The Boston Bruins were right back to business Friday, hitting the ice for practice to prepare for Game Two of their First Round Series. They defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game One Thursday Night.
The Boston Bruins put the rest of the league on notice with an impressive 5-1 victory in Game One against Toronto. That being said, the win did not come with out some bad news however, as forward Tommy Wingels missed practice Friday after taking a dirty hit from Maple Leaf forward Nazem Kadri.
Head Coach Bruce Cassidy had the following to say on Wingels after practice Friday morning:
"Wingels will be evaluated by doctors today. Obviously not on the ice for that reason. Tomorrow will be a better read on him, I’d put him as questionable for now. I wouldn’t rule him out, but we’ll know more in the morning."
Next Man Up
With Wingels status for Game Two now in question, the coaching staff will be looking at potential replacements for him in the lineup. The three forwards who did not suit up in Game One are Brian Gionta, Ryan Donato, and Riley Nash, the latter of whom has been rehabbing an ear laceration suffered a few games back.
If all three are healthy and available, Nash would ultimately be the top choice. After all he spent the majority of the season as the third line center, and Cassidy has said that role is his when he’s able to return.
Riley Nash Return Looming
Nash skated again Friday morning, albeit not during rushes with the rest of the team, he spoke to the media after practice for the first time since suffering the injury.
"I feel good. It’s nice to get back out there with the guys and actually feel like you’re a part of the team again. Today was a good day. I don’t know if it was a concussion or it wasn’t. Obviously, taking a puck to the side of the skull like that isn’t going to feel great. I don’t know if it was just a little bit of swelling that was causing those symptoms or not."
While the thought of having a key player back in the mix is exciting, Cassidy pumped the breaks on the potential return in game two, saying that although Nash is coming along nicely, he’s doubtful for Saturday night.
With both Wingels and Nash potentially out in Game Two, the next man up is rookie forward Ryan Donato. After facing questions all week about when the rookie would see game action, it looks like it could come as soon as Saturday night. Donato skated on the third line alongside Noel Acciari and David Backes Friday morning.
Donato being in caused some shuffling, resulting in Danton Heinen skating on the fourth line wing next to Sean Kuraly and Tim Schaller. According to Cassidy the line combinations were a result of wanting Donato to play on the Left Wing, where as Heinen can play on either side. He did add however that Gionta is a right wing, so it’s not a lock that Donato is the next man up.
Friday Practice Lines
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Rick Nash
Donato – Acciari – Backes
Schaller – Kuraly – Heinen
Gionta – Riley Nash
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Mille
Grzelcyk – McQuaid/Holden