Anders Bjork is getting a real shot to make the Bruins Stanley Cup Playoffs lineup.
With Boston Bruins wingers David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase still in quarantine Tuesday, head coach Bruce Cassidy shuffled the forward lines again. Yesterday, Karson Kuhlman had the honor of riding shotgun with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and on Tuesday that honor belonged to Bjork who apparently was rewarded for being ‘the best guy out there’ in Day 1. Following the first day of camp, Cassidy praised forward Bjork who has been in and out of the lineup for the last two seasons due to health and performance.
“Anders Bjork looked terrific, maybe the best guy out there today, but it’s Day 1, so are we automatically going to say ‘OK, he’s in with player so-and-so’?” Cassidy asked the media rhetorically. “But it’s good for him, I mean there’s competition here and I think our guys understand that and they’ve understood it for two years here. But obviously (Patrice Bergeron) is not going anywhere in the lineup, we know that, but there’s some spots that we’ve rotated different guys in and out. We’ve put guys in the press box for the odd night to let them know that ‘Hey, listen we expect a little bit better here and there’, and that won’t change.”
Knowing Cassidy, he will continue to rotate fringe roster players like Bjork and Kuhlman in and out of that first line right wing slot until Pastrnak comes back. He’ll then likely do the same with them on the third and fourth lines or where injury deems it to be necessary.
Kuhlman must have done something right Monday because he was only dropped down to the second line with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci while the third and fourth lines remained the same. As camp goes on though, it will be interesting to see how short Cassidy’s leash is with DeBrusk as he has not been shy with demoting him to the third line when he’s struggled or even benching him in-game.
Trent Frederic was missing for a second straight day and Anton Blidh was the extra forward Tuesday.
The defense pairings stayed the same with the exception of Urho Vaakanainen replacing Jakub Zboril as the ninth defenseman.
Cassidy told the media after practice that Pastrnak and Kase could skate Wednesday but if not, he definitely expects a full group on Thursday.
#NHLBruins practice lines:
Marchand – Bergeron – Bjork
DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman
Ritchie – Coyle – Kuraly
Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner
Carey – Studnicka – Senyshyn
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Lauzon
Moore – Clifton
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 14, 2020