BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins are making final preparations for "Game 0" of the Stanley Cup Final, an intra-squad scrimmage at TD Garden on Thursday night that will pack the house for a pair of 25-minute periods played between the B’s players and the young Black Aces crew filled with prospects and depth players.
Amazingly enough, the TD Garden will be close to banged out for the scrimmage with the proceeds going toward the Bruins Foundation, and the B’s getting in a little pseudo game-action with 10 days off between the conference final and the Cup Final.
Zdeno Chara will be a full participant in the scrimmage with no restrictions after missing Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final with an undisclosed injury, and the Bruins will be looking to knock off the rust prior to Monday’s Game 1 without anybody getting injured in the process.
“[Chara] will be with Charlie [McAvoy],” confirmed Cassidy. “He’s ready to go.”
That means the hitting won’t be too heavy between teammates, but there should still be battles and hard-skating to simulate the Stanley Cup postseason pace.
“The original plan was to get us back into the gameday routine. Come in the morning and do our video, so we did some St. Louis stuff this morning,” said Cassidy of the scrimmage, which won’t be televised and won’t be simulated for things like TV timeouts. “Optional skate and go down to the rink. Just be at the rink for 7 p.m. and then try to just replicate the routine. The on-ice will be a little bit more of a practice time. With the flooding of the ice and warm-up it’s going to drag a little bit. That was the original plan and now it’s a little bigger than we envisioned, so here we are.
“We’re there to get some work done. This is just a practice for us. This is not a show. So we’ve got to be careful guys don’t get caught up in ad-libbing out there. It’s preparing for St. Louis,” said Cassidy. “It’s managing pucks and not getting away from the way we generally want to play by putting on a show. That’s the risk you take tonight. We just want to be focused on our work. But for the fans to show that kind of support? How can you not like it?”
Per Bruce Cassidy, the B’s Perfection Line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak as well as the fourth line will stay fully intact, and Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo will stick together as a defensemen pairing. Black Aces Paul Carey, Jack Studnicka, Zach Senyshyn and Peter Cehlarik will also be together on that intra-squad team while giving them a definite youthful flavor.
On the other side will be Charlie Coyle’s third line, the David Krejci Line and the Zdeno Chara/Charlie McAvoy pairing along with Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman, and plenty of mixing-and-matching expected within the game.
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