Bruce Cassidy is all too familiar with the old adage of Murphy’s Law — as is just about every other bench boss in the NHL.
Already down three top-six options up front in David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk and Marcus Johansson — and without Kevan Miller on the blue line — the B’s were already set for a tall task against the Penguins on Sunday night, even with how much fortune has fallen in Boston’s favor during its 19-game point streak.
Losing another man on the blue line wasn’t going to make things any easier — especially against a Pittsburgh club averaging 3.42 goals per game. But that was the hand that Cassidy and the Bruins were dealt on the second leg of their back-to-back weekend slate, as Matt Grzelcyk exited the game in the opening minutes of the second period with what looked to be a serious arm injury.
"It's not easy, losing manpower along the way,” Cassidy said of having to soldier on with five healthy defensemen for close to two periods. "We're used to it. But still, tonight, it's four (games) in six (days), so now you're really up against it against a forward group that's arguably the best in the National Hockey League. That's the last place you want an injury, on the back end. But that's the way it works and we kind of did our best to get through it."
The result on the scoresheet was less than ideal — with the Penguins handing the Bruins their first loss in regulation since Jan. 19 by way of a 4-2 final. But Cassidy did offer a bit of a silver lining when it came to the results he received postgame about Grzelcyk’s health.