The Boston Bruins are now facing elimination in their first round playoff match up against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and you can bet that they will be pulling out all the stops to avoid being sent home early.
The Bruins entered this series as the odds on favorites to win in and given their recent history in the playoffs against these very same Maple Leafs it is not hard to see why they were being pegged as the favorites to advance. That being said after 5 games have been played in this series the Bruins now find themselves staring down the possibility of starting the golf season early and this is in spite of a massive 5 game playoff suspension to Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri.
There was an expectation that given these circumstances Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy would be shaking things up for Game 6 of the series and it does seem as if he is going with a bit of a mixed bag for Sunday's game. Although lines used in practice are not the final indicator of the lines that will be used in the game itself, there were two Bruins forwards who were notably absent from the teams top lines on Saturday during practice. First here's a look at the Bruins top 4 lines from today as per Bruins reporter Joe McDonald.
Now your first takeaway is likely to notice that Cassidy really has not made any drastic changes to this line up but as I stated earlier there are two Boston regulars who are missing. Boston Bruins veteran forward David Backes is once again absent from the line up and you have to wonder if Cassidy will once again look to leave $6 million in salary on the bench in this series. The other name notably absent here is that of 27 year old center Noel Acciari, a player that has been winning over 56% of his face offs for the Bruins in spite of the fact that he has not really produced for them on the score sheet against the Leafs. His absence, especially when you consider he played in 72 games for the Bruins this season, is perhaps a bigger surprise then seeing Backes scratched once again in this series.