Boston Bruins: Nick Holden and Brian Gionta to get first start

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Charlie McAvoy
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Charlie McAvoy /

The Boston Bruins recent acquisitions will get their first ice-time on Thursday night when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Boston Bruins fans will finally get to see all of the players that they acquired over the trade deadline.

Rick Nash is on the second line, Tommy Wingels on the third, and now Nick Holden will be replacing Matt Grzelcyk in the third defensive pair and Brian Gionta will be replacing Danton Heinen on the third line.

Now I’m not excited to see that Grzelcyk will be out because I originally thought he was a healthy scratch, but Fluto Shinzawa reported that Grzelcyk is currently nursing an injury.

Like Shinzawa said this means that it is a perfect time to get Holden some action. A defensive pairing of Holden and Brandon Carlo is going to be very physical. These are some big guys so it will be a different style of play compared to when Grzelcyk is out there.

This is also a good chance for Kevan Miller to step up to the second defensive pairing with Torey Krug.  Krug is more of an offensive player so this could lead to Miller getting some more shooting opportunities at the point. Miller will mostly be a stay at home defenseman with Krug pinching down in the offensive zone a lot trying to get the offense going.

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I think Holden might be getting some more ice time as well because Carlo is having a rough go of it as of late. In his last six games Carlo has one assist but a horrendous -6 rating. It seems Carlo is always on the ice when a goal is allowed. It may be time for Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy to give Holden a run and let Carlo watch from the ninth floor.

“Ole man Gionta”

Now Gionta will be taking the place of a Heinen who has been struggling as of late. In Heinen’s last 10 games he only has two assists and a rating of -1. Hopefully, this will give Heinen time to reassess his game and get back on track. He has been having a phenomenal season as he has 12 goals and 27 assists.

Now this will be Gionta’s first NHL ice time in almost a year. He hasn’t played since the 2016-2017 season. Bruins fans will get to see if Gionta can keep up with NHL level players. He is 39-years-old and isn’t the same player that he used to be. I don’t expect Gionta to be in the lineup for long as Heinen will hopefully come back and continue to have a great season.

This is an important game for Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney as we will finally see all of his acquisitions. His moves have panned out so far and he is in good favor with Bruins fans, but if Holden and Gionta don’t work out that kindness may diminish.

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No matter the result of the game eyes will be focused on Gionta and Holden.