By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Over two weeks since Oskar Sundqvist boarded him out of action by way of a concussion, Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk has been cleared and is expected to play in tonight's winner-take-all Game 7, according to Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.
“Grzlecyk got cleared yesterday, so he’ll be a game-time decision, but looks like he’ll go in," Cassidy said.
The word from Cassidy comes as a bit of a surprise, as Grzelcyk once again donned a no-contact jersey during Tuesday's practice at TD Garden, and seemed like a bit of a long shot to get healthy enough to rejoin the lineup because of that, as well as the Black and Gold's rather limited (real) practice schedule at this point in the season.
It seemed especially unlikely when Grzelcyk practiced but was not given the green light from doctors before both Game 5 and Game 6 of this series, but Grzelcyk says he's as good as can be for the B's right now.
“I feel really good right now, and obviously they wouldn’t clear me if they didn’t think I was 100 percent," said Grzelcyk.
Grzelcyk's gain will be rookie Connor Clifton's loss, though, as the first-year NHLer is the expected scratch should Grzelcyk suit up for his first game action since Game 2.
"[Connor] Clifton would probably come out," said Cassidy. "We’ve kind of discussed that internally about all three options — with John Moore in that mix — but that’s how it’s shaping up, but I guess we’ll see at puck-drop how Matt is."
The 5-foot-9 Grzelcyk has three goals, seven points, and has averaged 16:22 per night in 19 playoff games this spring.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.