CM – What the Bruins are looking for in Opening Night vs. Stars


It’s no secret that the Bruins have made a lot of changes this season. From the core pieces to the bottom of the list of players who have left little to the imagination as to their expectations or roles, the Bruins start from scratch at almost every point in their roster, with the Bergeron line and Mike Reilly-Brandon Carlo dated Team are looking like their only fixtures.

So what will B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy be keeping an eye on when his team steps on the ice tonight?

« Our fourth line, this is a role we [in the past] relied on guys, « said Cassidy. “[Tomas] Nosek is a bit new. We’re giving [Trent Frederic] a little more responsibility. We have [Curtis] Lazar, right now it’s [Karson Kuhlman] so they could get more of those shifts against the top end folks, so that’s what we want to see. « 

This is a huge story for the Bruins to see in 2021-22. The Bruins threw Sean Kuraly out for almost every defensive zone situation last year. Nosek is a different type of fourth line pivot and his stint in Vegas confirmed this as Pete DeBoer was happy to put Nosek in favorable goal positions.

If that new Frederic-Nosek-Kuhlman line proves unable to hold up against highly skilled opponents, Cassidy could look to the team’s new third line, with Jake DeBrusk to the left of Erik Haula and Nick Foligno as his next best option.

The Bruins are also excited to see Charlie Coyle’s replacement for David Krejci between wingers Taylor Hall and Craig Smith.

« The chemistry between Hall and Coyle, » Cassidy identified as one more thing to look for tonight. « I think it will be fine and I think this line will work well because they are all good players. But how will this go? We only saw one game. We will see that over time, not » I. I’ll judge it on a game. « 

In the backend, the Bruins’ new signing, 6-foot-4 Derek Forbort, who will start his Bruins career to the left of Charlie McAvoy in the team’s top pairing, is getting a lot of attention to attract.

The Bruins are essentially hoping Forbort can be a more seasoned version of Jeremy Lauzon, and there is certainly a reason for that, as Forbort ended up being one of the league’s top shot blocking threats last year, eating penalty shoot-outs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

« We know what we’ve got back there, » offered Cassidy. « I think Forbort is fine no matter who he plays with. He will be true to himself. »

But by and large, Cassidy would like to see a team ready to go from the moment the puck is dropped, and a team so fed up with training as they did during the 10-day break between games they claimed it.

« As a team, you think you’re prepared, you’ve had so much practice, we’ve worked on situational issues. We feel like we’ve covered everything, » admitted Cassidy. « But as a coach you always worry about what if it doesn’t come out like that and all of a sudden you say, ‘Wow. We’re not even ready. What the hell are we doing for the last 10 days?

« So for me, that’s the fear you always have as a coach. So you’re a bit afraid, is your team ready? I think they are. They look good in practice, we’ve covered a lot. » Things and tried to discuss some of the novelties that would be factors for the players; especially the D-zone coverage is a bit different. I tried to really wait for [and] breakout support. But until we play. [we won’t know]. « 

The Bruins and Stars drop the puck shortly after 7pm. in the TD garden.

Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins …

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith

Jake DeBrusk – Erik Haula – Nick Foligno

Trent Frederic – Tomas Nosek – Karson Kuhlman

Derek Forbort – Charlie McAvoy

Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton

Jeremy Swayman

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for All opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any of its affiliates. Call him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.

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