Bruins

Brad Marchand forced out of game with injury, Bruins expect 'it's not anything serious'

Brad Marchand forced out of game with injury, Bruins expect 'it's not anything serious'

The one thing the Bruins had to be hoping for was to remain injury-free coming out of their one exhibition game after staying healthy through the last three weeks of practices.

That might not be the case unfortunately as Brad Marchand was forced to exit in the third period of Thursday night’s 3-1 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Arena in the Toronto Bubble.

Marchand was on a penalty kill shift when he appeared to suffer some kind of lower-body injury and then immediately headed back to the Bruins dressing room once he was able to get off the ice. It was unclear whether it was related to an awkward tumble he took while putting a hit on Zach Werenski in the corner, or if it was a lower-body pulled muscle while quickly trying to change directions during the penalty kill.

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“He left [the game],” said Bruce Cassidy. “I don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll have a better idea obviously in the morning.”

Certainly, the Bruins are hoping it’s not serious, but there may not be much of an update on Friday with the Bruins scheduled to have a day off the ice. Either way, Marchand didn’t return to the game and ended up having a rough night all-around as he finished with no shots on net, a couple of giveaways and a penalty in 13:55 of ice time in the exhibition loss.

Anders Bjork and Karson Kuhlman skated shifts at left wing in Marchand’s absence for the remainder of the third period. Clearly, the Bruins are hoping it’s not a very serious injury situation with Marchand given that the round-robin games begin Sunday for the Black and Gold, but the good news is they have more than a week to heal up prior to actual Stanley Cup Playoff games waiting in the balance for Marchand and the top-seeded B’s.

Stanley Cup playoff schedule 2020: Dates, Times, TV Channel, scores for every game

Stanley Cup playoff schedule 2020: Dates, Times, TV Channel, scores for every game

The start of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs is just a few days away.

The NHL's round robin and qualifying round series concluded Sunday, setting up all eight of the first round matchups. 

The qualifying round was full of surprises. Four of the eight series resulted in upsets, including the No. 12 seeds in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference winning their matchups against the No. 5 seeds. 

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The round robin didn't lack unexpected results, either. The Boston Bruins won the Presidents' Trophy with the league's best record in the regular season, but they finished at the bottom of the East's round robin standings after three consecutive losses. The defending champion St. Louis Blues had the best record in the West during the regular season and also struggled in the round robin with a fourth-place finish (1-2-1 record).

Could we see a first-round upset involving one or both of last season's Stanley Cup finalists? Anything is possible in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here's the television schedule for every first-round series. Check back to this article each day for updated schedules and scores for all games (all times ET).

EASTERN CONFERENCE
FIRST ROUND

Philadelphia Flyers (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (12)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m -- MTL at PHI (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. -- MTL at PHI (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. -- PHI at MTL (NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. -- PHI at MTL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- MTL at PHI (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- MTL at PHI (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- MTL at PHI (TBD)

Tampa Bay Lightning (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9)
Game 1: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (5OT)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 3 p.m. -- CBJ at TBL (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. -- TBL at CBJ (NBCSN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. -- TBL at CBJ (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- CBJ at TBL (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- TBL at CBJ (TBD)
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- CBJ at TBL (TBD)

Washington Capitals (3) vs. New York Islanders (7)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 3 p.m. -- NYI at WSH (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. -- NYI at WSH (NBCSN, FX-CA, TVAS)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12 p.m. -- WSH at NYI (USA, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. -- WSH at NYI (NBCSN)
Game 5*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- NYI at WSH (TBD)
Game 6*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- WSH at NYI (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- NYI at WSH (TBD)

Boston Bruins (4) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (6)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. -- CAR at BOS (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. -- CAR at BOS (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 12 p.m. -- BOS at CAR (NBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. -- BOS at CAR (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- CAR at BOS (TBD)
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- BOS at CAR (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- CAR at BOS (TBD)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
FIRST ROUND

