BRIGHTON, Mass – The Boston Bruins will get to see their acquisitions right off the bat as all three traded players were at Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena with Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly looking like they will immediately factor into the two PP units.
Hall, Reilly and Curtis Lazar were all on the ice on Tuesday morning along with Charlie McAvoy (upper body) and Tuukka Rask (upper body) as they recover from their respective injuries. Hall was in his expected spot on the second line left wing alongside David Krejci and Craig Smith, and Reilly effectively replaced Jakub Zboril as the second pair defenseman with Steve Kampfer.
“To get a guy of Taylor’s magnitude knowing we need that extra layer of secondary scoring, it’s big for our guys,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We think [Don Sweeney] did a great job. We’re not mortgaging the future, and we added a solid depth player in Lazar that’s got five goals. And obviously Reilly is an area of need with all the injuries on the back end. I think he’s a good puck-mover in an area where we’ve been lacking a little bit. I think our guys are excited. Let’s get them in the lineup and get playing.”
Cassidy said on a Tuesday morning interview with Toucher and Rich that he suspects both Smith and Jake DeBrusk will get looks on the second line with Hall and Krejci as they look for the right combination of forwards.
“In the year we went to the cup, we found some guys that fit with each other and that’s what we’re going to try and do,” said Don Sweeney, after Monday’s trade deadline. “I think we do have some players that can play up and down the lineup. At first blush, Jake will probably move to the other side and use the speed. Maybe we create a line that has speed on the wings and go from there. Even Smitty for that matter has gone up and played really well with Patrice and March.
“That gives it a different look. Again, I think we have more depth and hopefully we’ve added a little bit of scoring and we get some balance that will be more difficult to match up against us.”
It would appear that a Reilly/Brandon Carlo pairing could be in the future once the B’s shutdown defenseman returns from his upper body injury. Kevan Miller (load management), Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) and Trent Frederic (illness) were not present at the morning skate, though Miller has played recently while opting to skip morning skates to limit the wear and tear on his knees.
Rookie Jeremy Swayman will get his fourth start in the last five games against the Sabres, but the presence of Rask on the practice ice means he could be looking at a return to the Boston Bruins lineup at some point this week. Lazar will be a game time decision as he comes back from a lower body injury, but the fourth line center was taking reps with Sean Kuraly, Anton Blidh and Chris Wagner on Tuesday morning.
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Buffalo Sabres based on Tuesday’s morning skate: