The Boston Bruins are set to renew their heated rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night and now there has been an eyebrow raising change made to the lineup by head coach Bruce Cassidy.
First, the Bruins hit the ice for a morning skate on Saturday and according to the Bruins official social media accounts you can expect Boston's regular core lineup to hit the ice against a team that has become one of their biggest rivals. All of the familiar faces will be on the ice tonight including both Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, two players Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock admitted he would like to have on his own team when asked about the Bruins system earlier today.
Here is how the Bruins lineup looked during Saturday's morning rushes:
Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusk - Coyle - Kuhlman
Heinen - Lindholm - Ritchie
Wagner - Kuraly - Backes
Chara - McAvoy
Krug - Carlo
Grzelcyk - Clifton
Now what really stood out from the morning skate was the fact that it appeared to be veteran backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak who was in the starters net, this in spite of the fact that starting goaltender Tuukka Rask has had plenty of time to rest since his last start. Halak however has been dynamite to start the season, recording an outstanding goals against average of 1.69 and an equally impressive save percentage of .951 so you could see why Bruce Cassidy would want him in there against the high powered Maple Leafs offense. In fact Halak has been so good I would suggest that we might have a goaltending controversy on our hands but Rask, who traditionally has been a slow starter, has been just as good to start the season. Through his first 4 games Rask has recorded a very strong 1.72 goals against average and an impressive .946 save percentage, pacing Halak quite well.
The Maple Leafs and the Bruins will face one another again later this week, their next matchup will be on Tuesday when the Leafs travel to TD Garden, and it will be worth watching who gets the start in that contest. I fully expect that Cassidy will go back to Tuuka Rask for that game, however if Halak continues to stand on his head that may not be so easy a choice to make come Tuesday.