Report: Bruins make critical lineup change for Game 7 tonight

Tough to see what Cassidy is thinking here…

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According to a report from Boston Bruins insider Joe Haggerty, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will make a change to his roster for the Bruins’ critical Game 7 matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs

After sitting out Game 6, rookie Danton Heinen draws back into the lineup in place of veteran Tommy Wingels. The real casualty in all of this though is star rookie Ryan Donato. Here’s the report from Haggerty, himself:

No Ryan Donato tonight for Game 7. Danton Heinen back in for the B's and Bruce Cassidy is showing some faith with the original line combos and D-pairings that got them to this point.

All three players have gone pointless this postseason, so it’s not as if the Bruins are really sacrificing any offense with this change, but to be fair neither of the rookies, Heinen or Donato, have been given much of an opportunity. Donato has played just one playoff game so far this series, after bursting onto the scene with five goals and nine points in his first 12 NHL regular season games. The 22 year old Harvard University product is brimming with offensive talent, but clearly coach Cassidy prizes the defensive prowess of Wingels and the utility of Heinen over Donato’s high risk / high reward style of play.

As for Heinen, the 22 year old native of Langley, British Columbia will slot into on the Bruins’ third line alongside center Riley Nash and winger David Backes, this according to a report from The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa:

For those not on Twitter, here’s how the B’s are expected to line up at forward tonight:

Marchand-Bergeron-PastrnakDeBrusk-Krejci-Rick Nash
Heinen-Riley Nash-BackesSchaller-Kuraly-Acciari

What do we think, Bruins fans? A pretty balanced squad, no doubt. But… personally I’d like to see what Donato could do in a Game 7 situation. Big games need players and so far Donato has proven that he has the skills to put points up on the board. Having said that, Heinen is a solid option as well and may fit better alongside Riley Nash and Backes in a shut down type role. 

Puck drop is 7:30pm tonight at TD Garden.