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Cassidy Switches Up Bruins Defense Pairings For Game 2



Boston Bruins

RALEIGH – After watching his second defensive pairing struggle mightily in Game 1, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has decided to flip-flop the left side of his top four defense pairings for Game 2 against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

The second pairing of Matt Grzelcyk (-3) and Brandon Carlo (-2) was a combined minus 5 in a 5-1 loss for the Boston Bruins in Game 1.  So Cassidy has decided to put Matt Grzelcyk with his on again/off again partner over the years, and former Boston University running mate, Charlie McAvoy for Game 2. That will drop Hampus Lindholm down to the left side with Carlo. Cassidy is hoping to light a spark on the blue line and also allow for some in-game flexibility.

“I just thought Grizz and Carlo had a bit of a challenging night,” the Boston Bruins head coach said after practice Tuesday. “So, we talked about using Lindholm with Carlo at times as well. It also allows you then to in-game put Lindholm and McAvoy together maybe after they’ve sat a shift for [Derek] Forbort and [Connor] Clifton going over, so we can still keep them as a pair.

When they’re always together, then they’re together and that’s it. So, it might up Lindy’s minutes a little bit in certain situations. It’s that time of year, he looks healthy, so there’s a little bit of that involved. And you can still go back to the other. He can play with both.”

While the usual top pairing of Hampus Lindholm-Charlie McAvoy is so successful on breakouts, Cassidy is hoping to add a bit more of that to both of his top four pairings.

“[Lindholm] is excellent on the breakout like Charlie is, so now you’ve got one in each pair that can be a one-man breakout as opposed to loading them up,” said Cassidy. “Loading them up, obviously, frees one of the others up to join the offensive attack, right? You’re taking from one to give to another and see how it works out.

And as I said, in game you could still, coming out of a timeout, maybe use Lindholm and McAvoy if it’s an offensive draw or a key defensive draw or you need a breakout or etcetera. So that’s the reasoning and it’s just a little different look for the matchups as well.”

Here’s what the Bruins lineup looked like at practice Tuesday:


Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk

Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak

Trent Frederic  – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith



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Nick Foligno – Tomáš Nosek – Curtis Lazar

Anton Blidh – Chris Wagner


Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton

Mike Reilly – Josh Brown


Linus Ullmark

Jeremy Swayman 


With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN,, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Rick W Murray

if they lose game two it’s over the fat lady has sung and left the building.


Watching the Pittsburgh – New York game last night, I was reminded how we traded away a young Ryan Lindgren for Rick Nash a few years back. Ryan is everything that Brandon Carlo could be! Trading away young assets to our opponents for older veteran that are near or at the end of their career results in an slow skating team that can’t compete.


Won’t matter if they can’t score. This is a good team, very professional in that they won the games they were supposed to win in the regular season using their structure. Over 50 wins is not easy. Not sure they have that next level to break through against Carolina. Feel like $ on Foligno and Riley could have been combined and spent on a bigger offensive impact player. They remind me of the team at the end of Claude’s time, don’t win 2-1, they don’t win.


This won’t make a difference. The secondary scoring has always been the issue and to address that Sweeney went out and signed a group of character players he got from the bargain bin. I’m sure that they are great in the room but when was the last time they chipped in offensively? Nosek last scored Jan 2 I think and Foligno is old and slow and doesn’t score!
If they don’t get traffic in front of the net, it doesn’t matter how many shots they take.


from the basement bargain bin, then paid them gold,,go figure, typical sweeney…


as i said before, sweeney made the team smaller, shoulda kept lindgren and lauzon. trade grez and riley, haula, folingo.
bruins get push around and wont hit to set tempo, now lindholm likely out for rest of playoffs.

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