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Bruins forward Morgan Geekie has fond memories of his days in Carolina

He made an early smash in Carolina, scoring a pair of goals in his debut and adding another in his second game, giving him three goals on his first three NHL shots.

His Carolina run was short-lived, however, as he was grabbed by the Kraken in the 2021 expansion draft. Geekie understood there was a chance he could be on the move, but he wasn’t losing sleep over it.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to get picked. There’s always rumors, and you read stuff online or whatever, but nothing really set in stone,” Geekie said following the Bruins’ morning skate Thursday. “But yeah, I think my agent called me at 2 or 3 in the morning the night before and I had my phone on do not disturb and didn’t answer him until 9 o’clock. So, it was all pretty whirlwind, and things went pretty quick. So, obviously it led me on my path here and I’m grateful for that. But yeah, not something I would’ve expected, for sure.”

Geekie said he owes a lot of his professional and personal development to his Carolina roots.

“Becoming a pro is something that you need to learn really quickly, and I think I figured that out pretty soon, just with the group of guys I was surrounded with and the group of guys that we had here in Carolina, so it’s always lots of fun and I credit a lot of my growth to coming back here,” he said.

Geekie has bounced from wing to center and up and down the lineup this season, and he has collected career highs in goals (16) and assists (22), including a helper Thursday on the 400th goal of Marchand’s career. Taking on new assignments has been something he’s embraced.

“It’s good. Me and Charlie were just saying I think he might be one of the only guys I haven’t played with this year, so it is fun,” said Geekie, who assumed the spot most recently occupied by Jake DeBrusk. “I’m excited for the challenge and those are two great players that I’m playing with, so I think we’ve got a few big bodies on that line and just try to play in [Carolina’s] end, play fast and hold on to pucks, and play down low. So, not trying to do anything too crazy and just stick to our game plan.”

Jim Montgomery has appreciated how Geekie has fit in, on the ice and in the dressing room.

“What has surprised us is when you don’t know someone, how good a teammate he is, how well he fits with our culture. That’s always a pleasant surprise because then the guy assimilates and is comfortable real quick, which is not easy when you move teams,” said the coach. “And then the other part is how physical he’s been for us consistently and how good he is offensively.”

Grzelcyk checks back in

Matt Grzelcyk was back in the lineup after the defenseman got the night off Tuesday in Nashville. He said he used the time off from game action as a bit of a reset.

“I think it’s been going pretty well here for a little bit, so we have a lot of great players who can play every night, so just make sure you’re getting your rest, take care of your body, and I think just mentally prepare yourself to get back in the lineup,” he said.

Grzelcyk said watching the win over the Predators from the press box was beneficial.

“I think it’s just a different game from up there. The game seems like it kind of slows down a little bit. You’re able to see the whole ice at once and you don’t really get that when you’re on the bench all the time watching from that level,” he said. “So, I think it gives you a little bit of a different appreciation.”

Grzelcyk is a puck mover first and foremost, and that’s something Montgomery wants to see.

“[He’s] someone who impacts the game because of his feet offensively and defensively . . . I think Grizz knows how important he is to our team’s success,” said Montgomery. “And when he is on top of his game, the Bruins are a much better team.”

Grzelcyk was paired with Andrew Peeke against the Hurricanes as Montgomery continued to get his newest blue-liner reps with everyone in the corps.

Swayman gets start

Jeremy Swayman got the start (and win) in net after Linus Ullmark shut out the Predators.

“I’m very comfortable with the rotation, even going into the playoffs,” Montgomery said.

The one caveat, the coach said, is with the Bruins playing Carolina again Tuesday at home, which would be Swayman’s normal game, he might deviate.

“Yeah, that might be something that maybe we switch just so that we can see both guys against a certain opponent,” Montgomery said.

Brazeau back home

Justin Brazeau, who left Tuesday’s win with what appeared to be a right arm injury, went back to Boston for further testing and Montgomery said the club will have a report on the “severity” of the ailment on Friday . . . DeBrusk started the game with Jesper Boqvist and Trent Frederic . . . The other lines: Danton HeinenPavel ZachaDavid Pastrnak and Jakub LaukoJohnny BeecherJames van Riemsdyk . . . On the blue line, Charlie McAvoy was with Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Carlo was with Parker Wotherspoon . . . Kevin Shattenkirk and Mason Lohrei were the healthy scratches . . . Song of the night: “Sicko Mode,” by Travis Scott.

Jim McBride can be reached at Follow him @globejimmcbride.

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