Matt Grzelcyk to miss at least one game after latest injury scare


It's been a painful last couple games for Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.

On Monday, he suffered an upper body injury after getting tangled up with Islanders forward Jordan Eberle and going down awkwardly. He didn't return to that game, but felt good enough to play Thursday against the Flyers.

Then on Thursday, he took another awkward spill when he lost an edge while retrieving a puck in the corner, causing him to basically slam into boards in a full split.

He limped back to the bench, but was able to return to the game. However, he did not play in three-on-three overtime, which he normally would, with coach Bruce Cassidy saying he was in some discomfort and may not have been able cover enough ground.

While it seems Grzelcyk once again avoided a serious injury, he will miss at least one game. Cassidy said Saturday morning that Grzelcyk would not play Saturday night against the Flyers due to a lower-body injury and is considered "day-to-day."

It's a tough loss for the Bruins, as Grzelcyk has been the Bruins' No. 2 defenseman in terms of time on ice behind only Charlie McAvoy when healthy, while also serving as the quarterback of the top power-play unit.

Cassidy said Connor Clifton would draw into the lineup and go right into Grzelcyk's usual spot next to Brandon Carlo, allowing the other two D pairings to stay the same. There will be some intrigue there as Clifton will be playing his off side for the first time at this level, but Cassidy said he's been working on playing the left side for several weeks now, precisely because they knew a situation like this could arise.

John Moore may have been the next left-handed defenseman up, but Cassidy said that he's also been dealing with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day. Urho Vaakanainen would be available from the taxi squad, but Cassidy said Clifton will get the first crack and then go from there if Grzelcyk has to miss another game.

As far as the power play goes, McAvoy will step into Grzelcyk's spot on the top unit, although it may not be a straight one-for-one swap in terms of the formation, with Cassidy suggesting he could potentially use David Krejci up high with McAvoy more on the elbow, whereas Grzelcyk tends to stay up high most of the time.

The second power-play unit, which has featured McAvoy and Jakub Zboril at the point this season, will likely shift to a one-D, four-forward unit with Zboril as the quarterback.

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