The Boston Bruins (8-1-2, 18 points) will look to make it four-straight wins and remain undefeated (4-0-1) at TD Garden when they welcome in former Bruins captain Joe Thornton and the slumping San Jose Sharks (4-7-1, 9 points) Tuesday night. The Bruins got some good news Tuesday morning as center David Krejci was cleared to play after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury. Here’s more on that and on the struggling Thornton as prepares to play what could be his final game in Boston.
Krejci Eager To Join The Fun
While his teammates – specifically the top line trio of Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak – have been tearing apart opposing defenses and torture opposing goalies, David Krejci has missed five straight games and six of the team’s first eleven contests this season. Krejci – who as new BHN scribe Mick Colageo explained in his first column for us, is integral to the Bruins’ Stanley Cup hopes – is ready to join the fun and help his team light the lamp even more.
“They’re playing really well. I just want to be a part of it…it helps that you’re coming into the lineup with the team playing really well,” Krejci told the media Tuesday morning. “That definitely makes it easy on me. I just want to go out there, make the right decisions and not try to do too much. That will come with time.”
Krejci will center Jake Debrusk and Danton Heinen on the second line and the latter is pretty excited to be playing with the veteran Bruins center. Heinen has been playing with Charlie Coyle this season and sees similarities between the two centers.
“It’s awesome to have him back. It’s always a pleasure playing with him,” Heinen said. “Obviously, he sees the ice so well. It’s gonna be my job to get open and get him the puck, try to get to the net. Him and [Charlie] Coyle have some similarities. They like the puck on their stick, they like holding on to the puck, similar in that aspect.”
Wagner Returns, Lindholm And Nordstrom Out – Joakim Nordstrom (infection) will remain out of the lineup and fellow Swede Par Lindholm (upper body) will join him. Winger Chris Wagner will return and be on the ‘Grind Line’
Here’s what the Bruins roster will look like Tuesday night:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Chris Wagner – Sean Kuraly – David Backes
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
Thornton, Sharks Trying To Find Their Way
In what could be his final game in the city he began his career in and against the team he once captained, Thornton will not be in his normal center position. After scoring a franchise record 289 goals last season and making it to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final last season, the Sharks are off to a horrid start and have lit the lamp at even strength just 19 times this season. In search of some offense, head coach Pete DeBoer is shuffling the lines around and Thornton will be playing left wing on the third line Tuesday night.
“I didn’t like our offensive game (Friday). We’ve tightened up defensively the last few games where we’ve given ourselves a chance to win,” DeBoer said Monday. “Our offensive game was fairly non-existent in Toronto. We had a handful of chances, but we’ve got to get a combination where we’re defending well and creating some offense.”
Here’s what the Sharks lineup will look like:
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Kevin Lebanc
Evander Kane – Tomas Hertl – Timo Meier
Joe Thornton – Dylan Gambrell – Marcus Sorensen
Noah Gregor – Barclay Goodrow – Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon– Erik Karlsson
Mario Ferraro – Tim Heed