After sleeping on a potential change, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will make a slight but familiar tweak to their third line for Monday’s Game 5 at TD Garden, as Karson Kuhlman will get the call to the right of Nick Ritchie and Charlie Coyle.
“Help us win,” Cassidy said of the message to Kuhlman. “Do what you do best.”
For the 25-year-old Kuhlman, who appeared in Game 2, that comes back to energy.
“What Kuhly typically brings is high energy, he gets his feet moving,” said Cassidy. “Think the first game he was in there was some apprehension about how much time and space he had. It’s gonna be a physical series, has been a physical series. So sometimes you need some shifts under your belt and I thought as the game went on he got better.”
In action for 12:51 in his only 2021 postseason action to date, Kuhlman came through with the primary helper on Charlie Coyle’s game-opening goal, and the Bruins are certainly look at him as a jack-of-all-trades option on that third line, which is likely to match up against the Islanders’ Andy Greene-Noah Dobson pairing in this contest.
“[Kuhlman] certainly can create some secondary offense, can shoot the puck, can get in and disrupt some of the breakouts. He does it more with his foot speed and stick more than physicality, but certainly capable of finishing some checks if they’re there,” said Cassidy. “He’s a consistent, solid player. The other thing he’s got at is keeping his motor running if he doesn’t get shifts — [or] we get into power-play, penalty-kill situations where he’s not getting out there — to stay out there.”
With Kuhlman in, Jake DeBrusk will sit as a healthy scratch. And that will be the only lineup change up front for the Bruins, as Cassidy noted on Sunday that he actually thought Game 4 was his fourth line’s best effort to date.
DeBrusk, who began the postseason with two goals in two games, has tallied just one assist and five shots on goal over his last seven playoff games.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.