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Boston Bruins

The Bruins beat the Blue Jackets in overtime on Monday night, but the win came at a cost after a physical, intense battle.

Wingers David Pastrnak and Trent Frederic exited Monday’s game early with injuries, and Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed after practice that they’ll be out Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Based on the latest practice lines, Curtis Lazar will also come out of the lineup.

The obvious concern is with Pastrnak, who has 38 goals and 71 points in 69 games. Cassidy told reporters Tuesday that it’s possible Pastrnak aggravated an injury suffered on March 18 against the Winnipeg Jets, but either way, it sounds like a short-term issue.

“It might be that he hasn’t completely healed,” Cassidy said. “I don’t think it’s long-term, but we’ll put him as day-to-day.”

Frederic, meanwhile, left with what the team described as an upper-body injury and did not return.

Tomas Nosek is projected to replace Pastrnak on the Bruins’ second-line right wing spot, while Nick Foligno will slide up a spot to replace Frederic at left wing on the third line. The Bruins will then feature a brand-new fourth line with Anton Blidh, Jack Studnicka, and newcomer Marc McLaughlin.

Here are the projected lines and defensive pairings for Tuesday night at Detroit:

Offense
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – Tomas Nosek
Nick Foligno – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Anton Blidh – Jack Studnicka – Marc McLaughlin

Defense
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Mike Reilly

McLaughlin slides back into the Bruins’ active lineup for his second career NHL game. He scored a goal and logged one hit in 13:08 of ice time against the Devils in his NHL debut on March 31. His heavy game seems like a solid fit for the fourth line, but the trio of Blidh, Studnicka and McLaughlin have also never played together in a game, so we’ll see how sharp they are as a unit.

The Bruins take on the Red Wings at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena. You can get the call of the game on 98.5 The Sports Hub, starting with pregame coverage at 7.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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 and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.


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Is it time for the Bruins to go preventative with David Pastrnak?

  • Mar 3, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) deflects the puck towards the Vegas Golden Knights zone during the second period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 3, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) deflects the puck towards the Vegas Golden Knights zone during the second period at T-Mobile Arena. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports)

    Do we have some more terrible Marchand discourse on the way?

    If you had an issue with Brad Marchand’s hit on Andrew Peeke, I truly do not know what to tell you.

    To be absolutely clear, I hate slow-motion GIFs being used as judgements for hits. (I still love Conor Ryan and you should subscribe to the BSJ for his Bruins coverage, but this is just my personal stance.) Slow-mo GIF replays of hits are borderline disinformation, really. While the slowed-down speed is designed to give the viewer the best angle possible, people tend to use it to try to determine intent on a play that went down at approximately 25 miles per hour. It’s just not the best way to view it.

    But slow it down, speed it up, and there’s nothing wrong with what Marchand did on this hit. Not a thing. There’s a loose puck and Peeke is making the decision to activate deeper into the offensive zone to make a potential scoring play on the puck. Every single defenseman who has ever made this decision at any level of hockey should be aware of the risk that comes with that. This is one area of the rink where you absolutely should expect a hit to come your way. There’s a price that’s often paid with those plays, even if it’s timed perfectly. Peeke paid the price to make a play, and it didn’t work out for him, as he took a heavy hit and helped spark Jake DeBrusk the other way for a breakaway goal as he struggled to get back to his feet.

    Scream suspension as loud as you’d like, and there’s still nothing there.

    I think our pal Mike From Woburn has summed it up best when referring to these people who do nothing but scream for suspensions as “Player Safety Fetishists.” It’s probably the closest thing hockey has to the proverbial internet mob. (Wait, it definitely is.) They don’t actually care about improving the game or the concept of player safety as a whole, they just have a fetish for playing judge, jury, and executioner. It seems a bit like rooting for the Death Star sometimes. Big time ‘suspend me harder, Parros!’ vibes from those weirdos.

    And with Marchand, I’m sure the hyperbole is on another level.

  • Apr 4, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) plays the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 4, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) plays the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first period at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

    Linus Ullmark is heating up for the Bruins

    I think the bellyaching about Linus Ullmark has always been a tad over the top this season. I do believe he’s very much what a $5 million NHL goaltender is in 2022. If he were any better or more consistent, he would cost more than $5 million. And I think he’s already proved worth the money for 2021-22 with his two-month or so run that helped keep the B’s afloat while Swayman found his game. We can argue over that if we want, but I have an extremely limited interest in that debate.

    Because at the end of the day, the most important thing to note when it comes to Ullmark is that the Bruins have benefitted from the fact that they’ve yet to experience a stretch where both goalies were in the tank at the same time.

    With Swayman going through a slight (stressing the slight, so don’t freak out) dip in terms of his raw numbers and eye-test figures, which was bound to happen given how strong he performed upon his return to the NHL), Ullmark has provided the Bruins with some solid play. With a 5-0-0 record and .931 save percentage in six appearances since Mar. 15, Ullmark’s .931 save percentage actually ranks fourth-best among all NHL goaltenders over that span, and his 1.69 goals against average over that spell is second to only the Avalanche’s Darcy Kuemper (1.67) among goaltenders with at least five appearances.

    On the year, Ullmark is up to 22 wins in 33 decisions, and has certainly helped put the Bruins in this position as a viable threat with two fresh-but-not-exhausted goalies approaching a cramped schedule to close out the season and with seeding on the line.

  • Apr 4, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) makes a save in net against Boston Bruins center Curtis Lazar (20) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 4, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) makes a save in net against Boston Bruins center Curtis Lazar (20) in the third period at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

    The Junk Drawer

    • More home-and-homes, please. Because these teams hate each other by the second game. I mean, honestly, anything to spice up a regular season game is A-OK in my book. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Gimme more games against division and conference foes. I’d happily sacrifice seeing each non-conference at both home and road to make this happen. I absolutely know that’s easy for me, a Bruins person living in Massachusetts, to say, and I apologize to my displaced New England friends. I just miss divisions and conferences actually meaning something.
    • Defenseman Josh Brown drew back into action for the Bruins on Monday night. Brown suffered an upper-body injury last Thursday against the Devils and missed last Saturday’s meeting with the Jackets at TD Garden. The 6-foot-5 Brown finished Monday’s game with two hits and two blocked shots in 14:59 of time on ice.
    • One thing I don’t understand about moving: Where did all these shirts come from? I wear the same 15 shirts in an endless rotation. How did I come into possession of so many shirts? Someone take these shirts. (No, not the Jaromir Jagr one. I’m keeping that one.)
    • I’m curious how Taylor Hall would perform in a fastest skater competition.
    • Random Blue Jacket: Pascal Leclaire. Remember how Brady Anderson had that one year where he ate all his vegetables and hit like 50 home runs out of nowhere? Leclaire was basically that but in net. In 2007-08, Leclaire won 24 games and posted nine shutouts in 54 games for Columbus. He would go on to win just 20 games and record a staggering zero shutouts over the three seasons that followed before he was out of the league. Injuries proved to be a major obstacle.
    • This is actually just the second time that the Bruins have swept the season series with the Blue Jackets since they moved to the Eastern Conference in 2013. The first and only other time came back in 2013-14.

NEXT: Bruins lose two forwards in win over Blue Jackets