Commentary

Bruins' speedy line on verge of success

Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin gelling as linemates

Updated: March 31, 2011, 10:52 AM ET
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com

The Boston Bruins' line of Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin isn't lighting the lamp lately, but thanks to the forwards' blazing speed, they are doing just about everything else right since being put together earlier this month by coach Claude Julien. Although Peverley and Seguin have gone six games without points and Kelly is pointless in his past 12, Julien has seen enough good things from this trio to keep it together.

"When we put them together, those were three guys that one [Seguin] has been here just for a year and the [others] from two different teams," Julien said. "So we had to give them time to build that chemistry, and we told ourselves that we had to be patient with it.

[+] EnlargeTyler Seguin & Rich Peverly
Frederick Breedon/Getty ImagesRich Peverley, left, has four points in 17 games since coming to Boston in a trade.

"Both Peverley and Seguin really bring some speed, and we know that Kelly is also a good skater but a very reliable two-way player. So we felt good about that threesome, and lately they've been building that chemistry and getting chances. And like we've said before about other lines, hopefully it's a matter of time before they start producing a little bit more, and I think that's coming. We talked to them about making small adjustments in their play to make that happen, and I like the direction that it's headed in right now, and hopefully it continues to progress."

All three players on the line like the common thread of speed that they bring to the table as well as their centerlike qualities such as winning faceoffs and playmaking skills. That, combined with the dangerous shot that Seguin now has the confidence to use, have them believing they will break through soon and start to light the lamp together.

"I think we all use our speed pretty well, getting in on the forecheck, and we seem to be sustaining a forecheck," Peverley said. "We're getting a lot of chances, and ultimately we're going to have to bury one, but we're not getting too hard on ourselves, and hopefully it will come."

As Peverley pointed out, the ability to win faceoffs is helping them generate scoring chances.

"Any time we can start with the puck, it's going to be better for us," Peverley said. "It's been working out well so far."

Kelly also sees a line on the verge of success. A few bounces here and there could be the difference.

"We've had some missed opportunities, but the game is funny sometimes, because you go out and you have great opportunities and you don't score, and then you have other ones and you bank one off someone's skate and the floodgates open," Kelly said. "We just have to stay positive and stick with it, and it's going to come. We all can put the puck in the net, and right now we're all doing that, but I found we're doing a lot of the little things to keep momentum for our team like drawing penalties and playing well in our own end. There are other aspects of the game that we're doing well."

As Julien pointed out, Kelly sees the chemistry building game by game. One area where it's paying off is the forecheck, just as Peverley alluded to. No longer are they wondering what the others will do; now they are reading off each other's tendencies and instinct.

"Tyler, Rich and myself, we all skate pretty well and try to get it in on the forecheck," Kelly said. "We're starting to read off one another as opposed to being a bit hesitant to see what one another is going to do. The last few games we're just going, and we're just playing. There's not that 'Oh, what's he going to do?' So I think every game, we've gotten better and better, and hopefully we can continue."

The youngest member of the line, Seguin, 19, loves the speed that he and his linemates have, and he, too, has felt the chemistry build.

"We definitely have a lot of speed, and we're trying to use it to our advantage," Seguin said. "I'm in my first year and those guys just came from other teams, so it's hard to find chemistry right away, and now I think we have that going. So if we capitalize on the chances we're getting, I think we'll start scoring more.

"All three of us are doing a good job in the corners right now, and I think we've been playing really good defensively."

With speed seemingly being the strongest attribute of this line, each player was asked if they should have a nickname such as "The Rocket Line." All three said not just yet.

"Wait a bit, and maybe if you get me off the line, you can call it The Rocket Line, and they will be that fast," Kelly said with a laugh.

Meanwhile, Peverley and Seguin said that once the line starts executing and burying its chances, such a nickname may be fitting. Until then, they will keep using that speed and doing the little things that have enticed Julien to keep them together.

James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

James Murphy

Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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