Two Bruins Set to Make Season Debut Tonight Against the Ducks

The Bruins got off to a hot start to the season by winning three games in a row as they showed how dominant they can be on offense. Their fourth game of the season showed this team still has work to do, as they got burned by the Ottawa Senators in a 7-5 loss on the road. The Bruins are still dealing with a handful of injuries, especially on their blue line, as Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk were all sidelined.

Tonight’s matchup against the Anaheim Ducks will kick off a four-game home stretch for the Bruins as they look to get back on track and put some distance between themselves and the other top teams in the Atlantic Division early on.

Over the first four games, the lineup has been a work in progress due to injuries and head coach Jim Montgomery trying to find balance up and down the lineup. One thing has been clear, and that is Craig Smith is now the odd man out in the bottom six. After getting time on the top line due to Jake DeBrusk’s wrist injury, he was sent down to the fourth line on Monday and was a healthy scratch on Tuesday. Tonight he will be a healthy scratch again as a new face will make his season debut.

The Bruins will welcome Matt Grzelcyk to their blue line tonight as he will pair with Jakub Zboril and look to provide some stability to the defense. Grzelcyk has been recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and is finally ready to go. He dealt with the shoulder injury for the majority of last season, and it was clear he wasn’t himself.

Another player making his season debut tonight will be young forward Jack Studnicka, who has patiently waited for this opportunity after having a strong preseason and training camp. Many fans were upset that Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek got the nod from game one, but Studnicka will finally have his chance as he will be anchoring the third line as Charlie Coyle will bump out to the left wing.

The Bruins will turn to Linus Ullmark tonight after a tough start for Jeremy Swayman on Tuesday night that saw him give up six goals on the night. Ullmark has been strong in his two starts as he has taken a step forward to start his second year in Boston. The Bruins have proven they can score; they just now need strong goaltending and solid defensive play to allow them to win.

The defense will be the main topic to focus on tonight, as the Bruins need to improve after they were exposed all night long by a young Ottawa team. The Ducks have young talent on their roster, with Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, and rookie Mason McTavish all able to score, along with a handful of others. Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton have looked like the Bruins’ best pairing so far and will need their teammates on the other two pairings to step up and hold their own. Hampus Lindholm still hasn’t proven he can lead this blue line, while Charlie McAvoy is sidelined. This will need to change, especially while he is paired with Mike Reilly, who has been below average to start the season.

The puck drop will be tonight at 7 PM EST at TD Garden and will be aired on NESN. The Bruins enter the game as the favorites as the money line is Bruins -210 and the O/U is at 6.5 goals.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

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Kevin Santangelo

Co Host of Cue' the Duck Boats Podcast Writer for Inside the Rink

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