The Boston Bruins were without D Matt Grzelcyk on Thursday night as they fell 2-1 to the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Although rumors spread like wildfire all day that the hometown boy would be back in the lineup after a concussion, Grzelcyk was ruled out later in the afternoon, unable to suit up for a Boston team bogged down by injury.
Matt Grzelcyk didn’t miss the game because he didn’t feel like he couldn’t go. He didn’t miss the game because Bruce Cassidy wasn’t comfortable with him in the lineup either. Grzelcyk missed the game because, in the words of his coach, he was not cleared to play. “Grzelcyk was not medically cleared, so he was not an option” proclaimed Cassidy when asked on Friday.
Although the club could have used Grzelcyk in the transition game on Thursday, the right decision was made for the player’s health by team doctors. The good news? Cassidy updated the media on the status of his young defender, and it was largely positive. “He skated this morning, and he’s still in protocol” began Cassidy.
“He has an opportunity to play Sunday” continued the coach before a brief pause, in which he then resumed his update on the defender. “Sorry, I was gonna say skate Saturday, play Sunday. You know, I can’t speculate there. We hope he’s available, be cleared by them. There is some time between now and the game.”
The good news for Bruin fans? Cassidy was slightly optimistic that Grzelcyk could play in Game 6, not shutting the door at all on the possibility. Although the coach was quite clear that Grzelcyk may not be an option, it appeared he was more open to the possibility of him returning than at any point between Game 4 and Game 5.
It appears Grzelcyk is in for yet another game-time decision on Sunday. If he is good to go, the Bruins will get a much-needed boost to their banged-up defense and lacking transition game.