Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Julien has some thinking to do

Categories: Boston Bruins, VAN vs. BOS, Vancouver Canucks

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Boston coach Claude Julien, seen Tuesday, will have to figure out how to integrate Tyler Seguin into the lineup, and how the Bruins cope up front without Nathan Horton. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press) Boston coach Claude Julien, seen Tuesday, will have to figure out how to integrate Tyler Seguin into the lineup, and how the Bruins cope up front without Nathan Horton. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

With forward Nathan Horton unavailable for the rest of the run because of a severe concussion, Tyler Seguin will return to the lineup, Boston coach Claude Julien confirmed after Wednesday's morning skate. What Julien declined to disclose was where Seguin would play.

"I may not," Julien answered when asked if he could discuss who he was considering for first-line duty.

The rookie had been playing on the third line with Michael Ryder and Chris Kelly in Games 1 and 2. But Vancouver's grinding third line of Raffi Torres, Maxim Lapierre, and Jannik Hansen has not been a good matchup for the still-learning rookie. It's possible Seguin could get a look on the first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic in Horton's spot.

Other candidates to fill Horton's skates are Ryder and Rich Peverley. Ryder and Krejci played together for most of 2008-09 along with former Bruin Blake Wheeler.

"It's going to be a different guy, a different type of player," Krejci said of Horton's replacement. "You have to recognize it and help each other out."

It may be that Julien rotates top-line right wings throughout the game depending on matchups.

"Still up in the air as we speak," Julien said yesterday. "Lot of things that will come into play. First of all, who would be the right fit for those guys? Also, who they're playing against. We're even looking at Tyler in that mix with Peverley and Ryder with his speed and skill level. But who's he going to play against? At home, you have that last change. At the same time, they can always change on the fly. We need to look at it.

"I might be moving guys around as the game goes along depending on what happens. [Horton's] a big loss. There was chemistry between those three. That's been lost. So somebody's got to step in and do the job."

Canucks note Thomas's straying ways

At 6:56 of the third period in Game 3, Tim Thomas connected with one of the best hits of the night. As Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin settled a puck that had popped into the air, Thomas flattened the No. 1 center with a hit to the chest.

It was one of many instances the Canucks have noted of Thomas leaving his crease and initiating contact.

"Part of Thomas' way of playing is playing out of the blue paint, initiating contact, roaming out there," Alain Vigneault said. "He seems to think that once he's out, set, and makes the save, he can go directly back in his net without having anybody behind him. Well, that's wrong. He's got the wrong rule on that. If we're behind him, that's our ice. We're allowed to stay there. We've talked to the NHL about that. We've talked to the NHL about him initiating contact like did on Hank. They're aware of it. Hopefully they're going to handle it."

Expected Bruins lineup

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Michael Ryder-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask