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Injuries already testing Bruins' depth

October 4, 2022, 2:25 PM ET [1 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Boston Bruins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
When the Bruins begin their 2022-23 campaign on October 12, they’ll do so shorthanded. Before puck dropped on training camp and the ongoing preseason, the Bruins knew they would be starting the season without Brad Marchand, Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy.

All three had off-season surgeries to repair different issues.

The injury news got worse over the weekend as Taylor Hall left Saturday’s preseason win over the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury.

“It’s a little more significant than we expected yesterday, “head coach Jim Montgomery said Sunday morning.

Hall has been labeled week-to-week, meaning the Bruins will begin the season without their top-two left wingers. Depth being tested right out of the gate.

The Bruins have time to move the puzzle pieces around and try to find the right fit to the left of Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk. While Pavel Zacha was penciled in to skate on the top line, Hall’s injury shakes things up a bit.

Now, Montgomery is likely to replace Hall with Zacha, leaving the door open for someone to come and earn valuable minutes on the Bruins top line.

"I am thinking about putting Pavel there. That’s what the rest of camp is for. We’re going to try things out,” Montgomery said about his second line. “(In terms of the first line) obviously Bergy’s going to have a huge say in who that person is, because I’m going to lean on him as far as chemistry. Him and Zacha is still an option. Hopefully we’ll figure it out in the next 10 days here.”

AJ Greer, Trent Frederic and Nick Foligno will get respective looks on the first line, Montgomery hopes one will stick. In what already has been a successful preseason for Greer, he skated in Marchand’s spot on the top line in Sunday’s practice.

He’s deserving of the first chance to win the job.

“What I like is we see a young man who is looking to make the starting lineup from game one. He’s doing everything he can to impress,” Montgomery said. “He’s fighting, he’s hitting, he’s shooting, he gets energy in the building. He gives energy on the bench; he’s doing a lot of good things.”

Fabian Lysell also left Saturday’s victory with an injury, luckily avoiding anything serious. Lysell missed Monday’s preseason loss to New Jersey but could be back in the lineup Wednesday when the Bruins head to New York to take on the Rangers.

Whether it’s to the left of Bergeron or to the right with DeBrusk moving over to the left side, injuries to the top-six could allow Lysell to slide up to the first line.

Possibilities are endless.

With the question marks inside the Bruins top-six, the bottom-six is wide open with players who maybe before the Hall injury did not have much of a chance of cracking the roster simply due to numbers.

Marc McLaughlin, Chris Wagner and Jack Studnicka come to mind.

Jack Studnicka is an interesting, yet difficult case for the Bruins. Should the Bruins decide they want Studnicka to begin the season in Providence, he would need waivers first. One of the other 31 NHL teams not willing to take a chance on Studnicka seems unlikely.

Two preseason games remain, two important ones at that. Several spots on the opening night roster are available.

Internal competition is never a bad thing, the Bruins have it.
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