By Court Lalonde (follow @courtlalonde)
So far in the Bruce Cassidy era, we have seen a four-game win streak, high tempo offense, Tuukka Rask standing on his head, and chemistry between Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Spooner, and Frank Vatrano. They have only played together for four games, but it has Boston Bruins fans talking all over Causeway Street. It takes a lot for a Bruin’s fan this year to admit that Hayes is playing well and I’ve seen people stick up for him on the internet lately, instead of bashing him; it’s crazy I know. The line has garnered a nickname, which is the VHS line; great name by the way.
Cassidy changed up the first three forward lines as soon as he took over the coaching duties of the Bruins. He moved David Pastrnak to the second line with David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik, forming the Central Europe line, no one has been able to come up with a clever name yet. David Backes has moved up to the first line with Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand, fitting in well with their chemistry. The big surprise is when he brought Hayes down from the ninth floor and stuck him on a line with Spooner and Vatrano.
(Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports)
We all saw the lineup card before the game and were scratching our heads. Why is Hayes back in the lineup? We all asked. Apparently, Cassidy saw something we didn’t, the line has played better with every game they play together, and the familiarity builds between them. Spooner has struggled at times this year, and it seemed like no one could find where he fit in, besides the powerplay. In the three games since forming the VHS Line, Spooner has had one goal and two assists. He has been able to play center again, use his skating and passing skills to his advantage and scoring a goal to help his club. Vatrano has had two goals and two assists since being put on this line and has looked like one of the fastest skaters on the ice, every game. Hayes had had two assists in those four games and has been able to use his size in front of the net to generate scoring chances.
(Jeff Chiu – AP)
I feel the line has worked well so far because each player brings a different aspect that compliments the other. Vatrano has a great shot with blinding speed, Spooner has an uncanny vision on the ice with a finishing touch, and Hayes has that body presence we haven’t seen since Florida and the confidence that his line mates will get him the puck. We don’t know what the rest of the season will hold for the Bruins and this line, but one thing is for sure, it’s exciting to watch right now.