Where Hampus Lindholm begins his Boston Bruins career isn’t necessarily where he’ll finish it.
Bruce Cassidy revealed Wednesday he’ll slot the newly acquired defenseman alongside Charlie McAvoy on Boston’s top defensive pairing Thursday at TD Garden when the Bruins host the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, that doesn’t mean the Lindholm-McAvoy axis will be permanent. Although the Bruins intend to use Lindholm in a top-four role, Cassidy plans to experiment in order to discover whether the 28-year-old fits better with McAvoy or Brandon Carlo.
“We’re going to start him there (on Boston’s top pairing),” Cassidy said following Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, per team-provided video. “No matter who we played tomorrow. ? Grizz (Matt Grzelcyk) has played with Carlo. Let’s see how Lindy goes with with with Charlie, and then over time we will make that switch probably just to see what it looks like. If you know me I probably like to see what everything looks like at some point because that’s how you find out if there’s some chemistry that maybe wouldn’t otherwise know.”
However, if Lindholm-McAvoy instantly proves a match made in the (TD) Garden (of Eden), Cassidy will keep the pair together.
“If it’s lights-out for the next 19 games, (then) yeah (Lindholm will continue with McAvoy), but I suspect you’ll see him at some point. And then playoffs might become a little more matchup-(oriented), you see the same team from four to seven times and (determine) what’s a better fit. But right now the intent is to keep him with Charlie and see how it goes.”
Watch Lindholm’s Bruins debut Thursday on NESN. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.