The bad news is that Tomas Nosek continues to be out with illness after not making the Boston Bruins’ three-game road trip to Western Canada.
That’s a big loss for the Bruins as their best defensive center behind Patrice Bergeron, though Nosek hadn’t exactly been lighting it up with two goals and four points in 21 games while averaging 13:46 of ice time per game. Curtis Lazar will shift over from wing to fourth line center with Nosek out of the fold temporarily.
The good news is that everybody else is healthy enough to be available to play in Wednesday night’s road game in Vancouver against the Canucks, per Boston Bruins acting head coach Joe Sacco. Charlie Coyle, Matt Grzelcyk and Linus Ullmark had been battling the same non-COVID illness over the last few days but had recovered sufficiently to practice and play on Wednesday.
Both Karson Kuhlman and Jack Ahcan will be healthy scratches for the Black and Gold with Charlie McAvoy returning to good health after missing last weekend’s game with a non-COVID illness, and with Oskar Steen getting in for the Bruins after being recalled from Providence.
“The only player that’s not available to us right now because of illness is Nosek,” said Sacco. “He’s not on the trip right now and we’re monitoring him day-by-day. Anton Blidh is getting closer. Charlie McAvoy is back in tonight, and we’ll have the same six [defenseman] that we’d had two games before.”
The other big return, obviously, is the return of Brad Marchand to the lineup after serving his three-game suspension for slewfooting Oliver Ekman-Larsson against the very-same Canucks during their meeting in Boston. As expected, the Boston Bruins have kept the Perfection Line intact and have put Taylor Hall, Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith as a second line that’s had mixed results thus far this season.
Here are the projected Boston Bruins line combos and D-pairings based on Wednesday’s morning skate in Vancouver with Jeremy Swayman getting the starting nod in net: