With the Bruins preseason having wrapped up and regular season just a few days away, the Bruins brass got to work over the weekend on finalizing the Centennial Opening Night roster.
The final rounds of cuts were announced on Sunday, as AJ Greer and Patrick Brown were placed on waivers for assignment to Providence. They joined Jesper Boqvist, Oskar Steen and Jakub Zboril, who were all waived the day before. Trevor Kuntar, Marc McLaughlin and Georgii Merkulov had been part of the first wave of cuts last week.
Poitras, Beecher, Lauko had all made the most of their extended auditions when they made the cut on Sunday evening. Each of them played in at least three preseason games and Poitras lead the team in scoring. Mason Lohrei was the last cut when Danton Heinen signed a full contract for the final spot.
With the Opening Night roster finalized, what should the lines look like and how do the young guys fit in?
Based on the last practice lines from Fluto Shinzawa, Zacha will be centering Pasta and JVR on the top line. Charlie Coyle will bump up into Bergeron’s spot with Marchand and DeBrusk on the now-demoted second line. Poitras should expect to slot into the 3C role with Frederic and Geekie or Heinen. Beecher, finally cracking the lineup after being drafted 30th overall in 2019, will center Lucic and Lauko on the fourth line.
Defensively, the only major difference from last seasons pairings will be Shattenkirk on the third pair with Forbort. Lohrei impressed in the preseason and should see plenty of opportunity in a similar role to Shattenkirk throughout the year.
Ullmark and Swayman return for the third consecutive season as a tandem in net.
On paper, this looks like a squad that is going to heavily rely on defense and goaltending to win games.
Pastrnak and Marchand are going to be the main sources of offense while Coyle and Zacha try to share the defensive load. Should Poitras continue his momentum from the preseason, his scoring would take a major load off the top two lines.
The Bruins Centennial Season kicks off at home Wednesday night against Chicago.
Photo: Frank Franklin II / AP