Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk made his return to the Black and Gold lineup on Thursday night after a two-game absence with a lower body injury.
Unfortunately, the return didn’t last for very long for either the Bruins or for Grzelcyk.
The puck-moving defenseman was once again knocked out of the game with a lower body injury ahead of the third period of Boston’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bruce Cassidy confirmed postgame that it was a separate lower body injury for the 26-year-old defenseman, and that he wasn’t expected to play this weekend against the Washington Capitals.
“It was a different injury, lower body. Tough start for Gryz,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I don’t think he’ll be available for Saturday. It looks like it might be a few days anyway, so we’ll see. We’ll probably have a much better idea tomorrow or Saturday morning when it calms down a bit.”
It’s too bad because Grzelcyk was brilliant during the game finishing with a team-best plus-3 rating and uncorking a slick centering pass to Patrice Bergeron in front of the net for one of his two goals in the impressive victory over the Penguins.
Coyle ➡️ Grzelcyk ➡️ Bergeron ➡️ 🚨
3-1 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/oRmGD3HGIH
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 29, 2021
It’s expected that Connor Clifton will once again spell Grzelcyk in his second pairing spot alongside Brandon Carlo during any time missed with the injury.
It really doesn’t bode well for the 5-foot-9, 175-pound Grzelcyk that he’s already suffered three different injuries in just a handful of games played for the Bruins this season. The Bruins and Grzelcyk would probably be best served by allowing the small-bodied defenseman to heal up and get back to 100 percent rather than battle through things during a condensed NHL schedule.
That being said, the absence of Grzelcyk takes away the only established veteran player on the defense’s left side with Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon left to keep picking up the slack along with Clifton playing on his weak side.