Defensive Pairing #1: Matt Grzelcyk — Charlie McAvoy
Switching over to defense, it's a no-brainer that Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy will be on the first pairing.
Even though he's someone whose name has popped up in trade rumors over the offseason, Grzelcyk is the best option to pair with McAvoy. The duo played 605 minutes together during the 2022-23 campaign, resulting in the Bruins outscoring their opponents 36-15 when they were together on the ice.
It's clear that Grzelcyk and McAvoy are one of the better defensive pairings in the Eastern Conference and breaking them up on opening night would do anything but help us win.
Defensive Pairing #2: Hampus Lindholm — Brandon Carlo
Hampus Lindholm looked fantastic in his first season with the Bruins, racking up 53 points over 80 games. His electric performance saw him finish fourth in Norris Trophy voting, putting him in a good spot to build off the best season of his career.
It wouldn't make sense for Lindholm to play with anybody but Brandon Carlo. There wasn't a single Boston pairing that spent more minutes together than this duo (649.1) and I expect that to be the case again in 2023-24. Carlo's defense-first style blends well with his Swedish partner and breaking them up would be a mistake.