Perhaps Hall, who was once harm closing Saturday and is regarded as “week to week” with an upper-body harm, will go back for the first puck drop. The Bruins introduced no replace Tuesday, after they took a break day prior to Wednesday’s penultimate preseason recreation in Manhattan in opposition to the Rangers.
They put proper winger Oskar Steen on waivers, in conjunction with defensemen Connor Carrick and Nick Wolff. That gained’t have an effect on the following projections.
If Hall is in for Oct. 12, Montgomery’s most sensible two lines might be Hall-Krejci-Pastrnak, and Pavel Zacha-Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk. Seems easy. But what if Hall is out?
Working thru what the forward staff may just look like through the get started of the subsequent week, when the exhibition slate might be whole and roster might be trimmed:
▪ Who are Bergeron’s wings?
DeBrusk may just transfer from proper wing to left wing, filling in for Hall. That may just create a place for Fabian Lysell — if he’s wholesome — on the proper aspect.
Lysell’s skating and playmaking created a couple of thrilling moments in his two preseason video games. As Rasmus Ristolainen reminded him in the collision that knocked him out of Saturday’s recreation in opposition to the Flyers, Lysell (5 toes 11 inches, 176 kilos) wishes to bulk up to resist the common pounding from NHL defensemen.
If any center can help a too-light rookie adjust to the rigors of the league, it would be Bergeron. If Hall stands to miss a few games, Lysell could gain valuable varsity experience before spending the rest of the year in Providence. The Bruins can call up the 19-year-old for an offensive spark.
If they want to keep DeBrusk at right wing, they could play a larger, older player in the No. 1 LW spot, such as Nick Foligno, Trent Frederic, or A.J. Greer. That would remove some of the attacking steam from the line. Perhaps Zacha, who opened camp with Bergeron and Lysell, could be a better fit there.
The realm of possibilities also includes right-shooting Jack Studnicka, who has had a strong camp, albeit as a bottom-six center. The Bruins could try him on the right side of Bergeron and DeBrusk. However, the Bruins need him to grow his game as a center.
▪ Who rides with Krejci and Pastrnak?
Zacha, to start. The Bruins are likely to get a look at that Czech scoring line Wednesday, if not also Saturday against the Devils in the preseason finale.
DeBrusk surely would be happy to play his natural position next to Krejci and Pastrnak, if Zacha goes with Bergeron and Lysell.
It’s hard to see another left-shot winger in the current mix keeping up with two of the most creative forwards on the team.
▪ How does the bottom six shake out?
One name not mentioned yet: Craig Smith. He has been skating hard in camp, and he is capable of playing top-six minutes. He could be Bergeron’s right wing, if Lysell isn’t ready and DeBrusk moves to the left side.
His natural position seems to be next to Charlie Coyle as the No. 3 right wing. Those two and Frederic put together a few weeks of effective big-boy hockey last season. If reunited come opening night, they would hope to earn Montgomery’s trust.
The absences of Hall and Marchand would seem to open a spot for Greer, who could push Frederic or solidify a spot as the No. 4 left wing. He’s energetic, almost rambunctious, and has a heavy shot. The Bruins lack a glass-rattling presence, and he brings it.
The Bruins value Foligno’s personality and experience, and he believes he’s ready for a bounce-back year after struggling through injuries. Greer looks like a more appealing option at this point for the fourth line. Here’s a potential swerve: Montgomery could try Foligno as Bergeron’s left wing, dropping Zacha to the third line to create an effective trio there.
Incumbent No. 4 center Tomas Nosek is the most reliable left-shot faceoff man on the roster, defends well, and kills penalties. Studnicka’s energy and offensive upside are making it a battle. The fact that the latter has to clear waivers helps his cause; another team would likely claim him if the Bruins tried to send him down. His best chance of clearing would come once the season begins, and other teams’ rosters have been set.
Marc McLaughlin is typically in the right spot defensively, and the puck finds him at the other end. He can finish. He’s had an excellent camp. He also can be reassigned to Providence without waivers.
That said, the line of Greer-Studnicka-McLaughlin has looked promising. McLaughlin has more offensive upside than Chris Wagner (who would likely clear waivers if sent down) and Oskar Steen (might clear, might not).
The Bruins additionally assigned defensemen Victor Berglund, Mike Callahan and Kai Wissman to Providence.
The projected lines for opening night time
With Taylor Hall:
Pavel Zacha–Patrice Bergeron–Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic–Charlie Coyle–Craig Smith
A.J. Greer–Jack Studnicka–Marc McLaughlin
Extras: Tomas Nosek, Nick Foligno
To Providence: Fabian Lysell, Oskar Steen, Chris Wagner, John Beecher, Joona Koppanen, Jakub Lauko, Vinni Lettieri, Matt Filipe
Extras: Nosek, Foligno
To Providence: Steen, Wagner, Beecher, Koppanen, Lauko, Lettieri, Filipe
Matt Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyports.