Tonight is Game One of the First Round match-up between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. Wednesday was the last official team practice for the Bruins before the team begins its quest for the Stanley Cup.
Boston Bruins Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk spoke to reports Wednesday afternoon at the Warrior Ice Arena following practice. He went into detail on how the leaders in the room, most notably captain Zdeno Chara and alternate captain Patrice Bergeron have set the tone for the team as they prepare for the Playoffs to begin.
"“I think they’ve been a lot more vocal recently the past few days, making sure they use their experience as much as they can. Trying to help us out, so obviously that’s greatly appreciated, we’re going to take anything they seriously. They have those experiences, and they’ve won the ultimate prize, so it’s great to have them around.”"
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Grzelcyk, is one of four skaters on the roster who have zero NHL Playoff Games under their belt (the others being Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato). It comes as no surprise that they would look too Chara and Bergeron, as if they needed another reason, along with the other players who have been to the top of the NHL-Mountain for advice as they get ready to embark on what many are hoping is a deep run this spring.
Relying on AHL Days
That’s not to say Grzelcyk, has no professional playoff experience however. He, along with Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen all help lead the Providence Bruins to the Third Round of the Calder Cup playoffs in the NHL a year ago. Grzelcyk said that he and the others can use that experience to their benefit.
"“I never really experienced something quite like that. To have us go three rounds, I think that was huge for all of us who we’re down in Providence last year. That’s something we can put in our back pocket. It’s different now being up in the NHL, but you kinda know the ins and outs of what you need to do off the ice and stuff like that.”"
Game One Lineup Takes Shape
Bruce Cassidy stated on Wednesday that Riley Nash (Ear) will not be suiting up for Game One Thursday night. Nash did not skate on Wednesday, however, he will skate Thursday morning. Cassidy said there is potential for him to return to the lineup for Game Two Saturday Night.
Noel Acciari returned to practice after missing Tuesday for maintenance. He slotted in on the third line, centering David Backes and Danton Heinen. This forced Brian Gionta out of the top 12 forwards, and he and Ryan Donato will be healthy scratches on Thursday.
Projected Game One Lineup
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Rick Nash
Heinen – Acciari – Backes
Schaller – Kuraly – Wingels
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Miller
Grzelcyk – McQuaid