By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29
Have the Boston Bruins finally found a new consistent fourth line?
Since the separation of the legendary “Merlot Line” which included Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, and Shawn Thornton the Bruins have never really had another dominant fourth line, that was until this season when a new line was formed.
Sean Kuraly, Tim Schaller, and Noel Acciari have formed an incredible fourth line this season and have made opponents lives a pure nightmare when they have been on the ice. As this line can become a speed, physical, or shut down unit depending on the other teams playing style. This line has produced a combined 28 goals and 47 points as a unit together which in today’s NHL where everyone needs to be productive it is excellent to see these guys excel together as a group.
Let’s compare the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins fourth line to the 2018 version.
The Merlot Line
Regular Season: 43 GP, 6 G, 7 A, +3, 28 PIM
2011 Playoffs: 25 GP, 3 G, 3 A, +2, 4 PIM
Regular Season: 80 GP, 13 G, 16 A, +11, 93 PIM
2011 Playoffs: 25 GP, 1 G, 3 G, -2, 4 PIM
Regular Season: 79 GP, 10 G, 10 A, +8, 122 PIM
2011 Playoffs: 18 GP, 0 G, 1 A, -1, 24 PIM
202 GP, 29 G, 33 A, +22, 243 PIM
68 GP, 4 G, 7 A, -1, 32 PIM
This line was incredible and was for a long time known as the best fourth line in hockey. The heart and determination that was shown between these three guys were magical. No one would work harder than them they were the Boston Bruins heartbeat for many years. Who could forget such iconic moments like Gregory Campbell breaking his leg off of an Evgeni Malkin slapshot and finishing his shift, or Shawn Thornton incredible penalty shot goal against the Winnipeg Jets. The difference between all the lines that came after Merlot was that they never really jelled together as a unit that was until this year when “The Worker B’s” were brought together.
The Worker B’s
Regular Season: 82 GP, 12 G, 10 A, -5, 42 PIM
Playoffs Career: 6 GP, 1 G, 0 A, +2, 2 PIM
Regular Season: 75 GP, 6 G, 8 A, -5, 40 PIM
Playoffs Career: 4 GP, 2 G, 0 A, 0, 4 PIM
Regular Season: 60 GP, 10 G, 1 A, -6, 9 PIM
Playoffs Career: 4 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 0, 2 PIM
217 GP, 28 G, 19 A, -16, 91 PIM
14 GP, 4 G, 0 A, +2, 8 PIM
Seeing a 15 point difference between these two lines does not paint the full picture. They are obviously different, no question fans shouldn’t expect Noel Acciari to be dropping the gloves every night like Shawn Thornton did. But what they can expect is that this line will give one hundred percent of their effort whenever they are on the ice.
This has been for so long what the Bruins have been missing. This trio really is the perfect energy line and an absolute heartbeat to what this Bruins team has been able to accomplish this season. On the video, under Noel Acciari performance you will see a perfect example of what kind of effort this line brings on every given night.
While they may not wow you with incredible talents like teammates Brad Marchand or David Pastrnak, they will go out and shut down opposing teams best units and can step up in various situations if needed. It is the closest they have had to the complete fourth line since the “Merlot Line” fans should see “The Worker B’s” as a modern-day version of the “Merlot Line.” Look for “The Worker B’s” to be a vital part of this years playoff run and should be an X-factor against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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