Bruins Roster Projection 4.0: Predicting Boston’s Lineup For Round-Robin Opener


The training camp practices are done, as is Thursday’s exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Next for the Boston Bruins? The Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday in the first game of the Eastern Conference round-robin tournament.

Every week since the start of training camp, we’ve predicted what the Bruins roster will be when the puck drops Sunday. And while it’s mostly come into focus, a few things remain unclear just two days out from the opening contest.

But alas, it’s our job/duty/obligation to take a stab at it. So away we go.

First Line
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak

Take a deep breath, Pastrnak is in Toronto, so the Bruins’ top line will stay as it has.

Second Line
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Jack Studnicka

Hands up if you predicted Jack Studnicka on the second line right wing three weeks ago. He seems like the frontrunner for that spot right now, but probably is the last forward in.

Third Line
Nick Ritchie–Charlie Coyle–Anders Bjork

Ritchie hasn’t been a regular participant in practice in a week, and he just returned to skating Thursday morning. If he’s in game shape our guess is this is how things will shake out, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up a healthy scratch against Philly so that he has a few more days to get his legs under him.

Fourth Line
Joakim Nordstrom–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner

If Ritchie doesn’t play, then Kuraly goes up to the third line left wing, where he spent most of camp, and Par Lindholm centers this unit. If not, the trio that spent much of this season together and was one of the league’s better fourth lines gets back together.

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Forward Healthy Scratches
Par Lindholm, Karson Kuhlman

It’s probably more likely that Lindholm sees game action before Kuhlman, but who knows.

Forward Reserves
Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, Ondrej Kase

Kase only makes this list because we have no clue where he is. Frederic and Senyshyn have yet to really mix in with the top four lines, so it’s safe to consider them simply depth options.

First defensive pairing
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy

No surprise.

Second defensive pairing
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo

Still not surprising.

Third defensive pairing
Matt Grzelcyk–Jeremy Lauzon

Lauzon has earned this spot, and short of an injury or a big step back, he’s going to keep it.

Defense Scratches
John Moore, Connor Clifton

Both have been outplayed by Lauzon this season, but if we’re taking guesses here, Moore is the seventh defenseman and Clifton is the eighth.

Defense Extras
Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril

The Bruins have so much defensive depth that something will have gone incredibly wrong if either get into a game right now.

Starting Goalie
Tuukka Rask

Remember last season in the Eastern Conference Final when the Hurricanes kept going back and forth between Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney, then before Game 3 Bruce Cassidy joked “Our (goalie) is gonna be Rask).” Good times. He should do that again Sunday.

Backup Goalie
Jaroslav Halak

Boston’s goalie is gonna be Rask. Thus, Halak will remain the backup.

Extra Goalies
Maxime Lagace, Dan Vladar

Depth options, obviously.

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Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

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