Preseason Game No. 1 was a showcase of the Bruins’ youngsters against the Canadiens – a 3-2 victory in Quebec City.
Preseason Game No. 2 will feature a more veteran-laden lineup. But one talented young player, in particular, is going to have the chance to really push the tempo with a fellow puck-mover.
After making head waves during the postseason, Charlie McAvoy is set for his first preseason game of the year. The former BU Terrier will skate with a player that is smaller in stature but similar in skillset in Torey Krug, who missed all of the first round series against the Senators due to a lower-body injury.
How long the Krug-McAvoy pairing lasts beyond Tuesday night is anyone’s guess. Though it’s likely that they won’t pair up to start a contest, head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t rule out using the duo in situations whenever the Bruins are looking for that key goal or spark during the course of the 82-game season.
“We’re going to see them [in a game] at some point,” Cassidy said about Krug and McAvoy being paired.
“There are going to be games that we need offense and we’re down, and those two guys can bring it – their strongest qualities at their position is their puck-moving ability. Certainly not a pair that we’re going to use every day…but we figured we’d tinker with it at the start [of the preseason] here and it probably won’t last long, to be honest with you, but this is something that we want to see.”
For now, Krug and McAvoy are excited to get top billing against Detroit.
Charlie McAvoy tries to cut off Derrick Brassard during Game 4 of the Bruins-Senators series in April. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)
“What he did in the playoffs was great, and now it’s the start of a long season,” Krug said about being paired with McAvoy. “It’s tough on first-year guys, so there’s definitely going to be some ups and downs, but hopefully he can limit those, and as a partner just try to help him out.”
“Playing with Torey is awesome. He’s obviously a veteran guy, a great teammate and a great player,” McAvoy said about his defensive partner. “So he’s good to be out there with – to communicate with – and take some things away from [skating with] him. Like I said, he’s a phenomenal defenseman and he really helps me out there. We’re two guys who like to skate with the puck. He likes to make plays and so do I, so we’ll see how it goes tonight.
Zane McIntyre, who stopped all eight shots he faced in Monday’s victory at Quebec City, will split goaltending duties with Anton Khudobin. The two are primary candidates to backup Tuukka Rask with Khudobin having a slight edge following a strong finish to his 2016-17 campaign.
The top line of Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci and David Pastrnak will be another unit to watch. Given his solid year in Providence, the Bruins’ brass is showing early faith in putting DeBrusk in a marquee position to start training camp.
With another rebuilding year on the horizon in their new digs at Little Ceasers Arena, the Red Wings are expected to feature a young lineup all season long. That will be the case on Tuesday with the likes of Tyler Bertuzzi and Dominic Turgeon making the trip to Boston. Notable Red Wings making the trip include Petr Mrazek, Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin and P.A. Parenteau
Here is the projected Bruins lineup for their preseason home opener:
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson-David Backes
Danton Heinen-Austin Czarnik-Teddy Purcell
Ryan Fitzgerald-Sean Kuraly-Jordan Szwarz
Torey Krug-Charlie McAvoy
Jakub Zboril-Adam McQuaid
Rob O’Gara-Brandon Carlo
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