Bruins See This As ‘Great Problem’ To Have In Postseason

The Bruins have more depth on the blue line after Derek Forbort made his postseason debut against the Panthers in Game 1 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Forbort Out Vs Wild; Likely Sunday Vs Sabres Too

Along with Forbort, injured defenseman Andrew Peeke is expected to return to the lineup “at some point” during Boston’s series with Florida.

That’s a lot of depth on the back end for Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery to juggle when it comes to figuring out the defensive pairs.

“It’s going to be a great problem once (Peeke’s) ready to go,” Montgomery told reporters on Tuesday. “We have that problem currently. We didn’t play (Kevin) Shattenkirk (in Game 1). He’s someone that’s contributed mightily to our group.”

Firing and rehab made Bruins' Jim Montgomery better on and off ice

In Game 1, Montgomery rolled out the defensive pairs of Hampus Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy, Mason Lohrei and Brandon Carlo, and Forbort with Parker Wotherspoon. Shattenkirk and Matt Grzelyck were healthy scratches for Boston, while Peeke remained out with an undisclosed injury. Boston’s defense had a direct impact on the Bruins’ 5-1 win.

Lindholm led the Bruins’ defensive core with six blocked shots, while Forbort had a back-end high of six hits in Game 1. Boston got goals from Lohrei and Carlo.

With the depth, Montgomery will have the luxury of keeping legs fresh by rotating players in and out of the lineup as Boston gets deeper into the playoffs.

Each defenseman helps the Bruins with specific matchups, first against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round and now against the Panthers in the second round — especially rookie Mason Lohrei.

“He’s an extremely competitive player,” Montgomery said. “It may not show in the physicality of the way he plays, but it shows with his poise with the puck.

“There’s different ways to be intense, and he wants the puck. That’s an intensity that you have to have players that want the puck in big moments, and you gotta have players that want to check in big moments.”

There is no definitive timeline for when Peeke will be available, but Montgomery still has the opportunity to shuffle the D-pairs with Shattenkirk and Grzelyck waiting for their opportunity in the series.

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The Bruins continue their second-round matchup with the Panthers on Wednesday night. Puck drop from Amerant Bank Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN.

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