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Peeke To Make Bruins Debut; Grzelcyk Out Vs. Canadiens



Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins got in a rare second-straight practice on Wednesday before heading north to the Belle Province for their final tilt of the season against the Canadiens on Thursday night in Montreal.

Before they left Boston, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters that defenseman Matt Grzelcyk would not be joining his teammates for the trip to Montreal. Both Grzelcyk and winger James van Riemsdyk were not on the ice for practice on Wednesday.

“Both under the weather,” Montgomery replied when asked why both Boston Bruins players were absent.

“Grzelcyk not traveling with the team; JVR is.”

With Grzelcyk out, that means newly acquired Andrew Peeke will make his Bruins debut against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Bruins are hoping that Peeke can replace some of the size, grit, and defense-first mentality that they’ve lost with defenseman Derek Forbort, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with two injuries. However, Montgomery cautioned that it may take a bit for his newest blueliner to adopt to what has been an elite defensive-minded system in Boston since Claude Julien became head coach for the 2007-08 season.

“We’ll see how much he’s going to be able to help us,” the Boston Bruins bench boss said. “He doesn’t know our complete structure, we show him the video, but he has to go out and apply it. The good thing is, having talked to him, there are some similarities between the way they played this year in Columbus and the way we played. So, hopefully, just see him play on his toes, bring some physicality to our lineup, some mobility on the back end.”

What Montgomery and the Bruins will get is a 25-year-old, 6-foot-3, 214-pound defenseman who was 34th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft who’s excited to be making a fresh start against the Montreal Canadiens in another chapter of arguably the best rivalry in the NHL.

“Excited to make my debut for the Bruins. It’s special playing for an Original Six team,” Peeke told the media on Wednesday.

“It’s all you can dream of. Just gonna go out there and play my game. I watched those games for a long time now. And no matter who’s playing at the Bell Centre, it’s a pretty special place. But playing for the Bruins against them is going to juice it up a little bit more. Just being able to put the Bruins jersey on and come into a team that’s a playoff team and a winning culture, that’s exciting.”



The Boston Bruins also recalled John Beeceher on an emergency basis in case van Riemsdyk can’t go. Beecher’s last game with the big club was on Jan. 13. Then, to the surprise of many, he was reassigned to the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League. The 30th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft didn’t dwell on the demotion, though and understands, with a cap-strapped team like the Bruins are this season, it is what it is.

“It’s kind of just part of the business, unfortunately,” Beecher told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “Nobody wants to leave their teammates on the team that they’re with for the first half of the year. But a lot of good can come out of it. I was able to go down. I have great buddies on the team, the coaching staff is amazing, and I was kind of able to get back to my game, get some more confidence going, get in a little bit better shape just playing more minutes and more opportunity. I’m excited to be back up here. I don’t know many details [of the situation], but obviously, it’s just great to be back in the room and be back with the guys, and, hopefully, I can get another crack at the lineup.”

Here’s what the lineup looked like at practice on Wednesday:

Boston Bruins Lineup


Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Jake DeBrusk

Danton Heinen – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak

Trent Frederic – Morgan Geekie – Justin Brazeau

John Beecher – Jesper Boqvist – Jakub Lauko


Mason Lohrei – Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo

Parker Wotherspoon – Andrew Peeke


Linus Ullmark

Jeremy Swayman



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