Over the last several weeks, no team has been hit harder by the injury bug than the Boston Bruins. Losing stars like Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy and Rick Nash would be a death knell to most aspiring playoff teams. Boston, however, has continued to thrive. A big part of their continued success is the depth that GM Don Sweeney acquired at the trade deadline. Now, the stars are returning from their injuries and the team will potentially be at full health come playoff time. Here's a look at what to expect for lines when the puck drops in round one.


Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak: Arguably the top line in all of the NHL right now, this explosive trio will be counted on heavily to produce big numbers and carry the offense. Bergeron's ability to shut down the opposing team's top offensive weapon will also be key to their success.

Donato - Krejci - (Rick) Nash: The recent addition of Ryan Donato to the second line has given Boston a potent second scoring unit. The last two times the Bruins made the Stanley Cup Finals, it was on the back of David Krejci's scoring. Having Donato and Rick Nash at his wings should give opposing teams nightmares about trying to stop the top two lines.

(Riley) Nash - Backes - Heinen: It's hard to sit any of the talented rookies, but come playoff time, the team will need the grit from Backes and Nash.

Heinen provides a scoring punch that will keep teams honest that this is more than just a checking line.

Debrusk - Gionta - Wingels: This leaves out Kuraly, Acciari and Schaller, but veterans are needed in this spot. Gionta will look to build on his solid performance at the Olympics. Wingels has performed better than expected since being picked up from Chicago and deserves a spot on the ice.

Debrusk is the scorer in the group and will look to provide some unexpected scoring for the team.

Defensive pairings

McAvoy - Chara: The lock down group that will be expected to play 25 minutes a night. If McAvoy's knee holds up and Chara's age doesn't catch up to him, these two will be go to pairing to shut down the top line of opposing teams.

Krug - Miller: Kevan Miller has earned everything that he has gotten since arriving in Boston. The gritty defender will be counted on heavily in the penalty kill and as a reliable defensive counter to Krug's penchant to hop into the offense. If Krug's defense isn't a liability, this line should perform well.

Grzelcyk - Carlo: Brendan Carlo has fallen a bit out of favor in the defensive rotation but he is still young. Growing into his size, he is beginning to play a more physical game that the coaches want to see out of him. Pairing with Grzelcyk, who himself has been very reliable this year, should give the team a solid back end unit that can step in when needed.


It's Tuukka Rask, maybe you have heard of him?

But seriously, this is the year for Tuukka to show if he is indeed that elite goalie who can carry a team to a title. He has a stellar team in front of him so it really is on him to see what he has left in the tank.

The pieces are in place and everyone is starting to get healthy. The team couldn't ask to be in a better spot with the playoffs right around the corner. It will be on them to see how far they can take it now.