Matt Grzelcyk medically cleared, expected to play Game 7

Scott McLaughlin
June 12, 2019 - 11:25 am

Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk has finally been cleared from concussion protocol, just in time for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Coach Bruce Cassidy said Wednesday morning that Grzelcyk will be a game-time decision, but that he expects him to re-enter the lineup. Cassidy said Connor Clifton would come out if Grzelcyk does indeed play, with John Moore staying in the lineup.

Grzelcyk was knocked out of Game 2 of this series when Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist hit him in the head from behind and hasn't played since. Sundqvist was suspended one game for the hit, the first of two Blues to be suspended for a hit to the head in this series.

Prior to suffering the concussion, Grzelcyk had been having a strong postseason, with three goals and four assists in 19 games while playing 17:02 per game (minus the injury-shortened Game 2).

Clifton has played all six games of the Cup Final and 18 of the Bruins' 23 games this postseason, but has fallen out of favor a bit in recent games, as he's played just 17 minutes total over the last two games.

Meanwhile, Moore has clearly gained favor. He's played just nine games this postseason, but has played each of the last four after Grzelcyk went down and has averaged 17:12 per game over the last three. His ability to handle defensive-zone shifts and deal with the Blues' aggressive forecheck has been a welcome sight.

The Bruins are otherwise expected to go with the same lineup as Game 6, including Karson Kuhlman staying in over David Backes after he provided a boost to the second line and scored a goal in Game 6.

Chris Wagner practiced Tuesday in a regular jersey, suggesting he's been cleared for contact after suffering a hand/arm injury blocking a shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It would be surprising to see him play, however, especially given that there's no obvious choice to bench to make room for him.

Here's the expected Bruins lineup for Wednesday night:

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Karson Kuhlman
Marcus Johansson - Charlie Coyle - Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
John Moore - Matt Grzelcyk

Tuukka Rask

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