Bruins

Report: Bruins sign veteran defenseman Postma to one-year deal

Report: Bruins sign veteran defenseman Postma to one-year deal

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said prior to the opening of NHL free agency that he’d be addressing the organizational depth on the right side of his defense. Sweeney followed through on Saturday by signing veteran D-man Paul Postma, 28, to a one-year $725,000 contract, according to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

“You have to look at – again, injuries happen and depth and where you are in the organization,” Sweeney said when asked at his Friday availability if he’d be looking to sign a right-shot D-man. “We do not, outside of the four players that exist on our current roster, we do not have another right shot defenseman under contract.

“So yeah, we do. We have to, we have to look for – do we feel that we have players on the left side that can go over and play on the right? Yeah, we do. Several of them will, and prefer it as a matter of fact. But, overall, you’d like to continue to maintain balance there.”

As Sweeney referenced, he’s got a bit of a surplus with Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy all ready to go as right-shot defensemen. But the overwhelming abundance of AHL prospects, including Robbie O’Gara, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakob Zboril, are all left-handed defensemen. That means the Bruins needed to shore up that situation before training camp arrives.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Postma played a career-high 65 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season with one goal and 14 points. He's played a total of 100 NHL games for the Jets the past six seasons. Clearly, Postma has shown some ability to play in the NHL but the expectation is that he’ll be playing a seventh defensemen role in Boston given the six established players already on the back end. 

This might also mean that the Bruins won't be getting a left-shot D-man during in the free agency period and will instead go into the season with the seven established players they currently have signed on the back end. That would mean either Torey Krug or Miller (swinging to the left side from his natural right side) could be playing top-four minutes again for the B's to start next season. 

Bruins announce that Patrice Bergeron will not play in Game 4

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File Photo

Bruins announce that Patrice Bergeron will not play in Game 4

TORONTO – The Bruins will need to take a pivotal Game 4 without their best player as Patrice Bergeron is out for Thursday night’s playoff game at the Air Canada Centre with an upper body injury. Bergeron will be day-to-day moving forward, but that’s not going to help the B’s as they lose one piece of a forward line that’s dominated the Maple Leafs through the first three games of the series.

It’s really not a great sign when the Bruins had two days off in Toronto between Game 3 and Game 4, and Bergeron still wasn’t able to give it a go on Thursday night. Instead it will be Riley Nash centering the top line between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and Tommy Wingels entering back into the lineup with No. 37 out of the lineup. There was a faint sign that something might be up with Bergeron when Riley Nash took some turns in his place at practice on Wednesday afternoon at Air Canada Centre, but no signal whatsoever that something was serious enough to keep him out of the lineup.

It goes without saying that the Bruins might be in big trouble if this Bergeron injury proves to be something that could cause him to miss multiple games in a best-of-seven series where the B’s currently hold a 2-1 lead. Bergeron had five assists and was a plus-4 rating in the first three games of the series with his line amassing 20 points in the first two games of the series.   

Here are the Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 based on pregame warm-ups at the Air Canada Centre:

 

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash

Heinen-Kuraly-Backes

Schaller-Acciari-Wingels

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

 

Rask

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Grzelcyk looks "good to go"; Rooney one of refs for Game 4

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File Photo

Grzelcyk looks "good to go"; Rooney one of refs for Game 4

TORONTO – It looks like Matt Grzelcyk will be making his return to the Bruins lineup after a one-game absence with a lower body injury.

The Bruins rookie D-man took part in an optional skate at the Air Canada Centre for the Black and Gold on Thursday morning, and will be playing provided he gets through the pregame warm-ups without any hitches. A healthy Grzelcyk will replace Nick Holden in the B’s lineup and give Boston that puck-moving, fast-skating D-man that can be pretty effective counteracting a speedy, aggressive Toronto fourth line that’s been pretty good in the series thus far.

“He’s out there [skating] now, so he should be good to go. Obviously, it will be warm-ups and a game-time decision, but I anticipate he’ll go in,” said Bruce Cassidy. “He’s complemented well by his partner, who is usually [Adam] McQuaid or [Kevan] Miller. So you get a duo where he’s able to transition the puck very well by himself, and get out of some piles with the D-zone coverage and make a good first pass.

“He can track down pucks before defenses get set or during a line change, he’s good at getting it up [the ice] and seeing who is available. He’s very low risk generally in his game, and he does some very good things at the O-zone blue line to keep plays alive for us.”

The return of Grzelcyk appears to be the only change to the Bruins lineup ahead of a pivotal Game 4 made a little more intriguing by the NHL’s selection of South Boston native Chris Rooney as one of tonight’s referees (along with Gord Dwyer). Rooney has always carried the well-worn reputation of a referee that goes extra-hard on the Bruins to prove there isn’t a bias toward the hometown team, and the Bruins have a 7-9 record over the last three seasons in games officiated by Rooney. It’s not a main reason for the Bruins to either win or lose the game, but certainly something to keep an eye on as things unfold tonight in Toronto.

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Maple Leafs in Game 4 based on morning skate:  

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Rask

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE