Bruins Roster Projection 3.0: Projecting Boston’s Opening Night Lineup

There are some changes this week

by

September 28

We’re another week closer to Bruins hockey and we’re starting to see (some) players in game action.

Boston is 1-1 through its first two preseason games, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers on the road and beating the New York Rangers at TD Garden. We’ve had a look at some veterans, newcomers and rookies and have watched players like A.J. Greer really make a case for a spot on the roster.

Each week, we’ll roll out a roster projection predicting what the Bruins’ lineup with look like come Oct. 12 against the Washington Capitals. You can check out our first one here, and last week’s here. There are a few changes for this week.

FORWARDS
Pavel Zacha–Patrice Bergeron–Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic–Charlie Coyle–Craig Smith
A.J. Greer–Tomas Nosek–Oskar Steen

— You’ll see that Nick Foligno is the odd man out in this situation. That could change over the final two weeks before the Bruins open their season but for now, this is what we’re rolling with.

— Greer has shown everything the fourth line needs: grit, physicality, energy and even added two goals –including the game-winner Tuesday– as a treat. He’s a six-year veteran who knows what’s at stake. He also isn’t afraid to throw his weight around and drop the gloves — something the Bruins were desperately missing last season.

DEFENSE
Hampus Lindholm–Brandon Carlo
Mike Reilly–Jakub Zboril
Derek Forbort–Connor Clifton

— Jim Montgomery wanted to split up Lindholm and Carlo in camp and preseason, but it hasn’t benefited Carlo all that much. Reilly had a fantastic game Tuesday and looked to be a rejuvenated player. But we think that has to do with having more offensive freedom in Montgomery’s system than playing with Carlo.

— Zboril has looked strong in preseason and definitely will make it hard for Montgomery to send him down to Providence. With Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk out to begin the year, it’s likely Zboril will slot into the lineup. But when they return, there will be three players (at least) fighting for two spots.

GOALIES
Jeremy Swayman
Linus Ullmark

— Same as the last two weeks. Until we get official word from Montgomery or see Ullmark make some drastic leap and emerge as the No. 1 goalie, expect to see Swayman in net come Opening Night.

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Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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