Despite the Boston Bruins having the best power play in the league, more often than not there lacks a sense of perfect chemistry unless you have one of these match ups:
Krug out there at the same time as Krejci
Bergeron centering Marchand
Eriksson with literally anyone
This could be another option: Ryan Spooner centering David Pastrnak and Frank Vatrano.
Now, I know that Vatrano and Pasta are both young guns who sometimes get a little carried away because they feel the need to prove themselves. Spooner was like that not too long ago, but after carrying the weight of being second line center (again) and being a crucial part of the power play, he has matured incredibly.
With that in mind, I’m not saying toss out the Pasta-Spooner-Vatrano line out for an even strength shift (yet), that would be too risky given the bad +/- (Plus/Minus) history that comes with the Spooner-Pasta combo.
What I’m saying is test it out on a power play to add a little spice to the sugar known as the Bruins Power Play.
With Krug and Chara on the blue line to hold down the fort in case of emergency, a Pasta-Spooner-Vatrano line could click in ways that might make Claude stop swearing when the camera is on him (P.S. that’s not a coincidence).
Despite the lack of defense last season when Pastrnak and Spooner lined up together, there’s a crucial thing to keep in mind: this is not last season. Both Spooner and Pasta have shown very noticeable differences in their defensive game.
Pasta is getting physical and redirecting the puck in his favor along the boards, while Spooner is getting a heck of a lot smarter when the puck is on his stick. As long as they continue to click offensively, which I have full faith in that possibility, their new knack for defense will show on top of that and form a three-zone line. However, Vatrano is a whole different scenario.
In Vatrano’s first handful of games he was put on either the first or second line. The East Longmeadow, MA native was firing off shots like his life damn near depended on it and acting like a natural goal scorer. Yet over the course of the season he’s been dropped down on lines due to inconsistency and stupid mistakes and hasn’t moved up on many occasions if any.
For example: the Jan. 19th Bruins/Canadians game, Vatrano was caught out of position on the Habs lone goal (along with the other 4 Bruins on the ice)
I believe that Spooner and Pasta connect because they’re both young guys with a natural feel for offense; Vatrano is in the same boat as they are but he clearly hasn’t been as consistent. He just needs a swifter kick in the butt that extends further than being benched, and if he’s on the same line as Pasta and Spooner then a spark might ignite in his play.
Thanks for asking.
I’m a firm believer in the idea of monkey-see-monkey-do. If Vatrano is on the ice and sees Pasta and Spooner connecting with each other like in the days of old, then he will want to be a part of that glory.
He’ll push himself more to be like the two guys he’s lined with. Also, being with players who are just as offensive-minded as him, he’ll have faith in the idea that if he passes to one of them they will push forward and not mess up somehow. In other words, game recognizes game. If the three future stars (yes, stars) make that tempo together and keep it consistent then they’ll be golden.
They all have the offensive tools needed to score, and said tools will work together to build something out of what’s in front of them.
By the way,