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    All-Centennial Team

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    Stanley Cup Champs

    Third Line Issues: Exhibit A Chris Bourque

    Chris Bourque has failed to replicate his numbers from the AHL to the NHL

    After winning the cup former third liner Michael Ryder took an offer from Dallas, and since then the B's have had a vacant spot on that third line. Last year they filled it with Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Caron, and Brian Rolston, but we all know how that turned out.

    This year, with Caron out due to injury, the B's brought in a legacy of the legendary Ray Bourque, Chris Bourque.Scouting reports say Bourque is a fast skater, who has excellent vision and puck handling. These reports showed during  Chris' play in the AHL where he recored 93 points last year (66 assists, 27 goals), but once coming up to the NHL he is almost non-existent.

    In the early season Claude has given Bourque some favoritism. He is on the 2nd powerplay unit, and was in the shootout against Winnipeg and last night against the Devils. However, Bourque has continued to be that non-existent NHL player.

    So far this season the third lines plus/minus is as follows, Peverly -4, Kelly -3, Bourque -4. The third line has also only contributed to 2 points (2 assists) out of 45 total on the season. Bourque was supposed to be a solid fill in for the third line, but so far hasn't lived up to expectations. He has 3 shots on goal over the course of 6 games, and his time on ice has been diminishing, from 14:16 in the Winnipeg game to just 9:55 in last nights game against New Jersey.

    As seen from the diminishing minutes, Claude might see what I do, that Bourque isn't good. Yes it was a feel good story having the Bourque name back in Boston, but it is not the answer. I would like to see the Bruins give Lane MacDermid a chance or Jay Pondolfo for that matter as he can at least provide some veteran leadership if anything.

    Clearly Bourque is not the answer for the third line, and the Bruins should start trying to find his replacement now, before he becomes too much of a liability on the ice. The next best thing is to wait the year out and see how Jared Knight is progressing. He is a skilled player that the Bruins drafted at the beginning of the 2nd round in 2010. But, the Bruins will need a player for the third line, wether it be by the farm system or trade if they want to continue their dominate presence in the NHL.

    Weigh in with your opinions in the comment section.