It’s apparent these new lines are obviously not working, especially the first line. Marc Savard hasn’t recorded a point in the previous fives games which resulted in the Bruins losing four straight. A lack of chemistry and inconsistent wingers can contribute to that that. So instead of simply rolling the same combinations over and over again, why not try something new? I know it is not traditional, like the way Claude Julien likes to coach, but putting Bergeron on the wing may be an answer to a struggling first line. Bergeron and Sturm have great chemistry together so putting them with Savard will only help all three players. This line could match up strength for strength against other team’s top lines. Wheeler,Krejci, and Ryder work best when all three are on a line together. The third line now will consist of Sobotka in the middle between Paille and Recchi. Sobotka has played strong hockey in the past few games, a clear indication that he is much better and more comfortable at center. Putting the fourth line back together will make them all more effective, as we have seen earlier in the season, especially since Byron Bitz has hands worse than P.J. Axelsson and should not be anywhere near the top two lines.
I know, Bergeron is the Bruins best center so why move him to wing? Well, because he can still take all the important draws in both offensive and defensive zones. Nothing would change there since Julien often puts two centers on the ice for faceoffs anyway. Looking back on previous teams, and effective ones at that, they always put two centers on their top lines. Look at Detroit and Pittsburgh. Zetterberg and Datysuk are the two most dominant centers on that team. Over the course of the past three seasons Mike Babcock uses a combination of them together on the top line and then separates if need be. Same goes for Malkin and Crosby. Now look at San Jose this season. Marleau and Thornton have almost played excusively on a line together and are nothing short of dominate ( having Heatley helps a little too). However, they still get put on the ice separately to take key draws and kill penalties.
The Bruins are seriously lacking offensive depth so why not load up on two lines? Having two good to very good lines would give the Bruins much more of an opportunity to produce offense than having three mediocre lines. I know it isn’t the balanced roll four equal line mentality, but deviating away from that thinking may not be a bad idea, especially the way Sobotka has been playing since being moved back to center.