By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The hits just keep on coming for the Boston Bruins, who suffered both a defeat and an in-game loss of a skater for the second straight game Monday with the departure of defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in the third period of a 1-0 loss to the Islanders.
Tied up with the Isles’ Jordan Eberle in pursuit of a loose puck, it appeared that the 5-foot-9 Grzelcyk, called for interference on the play, was hauled down by Eberle’s grip on his shoulder.
Matt Grzelcyk heads to the room after getting tied up with Jordan Eberle. Not good. pic.twitter.com/2ljVDgJONJ— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 19, 2021
Grzelcyk immediately went to the B’s locker room after the whistle, and did not return to action by the game’s end. And Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who admitted that he did not speak with the medical team prior to making his way to his postgame press conference, did not have an update on Grzelcyk after the loss.
In the first year of a four-year, $14.75 million deal signed after Torey Krug’s departure, Grzelcyk has come out of the gate as a fit with Brandon Carlo on the B’s second pairing, and has one assist and 11 shots on goal through three games.
With Grzelcyk out, the Bruins were forced to lean heavily on young defensemen Jeremy Lauzon (a team-high seven hits in 22:58 of time on ice) and Jakub Zboril (18:14 of action).
“I thought they both had a real strong game,” Cassidy said of his younger left-side defenders. “I thought [Lauzon] played hard, lots of hit, trying to move the puck efficiently. I thought [Zboril] carried the puck through the neutral zone, good first pass, just gotta translate into some offense for him. I’ve liked his game.”
If Grzelcyk remains out of action, the Bruins will likely turn to veteran John Moore as the next man up. A left shot like Grzelcyk, the 30-year-old Moore, totaled one goal and three points in 24 games last season. The Bruins also have Connor Clifton on their backend, and Urho Vaakanainen remains an option on the B’s taxi squad.
The Bruins will be off on Tuesday before beginning preparation for Thursday’s home opener against the Flyers.
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.