Lane MacDermid will make his return to the Bruins’ lineup tonight as they take on the Sabres at TD Garden.
Through six games, the third line of the Bruins has done next to nothing for the team offensively. They have combined for no goals and just two points in just over 15 minutes of ice time per game. So, it’s time to shake things up.
For that reason, coach Claude Julien has made his first performance-related move of the season as the team will designate Chris Bourque as a healthy scratch tonight when the team takes on the 2-3-1 Sabers at TD Garden.
In six games so far this season, Bourque has contributed just three shots in 96 shifts while not really adding to the second unit of an already struggling power-play. His line of 0-0-0 is not exactly getting it done.
On the first shift of his NHL career last season, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound MacDermid dropped the gloves with notorious tough guy Mike Rupp of the New York Rangers and his toughness will potentially have a chance to be on display tonight as Buffalo is still a bit upset about the incident involving Milan Lucic and their goalie Ryan Miller last season.
Buffalo’s John Scott said after his team’s skate this morning that “it’s fun playing against physical teams.” MacDermid certainly adds to the physicality of the Bruins.
Julien said this morning that Bourque had been “putting too much pressure on himself” and that “you’re going to see a much more efficient player than he’s shown so far.”
He also added that he does not like holding healthy scratches like MacDermid out for long periods of time.
Bourque, Kelly and Peverley had averaged 15:11 of ice time in the first six games of the shortened season and Bourque accounted for just 12:18 of that total time.
Bourque will be watching the game from high above the Garden ice, not far from where his father’s No. 77 hangs in the rafters. In three years in the NHL, he has just one career goal and is minus-10, but had not played in the NHL since 2010 before Boston traded for him prior to the start of the season.
The 5-0-1 Bruins, in the midst of their best start since 1970-71, open Northeast Division play tonight against the Sabres.