Bruins’ Matt Grzelcyk expected to miss ‘a couple of weeks’ with upper-body injury

Bruins

The Bruins could be without two of their starting defensemen during Thursday’s game against Toronto.

Boston Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk plays against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period of an NHL hockey game , Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Boston.
Matt Grzelcyk has scored one goal in nine games with the Bruins this season. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Bruins’ blue line is expected to take a hit.

Speaking after Boston’s 3-2 comeback win over the Panthers on Monday night, Jim Montgomery announced that defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is expected to be out “a couple weeks” due to an upper-body injury.

Grzelcyk exited Monday’s game midway through the third period, finishing the game with just 3:29 of ice time. It was unclear what caused the fleet-footed defenseman to leave the game early.

With Grzelcyk sidelined and Charlie McAvoy eventually removed from Monday’s game in the third period due to a match penalty, Boston had to roll out a four-man grouping of Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, Derek Forbort, and Kevin Shattenkirk for the final 13+ minutes of play against Florida.

Grzelcyk garnered praise from Montgomery last week for his strong play as of late, with the 29-year-old blueliner earning more reps on the penalty kill while continuing to form an effective D pairing next to McAvoy.

The duo of McAvoy and Grzelcyk have logged the second-most 5v5 minutes together among Bruins defensive partners (87:33) this season — with Boston holding a 3-1 edge in goals scored over that extended stretch of play.

If McAvoy faces additional discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety for his high hit against Florida’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Boston will need to call up two defensemen ahead of its anticipated matchup against the Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Ian Mitchell and Jakub Zboril stand to be at the front of the line in Providence thanks to their previous reps in NHL ranks. But Boston could also take a long look at blue-chip prospect Mason Lohrei, who was one of the team’s final roster cuts before the start of the regular season.

Lohrei has played in seven total games with the Providence Bruins this season, recording four assists over that stretch.


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