By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy shed light on how the lineup may look in a do-or-die Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a video conference on Monday.
Fourth-line winger Chris Wagner has already been ruled out for Game 5. That leaves an opening for Karson Kuhlman to slot next to Joakim Nordstrom and either Par Lindholm or Sean Kuraly. The latter skated Monday morning, along with Nick Ritchie, and both are game-time decisions.
Based on Cassidy’s comments, Anders Bjork would be the one to replace Nick Ritchie on the left wing if the latter is unable to go. On the right side, it’s ostensibly Jack Studnicka who’s expected to step in for Wagner.
“Again, we’re not completely ruling [Kuraly or Ritchie] out but that is the practice lines we had yesterday and on D would be the same,” said Cassidy. “Halak was out this morning getting some work so we’re all good there.”
So, assuming nothing changes, here’s how to project the Bruins’ forward lines for Game 5:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie/Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Jack Studnicka
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly/Par Lindholm – Karson Kuhlman
Based on how Ritchie has performed since shoveling manure under the goalie’s ass for a goal in Game 2, it may be a welcome sight to take him out of the lineup at this point. Bjork has not played his best hockey to this point, either, but maybe the time off has helped him refocus.
Whoever’s out there, they need everyone on their A-game, because without that they have no chance against a clearly superior Tampa team.
Matt Dolloff 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 Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.