The Boston Bruins are set to once again face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup playoffs and it looks like the Bruins are already making some adjustments in anticipation of a more physical style of play from the Lightning.
On Sunday Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy announced that he would be inserting veteran National Hockey League forward Nick Ritchie into the lineup, a move that was met by a pretty mixed reaction from the Bruins fan base. The reaction is somewhat understandable given that Ritchie has been something of an unpopular figure in Boston since being acquired at the trade deadline. For starters there were many who thought the decision to deal away Danton Heinen was an overpay on the part of the Bruins and Ritchie has since found himself a healthy scratch in these playoffs due to his questionable play at times.
As I stated the reaction from the Boston Bruins fan base to this one has been less than positive, here are a few choice examples of responses to today's announcements from Cassidy.
Despite the protest from these fans, and many others to be honest, the move here from Cassidy seems clearly designed to beef up his lineup in preparation for the Lightning's style of play and to that effect the player coming out of the lineup this evening for the Bruins will be Par Lindholm. This means that forward Sean Kuraly will be bumped down to the 4th line in order to make room for Ritchie in the line up, a combination that Cassidy believes will give his team more of a physical edge against Tampa Bay. Joining Ritchie on the third line tonight will be Anders Bjork and the logic here from Cassidy is that he feels Ritchie will be able to play harder along the boards against the physical Lightning line up and create chances for Bjork who has already had some good opportunities in these playoffs thus far.
For more on the mindset of the Bruins coach heading into this one you can check out the video below:
Do you like Cassidy's changes to the lineup? I suspect many will not so let us know your thoughts in the comments.