The Boston Bruins fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 in Game Three of their First Round Series. The team practiced at Air Canada Centre Wednesday ahead of Game Four on Thursday.
Following their Game Three loss Monday night, Bruce Cassidy gave his team Tuesday off before returning to the ice for practice Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Game Four in Toronto. When the Boston Bruins stepped on the ice today they received some positive news: Matt Grzelcyk was back and a full participant at that.
Cassidy spoke on his defenseman’s potential return after practice.
"We’ll see how he is going forward. He made it through practice today, there’s a good chance he’ll play tomorrow."
Grzelcyk, who missed Game Three with a lower body injury sustained some time during Game Two, also spoke to the media after practice, where it sounded like he was eager to get back on the ice.
"You never want to sit out of a game and watch, it sucks. You never want to be on the sidelines, I feel like I watched a few too many games in college my last two years. Hopefully I won’t have to watch too many more."
If Grzelcyk is able to return for Game Four Thursday, it will most likely be Nick Holden who will be the odd man out. That will give the Bruins their same six defensemen from the first two games of the series, both of which they won.
Just an Off Night?
Even with how impressive the Bruins looked in the first two games, especially the first line (20 combined points between Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak) it should not come as a surprise that the Maple Leafs were able to slow down the Bruins and get right back in the series. Lets not forget that less than a week ago, the Bruins had only topped Toronto once in the past two seasons.
What did surprise me however was that it was the line combination of aging veterans Patrick Marleau (38), Tomas Plekanec (35) and youngster Mitch Marner (20), that gave the Bruins top line fits. It was a huge bounce back for Marner, who the Bruins made their priority to make a non-factor in the first two games of the series. Even with Plekanec’s long history of playoff battles against the Bruins and Bergeron specifically, ( Four different playoff series against Boston in 11 years with Montreal) I don’t think this is a trend that will continue as the series progresses.
All the bounces that the Bruins got in the first two games of this series they flat out didn’t get in Game Three. From Krejci whiffing on a one timer pass from Jake DeBrusk to David Pastrnak and Rick Nash both hitting the post on great scoring chances, I would expect Boston to come out motivated on Thursday.
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Rick Nash
Heinen – Riley Nash – Backes
Schaller – Kuraly – Acciari
Donato – Gionta – Wingels
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Miller
Grzelcyk/Holden – McQuaid