Bruins

Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk in no-contact sweater, not looking promising for Game 7

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Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk in no-contact sweater, not looking promising for Game 7

BOSTON – It looks like Matt Grzelcyk is going to run out of time when it comes to returning to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Bruins puck-moving D-man was on the ice at TD Garden for Tuesday’s off-day practice, but he was once again wearing a no-contact jersey as he has for most of the last couple of weeks aside from the morning of Game 5. Grzelcyk has been out since early in the B's Game 2 loss to the Blues when he was boarded from behind by Blues fourth liner Oskar Sundqvist, and appeared to have something of a setback when he was trying to rush into possibly returning in Game 5. 

Bruce Cassidy also mentioned that he would be reluctant to change up his defense pairings anyway, given how well the B’s moved the puck during the Game 6 win in St. Louis on Sunday night.

“[Grzelcyk] has missed some games now, don't want to mess with the back end,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Obviously up front, [Karson] Kuhlman did a good job, so he'll probably stay in. I don't have any injury reports on any of the other forwards. That's good news. Something could happen obviously.”

It looks like a longshot that Grzelcyk will play in Game 7 on Wednesday night, and perhaps Chris Wagner would have a better chance of playing based on him wearing a regular practice jersey at the Tuesday practice session.

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based for Game 7 based on Tuesday’s practice with the lineup expected to look the same as Sunday night:

 

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman

Johansson-Coyle-Heinen

Nordstrom-Kuraly-Acciari

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Moore-Clifton


Rask

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Zdeno Chara joins Patrice Bergeron in admirable action this week while attending Boston protest

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Zdeno Chara joins Patrice Bergeron in admirable action this week while attending Boston protest

The Boston Bruins leadership group has shown they are about more than simple lip service and social media posts when it comes to what’s been going on in this country over the last few weeks.

Patrice Bergeron made a $50,000 donation to a pair of worthy causes this week in the Boston branch of the NAACP and Centre Multiethnique de Quebec while releasing a lengthy, passionate statement through the Bruins.

B's captain Zdeno Chara was spotted in all his 6-foot-9 glory walking in Boston on Friday afternoon during one of the protests through the city streets while sporting a Bruins mask in the crowd.

None of this is a surprise as both the 43-year-old Chara and the 33-year-old Bergeron have fostered a welcoming, friendly environment in the Bruins dressing over the years. The Bruins veterans don’t even really use the word “rookie” because Chara has always believed that it creates unnecessary separation between younger and older teammates that shouldn’t exist in a team setting.

Bergeron is partially credited with helping pull a black teammate named Gemel Smith out of a mental funk that he was mired in during his time with the Bruins. Bergeron urged Smith to talk to somebody professionally when he sensed that something wasn’t quite right with his new teammate and it helped Smith turn things around personally and professionally when he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.

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Smith ended up playing just three games with the Bruins last season after being picked up on waivers, but even in that brief time Bergeron had managed to reach out and make a connection with the player that made a lasting impact. That’s exactly the kind of healthy, welcoming dressing room that’s made the Bruins a success over the years.

There isn’t a long history of black players with the Bruins in recent years as Smith, Jarome Iginla and Malcolm Subban are the only black NHLers to suit up with Boston over the last decade. So there haven't been a great deal of opportunities for Bergeron, Chara and the rest of the B’s leadership core to show just much they embrace the diversity and equal treatment for all that so many around the NHL are voicing in the days since George Floyd was horrifically killed by Minneapolis police officers.

But give full credit to both Bergeron and Chara for stepping up this week, representing the Bruins in a manner they would be proud of and showing that it’s about actions as much as -- if not more than -- words when it comes to promoting equal treatment for all, and a better tomorrow for people of all races and backgrounds.

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

The NHL has their 24-team postseason format and they’ve even drilled down on some of the specifics this week.

We still don’t know exactly when the Stanley Cup postseason can start or when NHL training camps would be going full speed ahead. Also, all of the matchups beyond the “qualifying round” are still very much in the air.

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Clearly there is still plenty we don’t know about the Stanley Cup Playoffs once the NHL presses the play button in the next few months.

But we do know enough about the proposed postseason to know who will benefit, and who will be getting the short end of the stick. So that’s enough to put together the always popular winners and losers list when it comes to the new NHL postseason format. 

Click here for the gallery.