Could Bruins Rest Veterans During Round-Robin? Bruce Cassidy Weighs In

The NHL is hopeful to begin training camp July 10 as it eyes a return to game action.

As you may already know, the league will head straight to the Stanley Cup playoffs, meaning the Boston Bruins will get a chance to hoist Lord Stanley.

Boston finished up the shortened regular season as the NHL’s best team, but it won’t automatically get the No. 1 seed. Instead, the Bruins will play in a round-robin tournament, along with the top two teams from each conference.

So, yes, the B’s technically could be the No. 4 seed, while the Philadelphia Flyers could come in at No. 1.

But at the end of the tournament, the Bruins still will be in contention for the Cup. So would Bruce Cassidy consider resting some veteran players in order to risk injury?

He’s considered it.

“Do our veterans need all three games to get to the top of their game? Even if they do, should we play them and risk injuries?,” Cassidy said during a Zoom call with NBC Sports Boston. “There’s a lot that goes into it. I think every team is probably going to have a little of the same approach (in the round-robin) and they are going to want to be at their best and healthiest headed into the playoffs.

“Would we like to win all three games? Of course, in a perfect world, but I think with all teams there’s going to be some sort of a preseason mentality worked in with how the lineups are constructed every game. But if the (veteran players) want to play every game then I’m going to listen to them. It’s their bodies and they would know best. Then in the last game in the third period we’re going to shut our eyes and hope nobody gets hurt in those situations.”

Sure, the extra rest could benefit players such as Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tuukkaa Rask and Brad Marchand. But it sounds as if Cassidy is going to trust his players and leave the decision in their hands.

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