On Wedneday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning ended up with a dominant 4-1 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference second round, and we bet the Bruins and fans weren't expecting it.
Another thing the Bruins might not have been expecting is what took place at the team's practice on Thursday morning. The two Eastern clubs are meeting again for Game 4 tonight, in Boston again, but two important players were missing from the team's skate yesterday morning. Many reporters and Bruins insiders reported that forwards Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk were absent from practice.
After the skate, head coach Bruce Cassidy explained that both players were on maintenance, however, his comments did not make it seem like it was a sure thing that they will be in the lineup tomorrow night. He even hinted at the fact that some modifications might have to be made in time for the game.
"“Assume they’ll be fine for tomorrow, but we will know more in the morning."
The news seems more worrisome this morning after Cassidy faced the media again to reveal that both Marchand and DeBrusk will be game-time decisions tonight for pivotal Game 4 against the Bolts.
While Cassidy thinks they will play (wishful thinking?!), it also looks like rookie Ryan Donato will be in uniform tonight.
DeBrusk and Marchand were both in the lineup Wednesday night for the contest against the Lightning. DeBrusk ended the game with 14 minutes and 40 seconds on ice-time, and a -1 rating. Marchand was as involved as he always is in the contest, ending with 21 minutes and 37 seconds of ice-time and three shots on goal. He also hit the headlines last night after he delivered quite the powerful old-school hip check on Lightning veteran defenseman Dan Girardi at the end of the first period, close to the teams' benches.
There seems to be no footage or sequence where the forwards could have gotten hurt during the third game of the series. Unless Marchand's old-school hip check hurt him more than it did his opponent...
Cassidy will need to plan a few changes to his lineup if one of the players, or both Marchand and DeBrusk cannot dress for the contest.
Are you nervous, Bruins fans?