After icing mostly prospects and minor leaguers through their first two preseason contests, the Bruins are going with what feels like an almost complete NHL roster for Thursday’s head-to-head with the Flyers at TD Garden.
Up front, the Bruins will roll with Patrice Bergeron, Jake DeBrusk, Nick Foligno, Trent Frederic, Taylor Hall, Erik Haula, Cam Hughes, Karson Kuhlman, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Craig Smith and Jack Studnicka.
Some of the line groupings you’ll see in this one are obvious, too.
Behind the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line, the Bruins will ride with a second line featuring Jack Studnicka between Taylor Hall and Craig Smith. That’s been the B’s second line throughout camp with Charlie Coyle recovering from offseason knee surgeries, and this will be Studnicka’s chance to build off what was a strong showing in a losing effort on Tuesday night.
Boston will also get their first in-game look at the potential third line with Jake DeBrusk to the left of Erik Haula and Nick Foligno. DeBrusk and Haula looked solid in Sunday’s preseason opener, while this will be the preseason debut for the 33-year-old Foligno, who can and has already played in a variety of roles and situations for the Bruins in training camp.
“We put them all on the lines that they’re comfortable with and then we may mix and match as we go,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday morning. “There’s not a ton of time.”
On the backend, it will be Brandon Carlo, Connor Clifton, Derek Forbort, Brady Lyle, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, Mike Reilly and Jakub Zboril. This will likely give us our first look at the Bruins’ current projected top pairing with the big-bodied Derek Forbort to the left of No. 1 defenseman and Norris Trophy hopeful Charlie McAvoy.
And in net, the B’s are expected to split the game between Troy Grosenick and Jeremy Swayman.
Tonight’s game can be seen on TNT and heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
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.