Looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, the Bruins are giving their forward group a shake ahead of the team’s head-to-head with the Senators.
A big change will come on the third line, with winger Trent Frederic set to sit as a healthy scratch.
The move back to the press box for Frederic comes following a Tuesday game that saw Frederic take a bad and needless penalty against the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko. The penalty certainly gave the Blues some life, too, as they scored the game’s next three goals on the way to a 4-2 victory over the Bruins. But this benching is about more than one penalty, according to Bruce Cassidy.
“I know there will be questions about that, but it wasn’t one incident,” Cassidy said of benching Frederic. “We talked in Tampa. His game was slipping a bit [with] his details. So, I’m trying to give him a chance to work out of it.
“He’s been a good player for us [and] he’s helped that line, but that’s the decision today.”
(Click here to subscribe to the Sports Hub Underground podcast.)
With Frederic out, Tomas Nosek will move to the left side of Boston’s third line with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith. It’s been 41 games and counting since Nosek last found the back of the net, and the Bruins aren’t relying on Nosek to solve that line’s issues.
“Coyle and Smitty have been around a long time [and] they’re the guys that make that line go,” Cassidy acknowledged.
Nosek’s promotion will come with Marc McLaughlin moving to his natural center position between Nick Foligno and Curtis Lazar on the Black and Gold’s fourth line.
McLaughlin’s move to the middle will open up a spot on the right side of Boston’s second line, and with David Pastrnak still out of action, it will be Jesper Froden who gets the call with Erik Haula and Taylor Hall.
“I went with Froden because I saw him on our Western trip and I thought he made plays off the rush as well as anybody that’s been in that role,” Cassidy said. “I think that’s a bit of what Hall and Haula are used to with [Pastrnak].”
Froden, who has totaled 16 goals and 34 points in 49 AHL games this season, has appeared in five games with the Big B’s this year, with six shots, six hits, and five blocked shots. Froden last appeared in an NHL game back on Mar. 3 in Vegas.
Beyond the forward grouping, the Bruins expect Matt Grzelcyk to rejoin the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game. Brandon Carlo and Hampus Lindholm will remain out of action.
Linus Ullmark will get the start in net for the Bruins.
The Bruins come into play with a 3-0-0 record against Ottawa in 2021-22, as well as six straight home wins over the Sens and wins in 13 of their last 14 head-to-heads with the Sens overall dating back to Dec. 2017.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. 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.