Leafs have to do to beat Boston this year, including the role goaltender Frederik Andersen and star center Auston Matthews will play in the Maple Leafs’ attempt to get past the first round.
You can listen to the entire show below.