Matt Grzelcyk largely has gone without praise throughout the Bruins’ playoff run. But when the young blueliner was forced out of Wednesday night’s game at TD Garden, his importance to Boston’s success became all the more apparent.
Grzelcyk was the victim of a brutal Oskar Sundqvist hit late in the first period of Stanley Cup Final Game 2. The St. Louis Blues’ fourth-line center steamrolled a turned-around Grzelcyk, whose head rattled off the glass before he fell to the ice. The 25-year-old needed assistance while making his way to the locker room and was taken to a local hospital for further testing.
Boston’s puck movement and pursuit noticeably became more stagnant upon Grzelyck’s exit. The Blues capitalized on the somewhat listless B’s, who ultimately suffered a 3-2 loss in overtime. After the game, head coach Bruce Cassidy highlighted the Grzelcyk injury as a turning point in the contest.
“Losing the 15 to 16 minutes of Grizz’s time, he’s a good puck mover and a guy that can break down a forecheck when he’s on,” Cassidy said, per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. “(The forecheck) was a strength of theirs tonight and a weakness of ours, breaking pucks out. He’s good at the big escape more and the big clean pass to get our forwards moving. We lost some of that element.”
Cassidy did not have an additional update on Grzelcyk after the game. John Moore likely will have his number called in the event Grzelyck is sidelined. Moore has appeared in five games during the Bruins’ postseason run, which included filling in for Zdeno Chara in the clinching Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. Moore is a -4 with no points and three shots on goal in these playoffs.
Cup Final action resumes Saturday night when the Bruins and Blues meet at Enterprise Center for Game 3.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images