By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Help is indeed on the way for the surging Bruins, with both winger Jake DeBrusk and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk both on the ice with the B’s main group for Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
In the case of DeBrusk, who has been out of action since suffering a lower-body injury on a Sidney Crosby hip check in a Jan. 26 meeting with the Penguins, his return to a zero-limitation practice came with No. 74 moved back to his natural left wing on a third line with Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork. This is after DeBrusk started the year with David Krejci and then spent four games playing his off wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Boston’s top line.
According to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, DeBrusk’s move to Coyle’s line has just as much to do with the Bruins looking to spread the five-on-five scoring wealth as best as they can as it does integrating DeBrusk back into the lineup.
It’s not a completely foreign union for DeBrusk either, with the Bruins posting an even scoring line (11 goals for, 11 goals against) in almost 312 minutes of five-on-five time with DeBrusk and Coyle together in 2019-20.
“I played with [Coyle] a little bit toward the end of last year and kind of have a familiarity with him,” DeBrusk, who has just assist and nine shots on goal in six games this year, noted. “I’m excited to just get back on the ice no matter who I’m with.”
On the backend, Grzelcyk returned to his normal spot opposite Brandon Carlo on Boston’s second pairing.
It’s been a terrible luck start for Grzelcyk, really, with the 5-foot-9 defender suffering an injury in three of five appearances this season, including a new lower-body injury in his Jan. 28 meeting with Pittsburgh.
“I was just trying to do as much as I could without having any sort of setbacks,” Grzelcyk said of his ramp-up before rejoining the team in full on Monday. “Feeling really good physically. Got a good practice in. We’ll see how it goes.”
Grzelcyk, who has three assists this season, also noted that he expects to return to action Wednesday against the Rangers.
In other injury news, Bruins forward Jack Studnicka was also back on ice, albeit in a non-contact jersey, with his teammates Monday. Studnicka has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury.
The Bruins will head to New York with victories in three straight (as well as an eight-game point streak dating back to their first home game of the 2021 season), and a 4-1-2 road record overall in 2021.