How Bruins D-man Matt Grzelcyk is feeling after getting blasted in Stanley Cup Final

Matt Kalman
August 20, 2019 - 4:52 pm

Matt Grzelcyk made it back into the Bruins’ lineup for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in June just in time to score a late goal in a 4-1 loss (that wasn’t that close) to the St. Louis Blues.

But that didn’t mean he was certain he was 100 percent healthy after he was blasted by Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in Game 2 of the series. Grzelcyk missed the next four games.

The positive news for the Bruins is that after two months of the offseason Grzelcyk’s certain he’s fine.

Grzelcyk joined Dale & Keefe on Tuesday as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund radio-telethon.

“I feel really good,” Grzelcyk said. “I took some time off just making sure my head was OK obviously after the finals. So it’s obviously really kind of tough getting going again the first few weeks, but I’ve been in the gym for quite a while now and back on the ice, so I’m starting to feel like myself and starting to get a little anxious for camp.”

Grzelcyk is going to play an important part in the Bruins’ defense of their Eastern Conference crown. Not only will he again be counted on as one of Boston’s top three left-shot defensemen, his continued improvement will factor in the Bruins’ decision to keep Torey Krug, who can be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. Grzelcyk is entering the second year of his two-year contract with an average annual value of $1.4 million, and he should be in for a raise as a restricted free agent next summer.

Of course there could be even more playing time available on the left side of Boston’s defense if this is going to be the last season for Zdeno Chara. But no one is counting the captain out when it comes to playing beyond 2020, least of all the 25-year-old Grzelcyk, who admitted it was unusual to be playing with the 42-year-old after watching him all those years growing up.

“I’m really awe-struck by him obviously, just to see the age he’s getting to but he still takes care of his body. And he plays big minutes and he plays them really well too and it’s pretty inspiring just to see his journey … it’s really weird watching him as a fan on TV and now he’s two stalls over from me getting dressed and we go out and [play> a game together,” Grzelcyk said.

Another unusual experience for Grzelcyk was living with a roommate this summer that wasn’t his regular-season roommate Danton Heinen. With Heinen home in Vancouver, former Bruins prospect Ryan Donato, who was traded to Minnesota in February for Charlie Coyle, moved in. Donato is a native of Dedham.

Arnold asked if Grzelcyk if he has told Donato he likes Coyle better yet.

“Yeah, I had to break it to him,” joked the Boston blueliner.