Given a second crack at delivering a knockout blow to the Maple Leafs, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is mixing it up.
“We’re deliberating,” Cassidy said when asked if tonight’s game would feature the same 12 forwards and six defensemen as Saturday’s contest. “Everybody’s healthy, so there won’t be anybody out because of health.
“We may tinker with the lineup tonight.”
And based on an optional morning skate in Toronto — with many Bruins staying off the ice for the second day in a row and Danton Heinen among those bag skating on Air Canada Centre ice — it’s expected that Cassidy’s tinkering will see Heinen take a seat for bottom-six veteran Tommy Wingels.
It’s been a quiet series for the 22-year-old Heinen, with zero points and just four shots on goal through five games. He also seemed to fall out of the rotation by the middle of Game 5, too, with a team-low 9:29 of time on ice. Counting both his regular season and postseason contests, that 9:29 stands as his fourth-lowest time on ice of the season.
Including regular-season contests, Heinen has recorded just four goals and nine points in his last 34 games, and has been held without a shot in 10 of those 34 games, including two games in this series alone.
Heinen will join Ryan Donato, Brian Gionta, and Nick Holden as the Bruins’ scratches.
Wingels, meanwhile, is expected to jump back into play after skating a highly efficient 12:55 of in Boston’s Game 4 victory, with four hits and four blocked shots. And Wingels, with 56 career games of postseason experience, also plays the kind of game that the Bruins may need tonight given the fact that they do not have the benefit of last change, meaning they could face a heavy onslaught from the Maple Leafs (much like they did in Game 4).
Given Cassidy’s appreciation for the fourth line, it’s believed that Wingels will be a direct replacement for Heinen, too, meaning he’s likely going to skate on the left side of Black and Gold’s third line with Riley Nash and David Backes.
The Bruins have lost four straight Game 6 meetings dating back to 2013.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.