June 12 (UPI) — Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was medically cleared from a concussion and is expected to play in the deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, head coach Bruce Cassidy announced Wednesday.
“He’ll be a game-time decision,” Cassidy said. “But looks like he’ll go in.”
Grzelcyk, who hasn’t played since Game 2 of the Final, would bump rookie defenseman Connor Clifton from the lineup if he returns from his head injury, Cassidy said.
St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist boarded Grzelcyk during the first period in the second game of the series. The defenseman was playing the puck along the boards behind the Bruins’ net when he appeared to lose his balance. Sundqvist raced in for a check, and Grzelcyk’s helmet slammed into the glass.
Grzelcyk held his head and laid on the ice for a few moments before trainers assisted him to the locker room. He left the contest and was sidelined for the Bruins’ next four games. Sundqvist, who received a two-minute minor penalty in the game, was hit with a one-game suspension for the play.
The Bruins remained hopeful that Grzelcyk could return in Game 5, but team doctors wouldn’t clear him from the concussion protocol, according to ESPN. He has been skating with Boston for the last week in a non-contact jersey.
“One thing about Matt, if he does go in [after] missing some games, is he’s been skating with us,” Cassidy said. “It’s not like he just jumped on the ice yesterday. He’s been participating, albeit non-contact, so it’s a little bit of a different animal there.”
Grzelcyk has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 19 games this postseason. He had 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 66 games during the regular season.