Brett Ritchie wasn’t at Friday’s Boston Bruins practice, so Bruce Cassidy decided to get a little crazy.
The B’s head coach moved Connor Clifton up to the third-line right wing in Ritchie’s place to skate with Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle. This actually isn’t too unfamiliar of a situation for Clifton, who occasionally played winger during the prospects challenge in 2018 and with Providence last season in the AHL. However, it seems like a lot would have to go wrong in order for Clifton to actually be utilized as a winger in a game — though if there’s a coach willing to consider a wild move, it’s Cassidy.
Cassidy indicated Friday was just a maintenance day for Ritchie and he expects him to play Saturday, though he acknowledged there’s some “level of concern” seeing as Ritchie didn’t practice. If Ritchie can’t go though, he would join Joakim Nordstrom, Par Lindholm and Karson Kuhlman among Bruins that aren’t able to play, which certainly tests the team’s depth.
Here’s how the lines and defensive pairings looked in Friday’s practice ahead of Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork–Charlie Coyle–Connor Clifton
Chris Wagner–Sean Kuraly–David Backes
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Steven Kampfer
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images