What the Bruins’ Matt Grzelcyk thinks of the change in position from. Lubricators

by Greg Dudek
14 hours ago

Since acquiring Dmitry Orlov before the trade deadline, Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery has been playing musical chairs with the defensive pairings.

This has led to different combinations and players lining up on their less dominant side, which Matt Grzelcyk will do on Thursday night when the Bruins host the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 p.m. ET from TD Garden.

The left-handed defenseman will play on the right side in Boston’s third pairing alongside Derek Forbort, and Grzelcyk will have to adapt quickly to the change in position, especially against an Oilers offense that leads the NHL in goals per game.

“I’ve played it before, so I think I know what can get you in trouble,” Grzelcyk told reporters after the morning skate, via video provided by the team. “I think sometimes the neutral zone can be difficult. You’re on your side, you feel like if you get a D-to-D pass it’s hard to go straight up. But like I said, I had experience there before I played, so I’m just trying to get used to it and see what happens.

Playing on his opposite side isn’t the only thing Grzelcyk will have to adapt to, as skating on the same duo with Forbort is a foreign concept to the 29-year-old.

“I’ve never played with him, but I’ve known his game, obviously, for the last year and a half, just to watch him,” Grzelcyk said. “Try to control the puck a bit and move the puck on first contact. Like I said, it’s a little harder to see the ice on your side. But I’ve had a few games in the past, so I go by those past experiences, and I know he’s an amazing defender and he’s really good at closing games in a hurry.

With Orlov not only entering the mix, but playing exceptionally well since joining the Bruins, it’s forced Montgomery to make a regular defenseman a healthy out every game. Connor Clifton, Brandon Carlo, Forbort and Grzelcyk, who weren’t dressed in Boston’s last game against the New York Rangers, took turns sitting out. Clifton is the odd man against the Oilers.

It’s a difficult situation, but a luxury all the same.

“I think it’s unlikely that we’ve been healthy for pretty much the whole year,” Grzelcyk said. “When you come out of alignment you want to make sure you take care of your body and use that time correctly, get the rest you need and make sure that when you come back you’ll have a bit more. jump.

“I think we all realize the reality of the situation. We have a ton of good players, obviously, and eventually someone will drop out of the lineup. So just make sure that when you’re in there, you get the most out of it.

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