Questions about Bruins lineup, but Zdeno Chara doesn’t seem to be one of them

Matt Kalman
June 08, 2019 - 6:29 pm

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said that defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who hasn’t played since sustaining a concussion in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, hasn’t been cleared by doctors to play yet.

So that’s why Grzelcyk practiced in a red sweater again Saturday in St. Louis, the day before the Bruins will be trying to stave off elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Grzelcyk's status remains up in the air for Game 6.

Forward Chris Wagner, who hasn’t played since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final Carolina because of an arm injury, skated after practice and he’s unlikely to be available for Game 6 or 7 of the Cup Final, Cassidy said.

Cassidy might still dress seven defensemen if he’s still worried about captain Zdeno Chara’s condition. If he dresses six defensemen, he’ll have to decided between Connor Clifton and Steven Kampfer. If he goes with 12 forwards, he’ll have to decide between David Backes and Karson Kuhlman.

But one person who’s not concerned about Chara is the defenseman, who spoke for the first time since he suffered a facial injury in Game 4 of the Cup Final but then played through the injury in Boston’s Game 5 loss.

“I felt fine playing. Obviously it was a quick turnaround after the last game here. But I felt fine,” Chara told the media in St. Louis, although he was barely able to open his mouth and sounded like a practicing ventriloquist.

Chara played a little more than 16 minutes in Game 5, and he didn’t feel limited in what he could do.

“I don’t think, there’s no limitations. I’m still able to play,” he said.

Whether or not he’s eating could be a concern, but Chara allayed those worries.

“I’m trying to obviously eat as much as I can and keep my nutrition up and my fluids up,” Chara said.

So it sounds like Chara will be in again Sunday. Cassidy will probably reveal more about his lineup Sunday morning before Boston’s do-or-die game.

 

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