Jack Studnicka’s second NHL game of the 2021-22 season will come in the spot the Bruins need him in for the long haul, with the 22-year-old slated to center Boston’s second line with Taylor Hall and Charlie Coyle on the wings.
The promotion up from the fourth line comes with Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy knowing he essentially has to empty the clip entirely if the Bruins are going to hang with an undefeated Panthers team (6-0-0) on Wednesday night and an undefeated Hurricanes team (5-0-0) on Thursday night.
“We’re going to have to use everybody and trust everybody, so this gives us a chance to at least start that way,” Cassidy admitted. “If everyone’s on their game, we’ve got some balance and [we’ll] go from there.”
“Super excited,” Studnicka said. “It’s going to be a good test for us and I can’t wait to be part of it. Hopefully things go well.”
But the move up the lineup will not come with the Bruins asking Studnicka to do anything they don’t think he’s capable of doing following a strong preseason and Sunday’s season debut against the Sharks.
“He just has to play his game,” said Cassidy. “He’s a guy that was driving some offense through [the] preseason by shooting the puck and playing a north-south game, not slowing the game down at all. Just playing at a higher tempo and keeping it simpler. Both his wingers can really move, so he’s going to have to have his legs under him.”
The perk for the Bruins in this one is that Studnicka has experience playing with Hall. They were stapled together for almost all of training camp and the preseason, with Coyle drawing into action in Studnicka’s place for the sixth and final preseason contest. Studnicka noted his time with Hall and working together on the bench with an iPad as a positive for the duo.
The Bruins also seem more comfortable with Studnicka’s all-around game and his decision-making in 2021-22 opposed to other NHL showings, where Studnicka was more apt to dish it off to his linemates and let them make the play.
“Hopefully he picks the right time to distribute puck and or shoot it,” Cassidy noted. “It’s an offensive pair of wings he’s got with him that can complement him. It’s not just about what he’s going to do for that line, but you want Coyle and Hall to be the drivers of that line. Jack has to make sure he does his part as the centerman in our end and away from the puck.”
With Studnicka on the second line, Tomas Nosek, who had been riding with Coyle and Hall for the last game and a half, will return back to his ‘normal’ spot as the Black and Gold’s fourth-line center.
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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.