Bruins

Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron punch in front of David Pastrnak. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Sometimes the team has to go back to the proverbial well.

Even as successful as the Boston Bruins.

The deep scoring depth from four scoring lines and three defensive pairs inspired the Bruins amid their early season successes. They saw 20 of their players score in their first 16 games.

Jim Montgomery now has an almost fully healthy squad to work with when he returns Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoyand Mateusz Grzelczyk. But the first-year Bruins coach was not averse to taking a heavy approach when necessary.

In the last few games, Montgomery has used Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak in the front line when the Bruins needed a goal at the right moment. Most of the time, however, the Bruins started with an even lineup before reuniting a powerful top three.

That development changed when Montgomery used Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak in the top lane ahead of Sunday’s matchup against Vancouver.

The roster upgrade did not affect the production of the other three forward threes during their 5–2 victory over the Canucks. The Bruins currently have no desperate need to go with Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak. Instead, the coaching staff can situationally deploy the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line without sacrificing offensive input across their entire squad.

“I don’t think it affects the scoring depth,” said Montgomery. “I think a lot depends on the matchups, who we’re playing against and whether we’re at home or on the road.”

Depending on Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak is not bad at all. If anything, it allows the other three lines to attempt to establish continuity.

The wave effect gave Jake DeBrusk a chance to reconnect with David Krejci on the other line – this time on his off-wing. He also allows DeBrusk to skate with Taylor Hall, an athlete he idolized during Hall’s days in Edmonton.

Versatility continues in the bottom six. Pavel Zacha, Nick Foligno and Charlie Coyle make up a powerful third trio. A raw and energetic fourth trio of Tomas Nosk, AJ Greer and Trent Frederic completes the final changes.

As the other three lanes make friends, the Bruins enter an experimental period with the rest of their roster. For their brief time together, the Hall-Krejci-DeBrusk trio exemplified Montgomery’s approach to the roster after producing high-quality scoring in 5-on-5 situations against the humble Canucks.

“We had some good changes when we were in their zone for a while and managed to score 5v5 in the last game. Of course, I played with Krech [Krejci] before so it’s nice to be back with him. I didn’t have anyone left with Krech like Hallsy [Hall]. So that’s pretty exciting,” DeBrusk said. “It’s one of those things where I want to try to balance the lanes and try to make it so that we’re a threat there and give these guys pucks, whether it’s to recover in the offensive zone.”

DeBrusk will have some time to get to know Hall’s tendencies and rebuild his chemistry with Krejci. The more they gel with each repetition, the more they can tempt the coaching staff to keep them together.

Of course, the latest line combinations are not constant. Between injuries and appearances, the coaching staff will likely sideline Pastrnak away from Bergeron and Marchand to balance the squad.

Assessing the chemistry across the roster, Montgomery knows he can afford the luxury of combining Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak in an instant, whether in the regular season or the playoffs.

“I feel like all strikers – primarily the top six to eight strikers – have to get used to playing with everyone. We had injuries; we’ll have more,” said Montgomery. “And in the playoffs, if something is not working, we will be able to switch in the game and the guys will make it smooth. It’s good that I have an ace up my sleeve as a coach.”

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