BOSTON – With the Bruins already down three defensemen, they can't really afford any more injuries. But they might have sustained another costly one, as agitator Brad Marchand -- in obvious pain -- had to leave the ice early during Thursday’s morning skate after coming up lame in a 2-on-1 drill toward the end of practice.
It was difficult to see if he actually injured anything during the practice drill, or if Marchand simply tweaked an ailment that might have already been hampering him during the playoffs. The Nose Face Killah went without a goal in the seven-game series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was playing as if something was physically bothering him as he wasn’t his normal fearless, reckless self.
Claude Julien insisted that Marchand will be in the lineup for Game 1.
"Brad is going to be okay," said Julien. "You'll see him on the ice tonight."
Things didn't look as rosy for Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden, who were all absent from practice on Thursday.
The expectation is that none of those three defensemen will play in Game 1, and that Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug will all be in the lineup against the Blueshirts.
The most obvious lineup adjustment would be Daniel Paille getting bumped up to play with Jaromir Jagr and Patrice Bergeron if Marchand can’t go, and that would mean Kaspars Daugavins likely entering the lineup for fourth-line duty as well.
Here are the expected forward combos and D-pairings if Marchand is able to play: