BOSTON (CBS) – To Bruins center Chris Kelly, even though Jordan Caron had to take over as an injury replacement for Carl Soderberg in the season-opening win against Tampa Bay Thursday, Boston’s third line was on its game.
That is, they played well, but one thing could’ve been better.
“Yeah, I thought Jordy played really well. So did Reilly. They made the smart plays defensively and made the smart plays offensively,” the Bruins alternate captain said. “I thought they played extremely well. It was an easy game. If only I could get Reilly to talk a little more, then he’d be perfect.”
“He’s very quiet,” Kelly continued when asked about the shyness of the only member of that line who’s new to the organization this season. “I asked him on the bench in the third if he had said a word tonight. He said ‘well, there’s not much to say.’ So I did get a word out of him.”
According to Smith, who was part of the package the Dallas Stars sent to the Bruins in the Tyler Seguin trade, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for him to chatter.
“He wants me to talk more? Yeah, well, he’s usually doing most of the talking, so I just let him go,” Smith said of Kelly. “He’s talking all the time, so I’m just listening. If I’m talking than we’re getting the lines crossed.”
Communication is important for any line, especially one that hadn’t played together prior to opening night. However, Kelly, Caron and Smith didn’t lack for impact as much as they were missing words. The only bummer of the night for that line was Caron’s non-goal goal, which was waived off due to a quick whistle.
Otherwise, Kelly’s line played the way the Bruins need a third line to play. They have to be strong at both ends and chip in for coach Claude Julien to be able to roll four lines and keep everyone involved and wear down the opposition.
Smith figures he’ll talk more as he gets more comfortable. He says everywhere he’s played he’s been one of the younger guys, so he typically defers to the vets for a while. Nonetheless, he’s comfy enough to take a jibe or two at Kelly. When asked if he can see some of Kelly’s game in his, Smith joked about wanting to be “flashier.” Of course, right now it’s not about flash. The Bruins need production anyway they can get it. Even if that line doesn’t talk much, if it wins decidedly more shots than it loses, it’ll be worth talking about.
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