By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
One day after being deemed “unfit to participate” in Friday’s session, Bruins centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, as well as goaltender Jaroslav Halak, were on the ice for Saturday’s practice in the Toronto bubble.
In other words, it was a rare skate with perfect attendance for Boston’s (likely) playoff lineup.
That saw Ondrej Kase on the right side of Boston’s second line with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci behind the Bergeron Line, Nick Ritchie moved down to a third line with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork, and Sean Kuraly between Joakim Nordstrom and Chris Wagner. (This means that Par Lindholm and Karson Kuhlman are the expected scratches up front.)
Everything remained the same on the backend, too, with Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy skating as the top defensive pairing, with the Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk-Jeremy Lauzon combos behind them. It is worth noting that Connor Clifton will sub in for Grzelcyk on the Black and Gold’s bottom pair on Sunday, however, as the Bruins want to get every player on their NHL roster at least one game before things get real next week.
It’s exactly what you wanted to see one day before the B’s playoff opponent-deciding contest with the Capitals, though Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t exactly expecting either team to approach this contest with a balls-to-the-wall mindset.
“I think you’ll see more energy tomorrow, but I also think you could see pockets of the game for both teams where it’s like, ‘Hey, you know, the real stuff starts Tuesday or Wednesday. We have to be a little bit careful,'” Cassidy said after Saturday’s skate. “Hopefully it’s not for long stretches and only the odd shift here or there. But I still think you’ll see some of that built in or baked into the game tomorrow from both teams at times.”
With a win of any sort, the Bruins will lock themselves into a first-round showdown with the Islanders. A loss would lock the Bruins into the No. 4 seed in the East, drawing them a first-round date with the Hurricanes.
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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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.