After missing the last two games while in the NHL’s COVID Protocol, Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. The puck-moving defenseman returned to the morning skate practice ice during an optional skate for the B’s on Tuesday after clearing through the league’s protocol without any symptoms.
“Feeling good. No symptoms over the last few days, so nice to get in a little pregame skate before,” said Grzelcyk, who has two goals and 14 points in 33 games with a plus-5 rating this season. “I’m sure I’m going to be back [in the lineup].”
Grzelcyk was actually playing his best hockey of the season prior to heading to COVID protocol with a goal and six points in the two games prior to missing time, including a career-high five-point performance in a victory against the Washington Capitals a week ago. Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t want to indicate which defenseman might be coming out of the lineup prior to confirming Grzelcyk was 100 percent good to go, but it’s clearly going to be a tough choice on his hands as rookie D-man Urho Vaakanainen has been playing well since coming in for the Black and Gold.
“He had no symptoms and came out of it well, so I think we’ll use him as long as he’s up to it,” said Cassidy. “We’ll look at [the lineup]. [Connor Clifton] is cleared as well.”
Cassidy did indicate that the forward group would stay the same and Tuukka Rask was getting the start between the pipes, so the back end is the only variable group going into tonight’s momentous evening honoring Willie O’Ree vs. the Hurricanes at TD Garden.