2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

For David Krejci and his slumping line, ‘talk is cheap’ ahead of pivotal Game 5

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Bruce Cassidy is going to have a couple of lineup decisions to make ahead of a Game 5 bout against the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final.

Until further testing can be completed, the Bruins very well could be without their captain in Zdeno Chara — who was unable to play in the second half of Monday’s Game 4 loss after taking a deflected puck to the mouth.

While he’s “better than where he was” after taking a dangerous hit in Game 2 and entering into the concussion protocol, Matt Grzelcyk’s status for Thursday’s matchup at TD Garden is also up in the air — forcing the Bruins to weigh contingency plans such as rolling out seven defensemen and slotting a 20-year-old rookie like Urho Vaakanainen into the lineup.

There might be plenty of fires to put out on the blue line over the next couple of days, but what about up front for Boston? For now, shuffling up forward trios or scratching a skater seems like a last resort for Cassidy — given the more pressing needs on the roster.

Forwards, I think we can manage,” he said, adding: “I've changed lines all year to try to get guys going. The problem with that this time of year is you're so far down the line, the other lines have their chemistry, especially our bottom two lines. We used to pull guys, throw them a little carrot, some extra minutes, some extra responsibility.”

Still, on a night in which Boston’s D corps was taxed for the second time in three games with just five skaters at its disposal, the void created by Boston’s top-six forwards was even more evident — especially with the Bruins’ second line of David Krejci, Jake DeBrusk and David Backes.