Vegas Golden Knights (1) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (12)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 10:30 p.m. -- CHI at VGK (NBCSN, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. -- CHI at VGK (NBCSN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. -- VGK at CHI (NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 6:30 p.m. -- VGK at CHI (NBCSN, SN1, SN360)
Game 5*: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at TBD -- CHI at VGK (TBD)
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- VGK at CHI (TBD)
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- CHI at VGK (TBD)

Colorado Avalanche (2) vs. Arizona Coyotes (11)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m. -- ARI at COL (NBCSN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. -- ARI at COL (NHLN, SN360, TVAS)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. -- COL at ARI (CNBC, SN360, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m. -- COL at ARI (NBCSN, FX-CA, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- ARI at COL (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- COL at ARI (TBD)
Game 7: *Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- ARI at COL (TBD)

Dallas Stars (3) vs. Calgary Flames (8)
Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 5:30 p.m. -- CGY at DAL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 10:30 p.m. -- CGY at DAL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 14 at 10:30 p.m. -- DAL at CGY (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. -- DAL at CGY (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Tuesday, Aug. 18 at TBD -- CGY at DAL(TBD)
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD -- DAL at CGY (TBD)
Game 7*: Saturday, Aug. 22 at TBD -- CGY at DAL (TBD)

St. Louis Blues (4) vs. Vancouver Canucks (7)
Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 10:30 p.m. -- VAN at STL (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. -- VAN at STL (NHLN, SN, TVAS)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 at 10:30 p.m. -- STL at VAN (CNBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 10:30 p.m. -- STL at VAN (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD -- VAN at STL (TBD)
Game 6*: Friday, Aug. 21 at TBD -- STL at VAN (TBD)
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD -- VAN at STL (TBD)

*If necessary

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Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy: 'We're disappointed we didn't get to play tonight'

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy: 'We're disappointed we didn't get to play tonight'

The Bruins knew going into this 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs that they were going to need to expect the unexpected, and they will get to live that reality right off the bat.

The Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes were forced to postpone their Game 1 scheduled for Tuesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning/Columbus Blue Jackets game went to quintuple overtime before the two teams decided a winner six plus hours after they had dropped the puck. It was an epic game between the Bolts and the Blue Jackets that ended with Brayden Point winning it for Tampa Bay, and it pushed the Bruins and Hurricanes back to 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

The move will push the B’s and Hurricanes into back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday for the first two games of the best-of-seven series and provide the very unusual scenario of morning playoff hockey. Certainly, it will be unusual from the norm at Stanley Cup Playoff time, but in Bruce Cassidy’s estimation it wouldn’t have been fair to have an opening puck drop around 11 p.m. with ice already chewed up after over six hours of playoff hockey.

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“It’s obviously strange to wait that long and then learn that you may or may not play,” said Cassidy. “Then you ask [yourself] if it’s going to be productive to start playing at 10 at night and whether it’s going to be safe for the players. As a coach, you’re just thinking about how you’re going to prepare your players after they’ve been sitting for that long.

“The way this tournament is going, you kind of have to live with the scheduling including practice times and pregame skates not going the way that you’re accustomed to them."

Pushing through and playing the game no matter what Tuesday night wouldn’t have been the safest setting for the players, and it wouldn’t really have been fair in these most unusual of times. Given that the NHL crews need approximately 90 minutes between games to clean and disinfect at the bubble arenas, this might not be the last time this kind of thing happens in the first few rounds of the postseason.

“We want to play. Coming out of the round robin, we feel this is what we were getting ready for all season to be honest with you. It wasn’t just last week. We started in October building our game toward having another playoff run,” said Cassidy. “We put that out there openly and called it unfinished business. Now we’ve done the prep work over the last 10 days and the two weeks before that [in training camp] at Warrior, and we need to get going.

“It’s 16 teams, four rounds of seven game series…it’s your traditional playoffs. We’re disappointed we didn’t get to play tonight, but once the night drags on players start [asking] ‘are we going to play?’ and ‘Is this going to be happening?’ I think at 11 a.m. I think we’ll have the same emotion [on Wednesday]. I really believe that.”

So now everybody can get ready for two straight days of Bruins playoff hockey on Wednesday and Thursday, and another bizarre set of circumstances that the NHL is actively working through while trying to keep things as normal, and as fair, as humanly possible.