Bruins Get Playoff Injury Update on Key Piece

Mar 30, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Peeke (52)
Mar 30, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Peeke (52) / Hannah Foslien-USA TODAY Sports

With the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs tied at a game apiece, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery will have some difficult lineup decisions to make heading into Game 3 on Wednesday.

Bruins defenseman Andrew Peeke missed the end of the second period and the entire third period of Monday's night's Game 2 against Toronto, leaving Boston to navigate the third period with only five defenseman, obviously not an enviable situation in a playoff game.

Peeke is week-to-week, per Montgomery. He will not travel with the team to Toronto.

With Peeke absent from the Bruins' bench late in the second period, offensive defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk was shoehorned into Boston's penalty kill unit, which surrendered a power play goal to the Maple Leafs with 1:34 in the second to tie the game 2-2.

Per Fluto Shinzawa, it appears that Parker Wotherspoon is the most likely candidate to replace Peeke. Wotherspoon emerged as an impressive dark horse piece on the 2023-24 Bruins after signing a two-way deal last offseason, establishing his place with the NHL squad and playing 41 games.

In addition to the update on Peeke, Boston also recalled young defenseman Mason Lohrei from AHL Providence. Lohrei, one of the Bruins top prospects at 23 years old, played 41 games in his first NHL season, but has not played at the NHL level since April 2.

There could be some significant shake-ups on the blue line as the series moves to Scotiabank Arena tied at a game apiece.

Shinzawa also noted that defenseman, Derek Forbort, is not in the mix for Game 3. Forbort hasn't appeared in an NHL game since March 2nd, with injuries that were initially expected to be season-ending. The veteran played 2 rehab games with the Providence Bruins and is expected to travel with the team to Toronto.

Does Montgomery prioritize veteran and playoff experience? Shattenkirk has 952 regular season and 87 playoff games (including a Stanley Cup) under his belt, while Forbort has suited up for 496 regular season games and 32 playoff games. Meanwhile, Lohrei and Wotherspoon have a combined 94 regular season games and haven't appeared in a single playoff game.

Or does Montgomery's game plan dictate his decision? Lohrei and Shattenkirk's offensive, puck-moving style of play differs from the defensive-oriented Wotherspoon and Forbort. But then, you have to wonder how Forbort's will be able to shake off the rust from nearly two months off and hop right into a competitive playoff series. There are a lot of variables at play for the Bruins head coach.

Even beyond the decisions that he is now faced with on the blue line, Montgomery's decision on the Bruins' goalie situation will inevitably come to the forefront again as well.

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