BRIGHTON, MA – There could be more of rookie forward Marc McLaughlin in the Boston Bruins picture this week with right winger Craig Smith a question mark for Monday night’s game in Columbus amongst a few B’s that “are banged up” headed into a four-game road trip through Columbus, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Washington.
Smith took a hit during Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets at TD Garden and was not a part of a very optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena on Sunday morning that included Jeremy Swayman, Connor Clifton, Jack Studnicka, Josh Brown and a few others Boston Bruins skaters. Smith finished with seven shot attempts and a minus-1 rating in 14:49 of ice time and was still taking shifts late into the third period of the weekend win.
He also had just sat out Thursday night’s game vs. the Devils while “under the weather”, which opened the door for McLaughlin to make his memorable debut for the Black and Gold.
“[Craig Smith] got hit [Saturday], so that could effect [Marc] McLaughlin,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, hinting that McLaughlin may see some more playing time after looking solid in his first NHL game earlier this week. “[Connor Clifton] has played almost 50 games, [Anton] Blidh is a little lower than that. McLaughlin is new, [Josh] Brown has played. But getting them into our system would be important just because they haven’t been here.
“Brown will go in either Monday or Tuesday, depends how he’s doing after [Sunday morning’s] skate.”
Cassidy stressed that getting everybody into the flow will be a goal for this week with a full roster of players looking to stay sharp headed down the stretch and into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Brown missed Saturday’s game with an upper body injury suffered in the blowout win over the New Jersey Devils, but the 6-foot-5 defenseman was expected to get back into the lineup at the beginning of this week amidst the back-to-back games.
Linus Ullmark will get the start between the pipes for the Boston Bruins in the rematch against the Blue Jackets in Columbus, and Jeremy Swayman will get the start on Tuesday night against the Red Wings at Little Caesers Arena.