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Preview/Lines #52: Boughner Gets Candid About Kane, Sharks’ Forward Depth



Credit: San Jose Sharks

Even Bob Boughner has to admit that the San Jose Sharks’ forward depth is lacking compared to other teams.

“For me, there’s two things,” the bench boss said following Friday’s practice. The first of the two?

“You want more offense from the bottom of your lineup,” he mentioned, before noting that his team is built and used differently than others. “In a perfect world, I want my fourth-line guys to be able to penalty kill and to put them out in any situation. You saw that against Vancouver, how they use their fourth line.” Boughner said the same thing about how both the Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders used their fourth lines as well. 

That’s not the case with the San Jose Sharks though. Their fourth line has been made up of mostly rookies at center (Jasper Weatherby and Lane Pederson) and a revolving cast of wingers who don’t usually play on special teams. Their third line, on the other hand, is made up of penalty-killing staples Nick Bonino, Andrew Cogliano, and Matt Nieto.

“If you have Matt Nieto and Nick Bonino and Cogs as your fourth line,” Boughner acknowledged, “that’s a line, and that’s a team that’s deep enough to make a good push.”

That’s actually what San Jose Hockey Now wrote about after the loss in Anaheim on Tuesday:

Sharks’ 3rd Line Problem

The second thing Boughner mentioned was that taking a top scorer out of any lineup causes complications. In the San Jose Sharks’ case, that’s Evander Kane, who led the team in goals in each of the last two seasons.

“You throw your top goal scorer out and take him out of your lineup, I think if you went through any team, throw Kopitar out of LA,” Boughner said, unprompted, “it’s going to affect your team. That’s my point for bringing that up.”

Boughner is candid, for sure.

“There are holes, and we understand that we’re going through this reset, as we talked about,” he offered of this team that’s seven points out of the playoffs right now and headed to a third straight season on the outside looking in. “I think we’re waiting for guys like Eklund and Bordeleau and guys like that to eventually solidify themselves.”

He also mentioned that filling the holes in the line-up can come from guys making a push in the minors as well as trades. So once again, the San Jose Sharks’ front office will have their work cut out for them this off-season.

“That’s how you slowly become a team that’s a bona fide playoff team every year. I think [the roster’s] got to be deep,” Boughner said before finishing with, “You have to be able to feel comfortable with matchups on the road and at home and roll your bench to really spread some more of that ice time around.”



Per the Daily Faceoff, this is how the Bruins’ lines lined up last game and might look tonight:

Marchand – Bergeron – Debrusk
Hall – Haula – Pastrnak
Frederic – Coyle – Smith
Foligno – Nosek – Froden

Reilly – McAvoy
Grzelcyk – Carlo
Forbort – Clifton

Swayman, Ullmark

Boston Bruins Lazar (Upper Body) Out Vs. San Jose Sharks


Puck drop between the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks is at 7:00 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California and the New England Sports Network. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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