In this edition of Boston Bruins’ News & Rumors, Tuukka Rask returned to practice for the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron was absent and the Bruins tried some new-look lines
Rask Returns to Bruins’ Practice
After missing time since the Bruins exhibition loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the end of July and being deemed unfit to play in their opening round-robin game, Rask would return to practice one day after the team lost a 4-1 game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The reasoning behind Rask’s absence stemmed from the fact that he had a cough and was forced to quarantine for two days as a result.
Given the circumstances and the situation we’re in right now during a global pandemic, it makes sense that the NHL and the Bruins would take this so seriously, even if it proved to be nothing.
Though the Bruins may have lost a 4-1 affair to the Flyers, there’s no reason to believe things would have gone differently had Rask been in net. Though Rask could have potentially kept the score in check, he couldn’t have made the team in front of him play any better than Halak did.
On top of this, Halak has been known as a very talented goalie in Boston and him getting the start wasn’t the end of the world for the Bruins as a whole. Getting Rask back is obviously refreshing for the Bruins, but Halak wasn’t the biggest problem for the Bruins on Sunday.
Rask is likely to get the start for the Bruins against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Maintenance Day for Bergeron
More concerning news for Bruins fans Monday came in the form of Bergeron’s absence from practice. Fortunately for the team, though, this was just a maintenance day for the veteran forward and he should be perfectly fine to play in Wednesday’s tilt against the Lightning.
Bergeron would skate in a team-low 8:43 of five-on-five ice time in Sunday’s game against the Flyers, but he’d finish the game with 18:37 of total ice time as a whole.
The Bruins are going to need their entire team to play better than they did against Columbus and especially against the Flyers in a meaningful game that could have serious consequences. That improvement has to start with the Bruins’ top line, Bergeron included.
While Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak will have to improve, the team as a whole will have to prove they can be better moving forward.
Bruins Shuffle Middle-Six Lines
With the Bruins first game in the round-robin tournament going as poor as it did, the team is tinkering with line combinations and looking to create a spark to get things going.
At practice Monday, the Bruins would role out the following line combinations:
It’s tough to pin-point exactly what the Bruins are going to end up doing for Wednesday’s game given Studnicka took rotations on the team’s top-line at center. He was one of the Bruins better players against the Flyers and it would be difficult to move him out of the top-six to start the game.
Still, the middle-six saw some notable changes all the same with Nick Ritchie skating on Krejci’s left side and Ondrej Kase and Karson Kuhlman splitting time on his right side. This put Jake DeBrusk on the third line alongside Charlie Coyle and Anders Bjork.
As it stands, the team is hopeful for Ritchie and Rask to return to the team’s lineup Wednesday and they’re aiming for Sunday against the Capitals as a return-date for Kase, even though he isn’t officially ruled out for Wednesday yet.