There was no new news Tuesday morning on Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara who left the game 3:03 into the second period of the Bruins 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. While head coach Bruce Cassidy told the media Monday that fellow injured defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was improving and could play in Game 5, what will the B’s coach do if both blueliners are unable to suit up in the pivotal game with the series tied at two games apiece?
“Well, the back end could have a domino effect,” Cassidy told the media Tuesday. “Again, speculation. I hate doing this. If we are out two D, ‘Griz’ [Grzelcyk] and ‘Zee’ [Chara], we might have to play seven defensemen. Putting guys in that haven’t played a ton.
Maybe you got to look at how does this best work out to use a guy situationally, take Zee’s PK minutes, if the other guys match up, which of course would be reaching into an area that a young kid hasn’t played in the Playoffs at all. You have to be careful there.”
If seven defenseman is the plan in Game 5, that would likely mean that 20-year-old rookie Urho Vaakanainen will draw into his first career playoff game, as well as veteran depth defenseman Steven Kampfer. There was no word on what forward may come out of the lineup but Cassidy was not worried about the forward group being a man short as opposed to the blue line as they have been for the final two periods of both Games 2 and 4.
“Forwards, I think we can manage. We’ve used different guys, double-shifted throughout the year,” the B’s coach pointed out. “So that part doesn’t worry me as much as how is it going to affect the young kid coming out of the lineup.”