The Boston Bruins will face the St. Louis Blues tonight at TD Garden for the first time since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last June. Both teams are off to solid starts, with the Bruins starting the season 6-1-2 and the Blues 5-2-3. With the scars of Game 7 still fresh in the minds of the Bruins players, coaches and fans will this simply be a normal late October game or will it be reminiscent of Stanley Cup Final rematches in the past?
Krejci Out, Nordstrom In
When David Krejci was injured on Columbus Day against the Anaheim Ducks, the hope of coach Bruce Cassidy was that it was not a serious injury. It’s almost been two weeks now, and Krejci still has not returned to action for the Bruins. That won’t change tonight. Krejci did skate with the group at practice on Friday, but Cassidy later described his status as “doubtful”. He will not play tonight or tomorrow in New York.
At practice on Friday, Krejci did take some reps with the second line, alternating with Par Lindholm. Lindholm will play tonight and could play a big role for the Bruins. Lindholm’s season was also ended by the Blues a season ago. He was on the Winnipeg Jets when they were eliminated in the first round by the Blues.
Joakim Nordstrom will return to the lineup tonight. He’s missed the last two games after blocking a shot against the Lightning ten days ago. He’ll slide in on the fourth line against the Blues.
Fans have been hyping up this rematch with the Blues since the schedule came out just days after the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. There will be extra emotion in the seats tonight, but will there be on the ice? After all, the Blues had multiple suspensions in the series and took some liberties against the Bruins.
According to Brad Marchand, however, this is just another game.
“It’s just another game. It doesn’t change anything that’s happened in the past, we’re not going to get any retribution by winning the game tomorrow,” Marchand said. “At the end of the day, it’s two points. I’m sure the fans are excited. I think it will mean more to them than us, but again it’s two points, so that’s what we’ve got to worry about.”
Marchand was reminded by the media on Friday of January 7th, 2012. That was the first time the Bruins played the Vancouver Canucks after the heated 2011 Final. There was a line brawl just four minutes into that contest.
“It’s a team that we lost to last year so the memories are always there, but again, you’re not going to change anything that’s happened,” Marchand reiterated.
BHN’s Jimmy Murphy has more on Marchand’s thoughts on tonight’s tilt.
Andres Bjork is back from Providence for the second time this week. The skilled forward was recalled on an emergency basis for Tuesday’s game against the Maple Leafs. He played 13:17 in the victory, registering four shots and posting a Corsi For of 58.8%. Bjork was assigned to Providence following the game but was recalled early Friday morning, again on an emergency basis.
Bjork could skate on the second line tonight. He practiced on the left wing with Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen on Friday.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Anders Bjork – Par Lindholm – Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
Rask will start back-to-back games for the first time this season. Cassidy announced earlier this week that Rask will start tonight, while Jaroslav Halak gets the nod tomorrow against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.