With the Bruins gearing up for game two of their first-round playoff matchup with Carolina, they look to even the series at 1–1. After a disappointing start to the playoffs as the Bruins dropped game one, they look to get back on track. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy went to the drawing board to find more balance in his defensive pairings hoping to jumpstart certain players.
Hampus Lindholm will be sliding down to the second pairing to play alongside Brandon Carlo. This matchup could be successful with Lindholm’s elite puck-moving skill set and Carlo’s size if he decides to use it finally.
Matt Grzelcyk will slide up to the top pairing to play with a familiar face in Charlie McAvoy. Bruce Cassidy is hoping with the chemistry these two have that, Grzelcyk will be more comfortable and play to his strengths as these two have logged heavy minutes together over the last several years. For the young warhorse, Charlie McAvoy knows that no matter who he is paired with, he will show up and play at an elite level.
“They’re just different players,” McAvoy said of the differences between playing with Grzelcyk and Lindholm. “I think there’s a familiarity with both guys now. I feel comfortable playing with anyone. I trust whoever my partner is that we’re gonna make plays together and we’re gonna do the job. Hard to compare the two but whoever I’m playing with I just know that I need to show up and do my job.”
McAvoy has been the Bruin’s best defenseman all season long as he had a career year, especially on the offensive side of the puck. He finished the season with ten goals and 46 assists for 56 points with a plus- 31 rating. In-game one, McAvoy recorded an assist on the Bruin’s lone goal of the night, as he now has career postseason numbers of five goals and 28 assists for 33 points through 66 games.