Bruins Roster Projection 2.0: Predicting Opening Night Lineup With Camp Underway

We now have two days worth of lineup combos to go off of


January 5, 2021

Bruins Camp has begun, so now it’s time for a bunch of knee-jerk roster reactions.

Boston’s training camp began Monday, giving it 10 days to ramp up for the January 14 opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Each week between now and then, we’ll take a crack at an opening night Bruins roster projection, so here’s the second go at it (you can read version 1.0 here).

Jack Studnicka got a look on the top line in David Pastrnak’s spot during the first day of camp. Since Brad Marchand expects to be ready for the opener, the Bruins likely have just one spot to fill, and Studnicka seems like the likely candidate.

Almost all of the middle are is free of surprises, but early on the Bruins seem intent on giving Nick Ritchie a shot to secure the third line left wing role. You could argue Anders Bjork — who is playing fourth line left side — should flip with Ritchie, but it appears the Bruins like the physical presence of Ritchie with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith.

After beating the drum for a while that Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy would play together, we’re backing off that idea following Jeremy Lauzon skating with McAvoy on the top pairing. While Lauzon isn’t a bona fide top-pairing defenseman, the benefit actually trickles down to the second pairing.

Grzelcyk is the closest thing the Bruins have to Torey Krug. They’re different players in a number of ways, to be sure, but if the Bruins like the idea of putting Brandon Carlo with a puck mover, then Grzelcyk on the second pairing makes sense.

That puts John Moore on the third pairing with Connor Clifton — unless a youngster like Jakub Zboril or Urho Vaakanainen has a good camp. Maybe Kevan Miller gets an opportunity here, but after not playing since April 2019, 10 days of camp don’t seem like they will be nearly enough for Miller.

Put it all together and here’s where we land:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron–Jack Studnicka
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie–Charlie Coyle–Craig Smith
Anders Bjork–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner

Jeremy Lauzon–Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk–Brandon Carlo
John Moore–Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

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