The Boston Bruins need any help they can get right now lighting the lamp. At the very least, they’ll have a cleaner bill of health entering Tuesday’s tilt with the New Jersey Devils.
After a false positive COVID test, Brad Marchand will take his usual spot on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. On the back end, Brandon Carlo (concussion) returns to his second spot on the second defensive pairing with Matt Grzelcyk after missing nearly a month of action following Tom Wilson’s cheap shot in Boston’s 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals on March 5.
“I’m super excited to get back and play,” Carlo said during his first media availability since the injury. “I’ve had enough to of the viewing party from Level 9. I’m excited to get back out there and help and be an enthusiastic voice on the bench.”
Carlo never had a chance to speak on the Wilson hit until now. He didn’t appreciate Wilson’s head hunting actions, but expressed no ill will toward the Caps winger.
A day after the refs failed to assess even a minor penalty to Wilson, the league handed the enigmatic veteran a seven-game ban for the hit on Carlo. The Colorado Springs didn’t direct his attention at Wilson’s punishment. Instead, he remained focused on his recovery after fighting through the initial symptoms.
“To be honest, I was more worried about myself and not necessarily him,” Carlo added. “I wanted to get back on track for myself. I love being in the lineup, I love playing hockey and I love my job here as a Bruin. So my focus wasn’t on him or what he was going to receive or anything like that.”
Carlo and Wilson will renew acquaintances on April 6 for the fifth Bruins-Caps matchup. We don’t know if anything will come out of that, but that’s a story for next week.
As for Marchand, he returns after a frustrating round of COVID testing kept him out of the lineup against the Sabres and Devils. The veteran winger had four consecutive false positive tests, but the NHL’s strict protocol policy kept him out for the weekend pair.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s part of what’s going on right now,” Marchand said. “You never want to miss a game and you never want to miss a day on the ice. But, every team is going through it. This has happened a few times to our team now, but it’s happening to every team.”
Sean Kuraly and Jake DeBrusk remain on the COVID protocol list. Yet, the Bruins will trot out one of their healthiest lineups to date with Marchand and Carlo arriving at a much-needed time.
Projected lineup vs. Devils
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak Nick Ritchie-David Krejci-Craig Smith Anders Bjork-Charlie Coyle-Zach Senyshyn Anton Blidh-Trent Frederic-Karson Kuhlman
Jeremy Lauzon-Charlie McAvoy Matt-Grzelcyk-Brandon Carlo Jakub Zboril-Connor Clifton
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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