Boston Bruins: The return of the Merlot line

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: The Boston Bruins celebrate a goal by Tim Schaller
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: The Boston Bruins celebrate a goal by Tim Schaller /

The Boston Bruins haven’t had such a strong fourth line since their last Stanley Cup run.

The fourth line of a team may be one of the most underrated aspects of a team. These guys are the grinders, the heavy hitters. They get down in the gritty areas and are always fighting for the puck. This season the Boston Bruins are getting some great production out of their bottom line.

The leading scorer for the line is Tim Schaller. He has 8 goals and 6 assists on the season. Schaller’s offensively ability has improved, just look at his goal in the Bruins last game against the New York Rangers. Then there is Sean Kuraly. The animated center has 5 goals and 6 assists this season. Kuraly is a physical player and is very reminiscent of former Bruin Gregory Campbell.

Finally to complete the trio it has been a mix of players as of late. Noel Acciari has been on the line the most and has a goal and 6 assists this season. Acciari is currently out due to injury but may return tonight against the Sabres.

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Frank Vatrano has been skating with the line as of late. He has scored two goals this season. Vatrano is similar to a Daniel Paille. He is a guy with some great speed, and more known for his scoring ability than his physical presence. Then as of lately due to injuries Austin Czarnik has been called up and skating with the fourth. In just 9 games Czarnik has 4 assists and fills Vatrano’s role perfectly.

Bruins strength as of late

Besides the Boston Bruins dominant first line, the fourth has been one of the best as of late. With Czarnik joining Schaller and Kuraly the line has scored 6 points in the last two games. It appears that their teammates like seeing the hard working guys get some points on the board.

"“You love those kinds of performances and guys getting on the board, because they do a lot of thankless work for us – helps us win a lot of games,” said David Backes, via"

Kuraly hasn’t had the best of luck scoring as late but has been able to score two goals in two games. Once again Schaller scored a phenomenal goal against the Rangers, and it appears anyone who slides into that other winger spot performs well.

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So it appears that the hard-hitting and effective fourth line has returned. These guys are so fun to watch. When Kuraly scores a goal you think he’s going to explode with how excited he gets. You see the passion they have for the game. They will be a driving force if the Bruins want to make a run for the Stanley Cup.