Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy met with the media following yesterday afternoon’s practice where he updated the injury status of forward Riley Nash for tonights’ pivotal Game 3 match up against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
So… what’s the word? In or out?
“For the most part, just a couple of bumps and bruises. Riley Nash is looking good, so he will be a guy that will go into the lineup tomorrow,” said Cassidy. That’s huge. Nash’s contributions to this team can’t be understated and it’s clear that his head coach is happy to have him back in the fold as the series transitions to Toronto.
“He’s another guy that we can put into the lineup and trust to do the job at both ends of the ice. All year we’ve won games because of our support players and I put Riley in that category… that’s what he’s going to bring, a little bit of everything, face-offs, matchup guy, penalty killing, he’s gone into power play situations when we’ve had injuries, he’s moved up to the top line, he can fill in and produce when a guy like Bergeron or Krejci have been injured, so he’s a good player and that’s why we’re a good team.”
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Welcome back, Nasher. Things are sure to be crazy in Toronto tonight, but with the way the Bruins have played so far in this series, there’s no reason to let emotions creep in. Sure, the playoff intensity will only ramp up from here on out, but the Bruins are a composed veteran group capable of performing under pressure.
In particular, the Bruins will benefit from Nash’s return. The 28 year old center from Consort, Alberta put up a career high 15 goals and 41 points this season, playing mostly 3rd and 4th line minutes for a deep, deep Bruins squad. The defensively responsible pivot is equally adept at generating scoring chances as he is at thwarting them and he gives the team an excellent option in the face-off dot for crucial defensive zone draws. Any way you look at it, his addition is a major plus for the Bruins tonight.
Puck drop is 7pm ET at the Air Canada Centre. Let’s go, boys! Time to take a strangle hold on these silly Leafs!