The best team in the NHL, the Boston Bruins, are about to get a huge boost to their forward group as star winger Brad Marchand was cleared to play Thursday morning and will be in the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night (7:05 PM ET), at TD Garden.
Even after skating in a full contact jersey with his Boston Bruins teammates back on Oct. 16 and mucking it up physically on the ice at practice, Marchand maintained that his target return date was still American Thanksgiving, or more specifically the ‘Black Friday’ matinee on Nov. 24 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Since then though, the Boston Bruins winger has seemingly made leaps and bounds in his progress towards a return. On Wednesday, he was once again a full participant at Bruins practice at Warrior Arena, skating in his normal slot alongside Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron at center and Jake DeBrusk on the right wing. That’s where the 5-foot-9, 176-pound winger will be Thursday night in a big Atlantic Division and Original 6 tilt with the Detroit Red Wings.
Following his team’s game-day skate Thursday morning, head coach Jim Montgomery confirmed to the media that Marchand will play tonight but will not be in the lineup Friday against the Blue Jackets in Columbus when the Bruins play the tail end of their second back-to-back.
Brad Marchand also spoke to the media on Thursday and admitted that American Thanksgiving was actually never the real target date for a return but he and the team made sure they kept that in-house.
“As soon as it came up that I was going to have the surgery, they told me it was going to be end of November and I was like, “It’s not going to be the end of November,” Marchand told reporters Thursday with a wry grin. “We’re going to see what we can do about that.”
So instead of being without one of the best left wingers in the NHL for potentially 20 games to start the 2022-23 regular season the Boston Bruins, sitting atop the NHL standings Thursday, now get Marchand back just eight games in.
Here’s what the lineup should look like for the Boston Bruins Thursday night against the Red Wings.
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic-Charlie Coyle-Pavel Zacha
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-Craig Smith
Hampus Lindholm-Matt Grzelcyk
Derek Forbort-Connor Clifton
Jakub Zboril-Brandon Carlo