usa-today-8162398.0 Rounding Out Patriots Day Three NFL Draft Action MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:  Tre' Jackson #54 of the Florida State Seminoles walks on the field against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Patriots Select Three in Round Four, Including (Finally) two Guards p-6-13-3.jpg Patriots Select Jordan Richards, Geneo Grissom; Make Trade on Day 2 of Draft A-Rod took advantage of the Red Sox bullpen to hit home run #660 to tie Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list and give the Yankees a 3-2 win. (NY Daily News) Yankees 3, Red Sox 2: A-Rod Ties Willie Mays on All-Time HR List in Tale of Two Bullpens

The B’s Are Back! A Look at the Bruins’ 2nd Line

Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic will return as the Bruins' first line for the 2011-12 season. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Now, let’s take a look at the Bruins’ second line:

2nd Line: Most to Prove

LW- Milan Lucic – 2011-2012 stats: GP 81 G 26 A 35 PTS 61 +/- 7 PIM 135
C- David Krejci – 2011-2012 stats: GP 79 G 23 A 39 PTS 62 +/- -5 PIM 36
RW- Nathan Horton – 2011-2012 stats: GP 46 G 17 A 15 PTS 32 +/- 0 PIM 54

This line has by far the most to prove this season and has a bunch of question marks. Can Nathan Horton stay healthy without another concussion? Can David Krejci play consistently for an entire season and not go pointless for stretches of the season? Will Lucic’s hitting game show up every night? Can this line produce if Horton does go down again?

These questions will be answered over the next few months. But what I do know is this line was much better with Horty than without him. Horton was having a career year coming off the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals Game 3 cheap shot by Aaron Rome that gave him a concussion. And his play was making Krejci and Lucic better around him. But without him, this line was colder than Gary Bettman’s heart.

With Horton on the ice, Krejci and Lucic’s numbers were (G 11 A 27 PTS 38 +/- 1) and (G 17 A 20 PTS 37 +/- 7) respectively in 46 games. But the rest of the way, they were (G 12 A 12 PTS 24 +/- -6) and (G 9 A 15 PTS 24 +/- 0). That includes a month of February that featured a stat line of G 2 A 0 PTS 2 +/- -7 for Krejci.

With Horton playing in his contract year, and Krejci trying to stay with the Bruins (article coming soon) and not get shipped out of Boston, expect this line to come out guns blazing.

About Jeff Miller - @JeMillz11

Graduate of Suffolk University with a BS in Broadcast Journalism. I love all the four major sports and have been a diehard Boston sports fan my whole life.

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