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Julien to decide Friday who will replace Campbell on ‘Merlot Line’

Jun 6, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT

Paille Thornton Campbell

Claude Julien knows Gregory Campbell is done for the remainder of the playoffs after breaking his leg in Game 3.

What the Bruins coach isn’t sure of is who’ll replace Campbell on the club’s valuable fourth line.

“We’ve got lots of options,” Julien told reporters on Thursday. “We’ll look at it closer today and make a decision tomorrow.”

Campbell, along with Dan Paille and Shawn Thornton, is part of Boston’s “Merlot Line,” so named because of the wine-colored jerseys they wear at practice.

(It also keeps people from referring to them as the “fourth line,” which nobody likes.)

The trio has been together for a while and is known for stepping up come playoff time. They’ve combined for 16 points in 15 games this postseason and were huge in the second-round victory over the Rangers.

While Campbell will be missed, there’s no shortage of viable replacements.

Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reports that Carl Soderberg, Kaspars Daugavins and Jay Pandolfo are all in the mix, and that AHL call-ups Jordan Caron, Chris Bourque and Carter Camper could get a look as well depending on what Julien wants to do.

Speaking of what Julien wants to do, he said his goal is to ensure the Bruins can still roll four lines.

“We’ve just got to make sure we get something out of all of our lines right now,” he explained. “I think that’s the most important thing for us, and that’s where decisions are going to have to be made and how do we make it work so that we continue to have four lines.”

  1. Whooten Anit - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    As a Devils fan, I am rooting for Pando!

  2. rogersjd16 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    I like idea of pushing Peverley down to 4th line to center Thornton and Paille. Bring Daugavins in on the 3rd line. He played well the last few games of regular season. Definitely “Paille-esque”. Speed, good forecheck, can create a little offense. Plus, maybe a little shake-up does Seguin and Kelly some good.

    Soderberg a solid player and will help this team in the future, but just don’t know if he helps in this situation. Though he is a natural center (was playing wing to end year), easy to slot right in.

    Don’t hate idea of bringing Caron up either. He skates hard and throws his weight around. Also not afraid to just get the puck to net. Which, the Bruins were a bit hesitant to last night for whatever reason.

    • nhloon - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      I could see Caron, Soderberg is all Offense and Pandolfo, while solid, is about as slow as Jagr. Need speed.

      • ironyisadeadscene - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        I’d rather see Kelly put back to the fourth line. Haven’t been impressed with him in this series. Pevs to center Daugavins and Seguin (or Jagr cause i’d rather see Bergeron and Marchand reunited with Seguin)

    • rogersjd16 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      irony – don’t disagree. Just don’t think Claude will think like that. He loves what Kelly does on the dot (almost) to a fault. And while you could matchup on faceoffs, I think he’ll look at it as “more shifts, more faceoffs”.

  3. sabatimus - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Bourque? No way. Daugavins and Pandolfo are listed as wingers, so I’m not sure how they would adjust (Seguin adjusted badly earlier in the year making this switch). Soderberg is a center but is a rookie, though he is 27 and played a lot in the Swedish Elite League. Caron’s listed as a winger. Sigh. I would love to go with Soderberg, and see him have a breakout like Krug had coming from the AHL, but Soderberg has only played 6 games of pro hockey in North America–making such a breakout, or even a quick mesh with the merlot line, unlikely.

    • denverwally - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Leave the top 3 lines alone, the less “jostling” of the lines, the better. Take almost any of the options listed above and plug into the Merlot line, just keep as much stability in the top 3 as possible. Bruins are up 3-0, don’t start mixing things up now. Merlot line really only plays 8-12 minutes a game anyway, so I would plug Soderberg in as a natural center and make sure he knows the importance of defensive zone play. He has been with them for almost 2 months now in practices, in the locker room, and at the games so he is aware of what the team and Claude want. He is a big body, a strong skater, and is a 30 goal scorer in the Swedish Elite league. Lets see how he takes to the NHL pressure cooker of the playoffs.

  4. pastabelly - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Caron or Daugavins seem like the most obvious choices. Pandolfo can no longer play NHL level hockey at this stage in his career. That was painfully obvious during the regular season. I wouldn’t mind seeing Seguin play center on this line and having Caron play with Kelly and Peverly. This Campbell loss is huge.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Pandolfo would be the best fit for that line , I think he’d be great matched up vs any line

  6. neelybourque778 - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Chris Bourque? Seriously doubt it. Like, not a chance.

    • sabatimus - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      People thumbed this down like Bourque was a complete stud during the regular season. There’s a reason he was waived and nobody claimed him.

  7. dropthepuckeh - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Daugavins gets the nod because he can kill penalties.

  8. botlecap - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    We won’t see Soderberg. I’d be shocked if we did because of the penalties he took in his audition. If you want to keep the top three lines together than Camper is the guy. His AHL playoff run was very strong.

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