The Boston Bruins Will Have a Different Looking Lineup Against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday
After suffering a loss in a must-win game against the Ottawa Senators, the Boston Bruins are making changes. The changes may not be directly related to the loss, but various factors certainly make up the decision. The first factor comes with Ryan Spooner’s injury and absence from the lineup. The second factor is Peter Cehlarik getting a night off. The third might be a result of the Bruins wanting to give Drew Stafford some increased ice time.
When the Bruins practiced Wednesday morning, the forward lines were as follows:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes
Drew Stafford – David Krejci – David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano – Austin Czarnik – Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore- Riley Nash
Let’s break the changes down.
Ryan Spooner Out With Concussion
The Bruins needed to find a replacement for Spooner after the young center suffered a concussion against the Senators. As mentioned on the team’s official website, Spooner suffered a concussion and would be sidelined indefinitely.
With that in mind, the Bruins decided to slot Austin Czarnik back into the lineup. Czarnik was assigned to the AHL a week ago on a conditioning stint. The 24-year-old center was placed on the injured reserve on Feb. 7 with a lower-body injury and finally looks ready to return to the lineup. With five goals and 13 points in 47 games with the Bruins this season, Czarnik has seen the typical struggles that rookies usually deal with. At times, though, he’s shown why he has excelled so well at the AHL level.
Spooner has scored 11 goal and 34 points in 65 games this season with Boston. He’s skated in his natural center position, as well as in a left wing role in that time. It’s unclear how long Spooner will be out, but the Bruins deep depth at center will make this stretch easier to manage.
Jimmy Hayes Back in the Lineup
Hayes will slot back into the Bruins lineup on the team’s third line in Spooner’s absence. The role has been filled by the newly-acquired Stafford as of late, but with Cehlarik also getting a night off, Hayes is checking back in. This season has been a disappointing one for the 6-foot-5 forward, scoring just two goal and five points in 49 games this year.
Hayes last point came back on Feb 19 against the San Jose Sharks, and he’s recorded only two points in his last 20 games. His last goal came back on Dec. 18, 2016, in a game against the Los Angeles Kings. It’s not hard to see why Bruins’ fans have been frustrated with the large winger since being acquired ahead of the 2015-16 season. While he has a chance to show why he deserves consistent ice time once again, he will need to make the best of the opportunity if he plans on remaining in the lineup.
Night Off for Cehlarik, Stafford Getting a Look
As Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe mentioned, the Bruins appear to be giving Cehlarik the night off.Cehlarik has played in 10 games with the Bruins this season. While he’s looked good, he could use a game in the press box to gain some perspective. After scoring two assists in his second game with the team, Cehlarik has been held pointless in his following eight. While he looks to have a very bright future in the NHL, the Bruins need to win games now and need to balance the developing aspect of the game with the hunt for the playoffs.
Fortunately, the Bruins have a left-shot winger with a scoring touch who can fill in for Cehlarik. David Krejci has had a rough stretch as of late after seeming to find his stride. Putting an experienced winger alongside him could benefit him, Stafford and the Bruins in general as they look to win games down the stretch.
The Detroit Red Wings have had a bad year. If the Bruins really want to make the postseason, they’ll need to win this game. Winning against teams at the bottom of the standings has proved trying for Boston this season, but winning this divisional game could be key moving forward.