The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues are just a day away from the start of the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins had their final practice before the Cup on Sunday and there was a notable absence.
On eve of Game 1, Brad Marchand wasn't at Bruins practice. According to the Bruins' official Twitter account, Marchand wasn't on the ice for the session and rookie Karson Kuhlman took Marchand's normal place on the first line.
Brad Marchand is not on the ice for practice. Line rushes:— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 26, 2019
Kuhlman - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusk - Krejci - Backes
Johansson - Coyle - Heinen
Nordstrom - Kuraly - Acciari
Chara - McAvoy
Krug - Carlo
Grzelcyk - Clifton
Moore - Kampfer
While this worried some at first, our own Joe Haggerty is reporting that the absence is just a "maintenance day" for Marchand and he will play Game 1.
A “maintenance day” for Brad Marchand today as reason for his absence. Bruce Cassidy said he’ll be “good to go” tomorrow for Game 1— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) May 26, 2019
This is good news for the Bruins, as missing Marchand would hurt their offense. Marchand has logged a team-high 18 postseason points after leading the squad with the team's first 100-point regular season in over 15 years.
Comparatively, Kuhlman has been in and out of the lineup throughout the season. He has played with good energy as a rookie and has two assists in six playoff games. However, he hasn't since Game 3 of the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets and only has 17 total games of experience at the NHL level (regular and postseason included).
Kuhlman just doesn't yet have Marchand's scoring upside or his grizzled, veteran presence. So the news that Marchand should be fine is massive for the B's.
Game 1 will take place at 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday. The game can be viewed on NBC or streamed on the NBC Sports App.
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