Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Mar 1, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) looks on during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Hours away from their fourth game of the campaign, and with their toughest test to date on deck with a head-to-head against the Kings set for Saturday night in Los Angeles, Jim Montgomery and the Bruins are making their first lineup change of the 2023-24 season.

And it’s not performance-related, but rather timeliness-related, with Jake DeBrusk set to sit as a healthy scratch after he was late to a team meeting.

Montgomery confirmed the decision following a morning skate that saw DeBrusk skate with Danton Heinen (still with the club on a pro tryout) as Boston’s extra bodies up front.

  • Montgomery’s decision to scratch DeBrusk could not come at a worse time for the club, all things considered, as the Bruins are still on the hunt for a stronger five-on-five punch from their top six, which has seen DeBrusk move from right to left and on two separate lines at this point.

    DeBrusk is also looking for a bit of his own success, too, as he’s still without a point to his name this year despite landing nine shots on goal (third-most on the team) this season.

    It’s also a crusher to the Bruins given DeBrusk’s success against the Kings, as the 27-year-old wing entered tonight’s game with three goals and seven points in eight head-to-heads with Los Angeles.

  • Sep 24, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) against the New York Rangers during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 24, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) against the New York Rangers during the first period at TD Garden. (Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports)

  • With DeBrusk slated to sit, the Bruins are expected to roll with a first line that’ll feature Milan Lucic in DeBrusk’s spot to the left of Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak.

    Lucic’s move from the fourth line to the first line will open the door for Patrick Brown, who has been Boston’s healthy scratch up front for the first three games of the season, to make his Bruins debut.

    A right-shooting forward who can play both center and wing, the 31-year-old Brown is coming off a 2022-23 season split between Philadelphia and Ottawa, and with Brown on the board for four goals and 12 points in 61 games. The former Boston College standout is a veteran of 138 NHL games since 2014-15, and has recorded 10 goals and 24 points over a career that’s included stops in Carolina, Vegas, Philadelphia, and Ottawa.

    Brown is set to skate to the right of Jakub Lauko and Johnny Beecher on Boston’s fourth line.

  • As for DeBrusk, the hope has to be that this is a one-and-done punishment for the talented wing, who absolutely needs to be Boston’s third-best wing behind Pastrnak and Brad Marchand if this team is going to have a shot at repeating last year’s success from a balanced scoring standpoint.

    DeBrusk is also entering the final year of a contract that comes with a $4 million cap hit.

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