By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
That old ‘next man up’ adage may get yet another workout — and in the Stanley Cup Final, no less — as the Bruins lost more than just Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final in Wednesday’s 3-2 final against the Blues.
Their other loss came thanks to an Oscar Sundqvist boarding penalty that absolutely obliterated Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk into the glass behind Tuukka Rask, and left the Bruins short a defenseman for the rest of the night.
Matt Grzelcyk hurt after this hit from Sundqvist pic.twitter.com/pJqMFs6x0H— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 30, 2019
There was never even a glimmer of hope with Grzelcyk’s Game 2 status after the hit, either, as he quickly departed for a local hospital following the hit, per multiple reports, and confirmed by Bruce Cassidy following the defeat.
“His head got driven into the glass, so he went to the hospital to get some tests,” Cassidy said when asked for an update on the third-pairing driver. “He never returned, obviously. We’re still waiting for an update.”
Cooked after just 4:29 of time on ice, Grzelcyk’s departure meant a heavy dose of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug on Boston’s left side, as Chara finished with 25:45 of action while Krug clocked in with 26:00 by the night’s end. Grzelcyk’s loss had an undeniable impact on the Bruins as a whole, too, as his absence left the B’s without one of their better defensemen in terms of defensive-zone breakouts, and left Boston straight-up gassed for the final 15 minutes and change of this contest.
Some potentially good news for Grzelcyk and the Bruins, though, is that Game 3 is on Saturday night, which gives everybody an extra day to potentially get the 5-foot-9 defender back to speed from a playing and/or practicing standpoint.
But if Grzelcyk is unable to suit up for Game 3, it’s believed that Moore will get the call in his place.
“The easy thing to say is Moore is a left stick,” Cassidy, whose team’s eight-game win streak was snapped with the loss, said. “Keeps everyone on their appropriate side, but we’ll deal with that. Next man up. We’ve done [that] a lot this year.”
That last part is certainly true, as the Bruins have gotten to this point while having to deal with injuries to Connor Clifton and Chara, as well as a suspension to Charlie McAvoy, at various points this postseason. Kevan Miller, meanwhile, has missed the entire postseason (and is unlikely to return) due to a lower-body injury sustained in the final week of the regular season.
And Cassidy’s calls to the press box have worked to this date, too, with Clifton carving out a role for himself on the Black and Gold’s third pairing, Kampfer scoring a goal in his fill-in for the suspended McAvoy, and Moore putting up some big blocks.
Asked to play through an injury that’s clearly limited his overall productivity this postseason, Moore has appeared in five games this spring, with zero points, a minus-4 rating, and five blocked shots over that stretch.
“I hate to lose a guy, but if that ends up being the case, then one of [Kampfer or Moore] goes in,” said Cassidy.
(<bUpdate: Grzelcyk is officially day-to-day and in the concussion protocol.)