BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins are coming off a loss, albeit a competitive one, in Monday night’s epic shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, so it’s naturally a time to tweak the lineup ahead of a West Coast trip through Colorado, Arizona and Vegas this week. Craig Smith will get back into the B’s lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena after sitting out the last few games with an upper body injury, and it appears that fourth line winger AJ Greer will be a healthy scratch.
Greer finished with a team-low 8:16 of ice time in Monday night’s 4-3 shootout loss and has just one assist in his last nine games while only twice managing more than 10 minutes of ice time during that span. Smith has just one goal and three points in 12 games this season while averaging 9:58 of ice time and has been the subject of many trade rumors as the Boston Bruins look for ways to create more salary cap space while bumping the cap ceiling this season.
Smith last played in the Black Friday win over the Carolina Hurricanes when he logged a season-low 5:18 of ice time while racking up more PIMs (four) than shots on net (one) in the game.
🎥 Coach Montgomery said following today's #NHLBruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena that Craig Smith will sub in for A.J. Greer for tomorrow night's game in Colorado: "That's what it looks like right now." pic.twitter.com/LGouBEeCKq
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 6, 2022
With Jeremy Swayman starting back-to-back games for the Boston Bruins, one would expect that Linus Ullmark would be back between the pipes Wednesday night in Colorado. But Jim Montgomery made sure to remind everybody that he planned on having equal amounts of trust and confidence in both goalies even as Ullmark is off to a Vezina Trophy-level start to this season while leading the NHL in goals against average, saves and wins while racking up a big workload early in the season while Swayman recovered from a knee injury.
“We said right from the start we have confidence in both goalies,” said Montgomery. “Clearly Linus has had a great year, but with our schedule Bob maps it out and discuss. We’re going every two days with travel now and we don’t want to wear anybody out.”
The good news is that Ullmark no longer leads the NHL in games played and there are 10 goalies with more appearances than him in the opening week of December, so the Boston Bruins efforts to get their hot goalie a little rest have been successful.
Here’s the projected Boston Bruins lineup vs. the Colorado Avalanche prior to the B’s embarking on the road out West: