Brighton, MA- Cue the Glenn Frey! The Heat Is On and not just in the Boston area where the temperatures soared to 90 degrees on Wednesday but also in TD Garden where the Bruins and Lightning will have to deal with likelihood that the ice will not be satisfactory for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series. After taking back home advantage by splitting the first two games of the series in Tampa Bay, the Bruins don’t want to allow ice conditions help put figurative heat on them as well by losing a game on home ice, so they will adapt as necessary and try to take a 2-1 series lead.
“Beautiful day, isn’t it? Playoff hockey weather, finally, in Boston,” head coach Bruce Cassidy joked following his team’s morning skate at Warrior Arena. But all kidding aside, Cassidy has his team prepared and ready to adapt in case they’re skating in slush tonight.
“Well, the adapting part is understanding that the one-touch plays sometimes aren’t there as much because pucks are hopping around, and you’ve got to simplify a little when you get a good, flat puck under your stick. Maybe that’s the time to move it or shoot it. The other way is to put the other team in bad spots in terms of forcing them to move the puck under duress with bad ice, and that’s when it bounces, so that’s when turnovers happen. So, a little more, you know, puck pursuit-oriented tonight in terms of forecheck, neutral zone. We’ve got to use our legs more and check with our legs more.
So, that’s what, I guess, the adaptability part will be. Other than that, you play, control your own environment, so if the ice is
not conducive to making good plays or making a lot of plays, don’t make a lot of plays. Keep it simple, right? So, that’s the message, you know, we’ll be in. The players have been through this, especially our veteran guys, here in Boston and on the road, so hopefully they catch up all right.”
Defenseman Charlie McAvoy concurred but also had faith in the famous Garden changeover crew, the Bull Gang that has made dealing with any conditions and changeover they face, like a walk in the park on a gorgeous summer day like today.
“You know what? I’m not all that worried because that Bull Gang, they know how to deal with this and they’re the best around,” McAvoy said of the group that includes fellow Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelyck’s father. “We just need to play our game and if it is bad, then more chip and go and force them in bad areas.”
Wingels In For Schaller
Cassidy announced that forward Tommy Wingels will draw into the lineup for Game 3 and Tim Schaller will sit up top in the press box.
“Timmy’s played well for us, and so has Tommy, so at the end of the day, Tommy’s got some experience. He provides physicality. I think we’re a little short on that up there, so it’s a small swap,” Cassidy said. “They both kill penalties — it’s just a bit of, got to make sure, you know, we’re not completely comfortable and we get the urgency we require, because I think we lack some of that
up there at times — certainly not both games all 60 minutes, but at times, and we need to bring it tonight. Wingy can help us with that.”
Here’s the lineups for Game 3