Bruins

Bergeron sits out practice again, questionable for Thursday's opener

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Bergeron sits out practice again, questionable for Thursday's opener

BOSTON -- For the second straight year, the Bruins might be without their best player to start the regular season.

Patrice Bergeron wasn’t on the ice for Wednesday’s run-through practice at TD Garden, and is questionable for Thursday night’s season opener against Nashville after staying off the ice in three of the last four days. Bergeron’s only appearance was at Tuesday morning's practice, when he had to cut things short midway through because of a lower body injury. Ryan Spooner stepped into Bergeron’s spot between Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork on Wednesday.

“There is [a question mark] simply because he didn’t skate today,” coach Bruce Cassidy said Wednesday. “He’s still day-to-day. I can’t predict tomorrow how it’s going to be. We hope it’s a minor setback, but there is concern simply because he doesn’t skate today. We’re rather him do whatever he can . . . take the extra day and try to get him ready for tomorrow. Taking some more time off is fine, but we’ll have a better idea in the morning obviously.”

As most Bruins fans will remember, Bergeron missed the first three games of last season with a lower body injury that eventually required sports hernia surgery following the season. Last season’s initial injury was believed to be an ankle problem that eventually led to the sports hernia, and negatively impacted Bergeron’s explosive skating ability throughout the season.

Bergeron said his current injury isn’t related to his offseason surgery, and that’s good news on one level. But one has to wonder if the 32-year-old is beginning to break down a little bit physically after 14 seasons of heavy-duty usage.

David Backes was also missing from Wednesday’s skate because he was feeling under the weather. The sense is there’s a better chance of seeing Backes than Bergeron on Thursday night, but there will be a better update after morning skate on Thursday.

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on Wednesday morning’s practice:

Marchand-Spooner-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano
Schaller-Nash-Acciari

Chara-Carlo
Miller-McAvoy
Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Rask

Bruins blow three-goal lead, lose to Sabres in OT, 5-4

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Bruins blow three-goal lead, lose to Sabres in OT, 5-4

BOSTON – The Bruins had things set up for a solid win against an Atlantic Division doormat on Saturday night, but then they went and blew a three-goal second period lead and a two-goal third period lead en route to a deflating loss. 

Ryan O’Reilly scored during a wild scramble around the Boston net in the 3-on-3 overtime and the Bruins dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Buffalo at TD Garden. So now the Bruins have lost to two of last year’s worst teams in the league, Colorado and Buffalo, and an expansion team within the first seven games of the season. 

The Bruins were all over the Sabres in the first period squeezing off 13 shots on net, and getting goals from David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to get things going. The Pastrnak score was a clean-up job at the front of the net after Tim Schaller had crashed the net with the puck, and Marchand scored a goal just two seconds into a PP possession after Marco Scandella coughed a puck up right in front of the Buffalo net. 

Marchand struck again on the first shift of the second period when he snapped home a backhanded drop pass from Anders Bjork, and then Jason Pominville and Pastrnak traded scores to give the Bruins a comfortable three-goal lead. Chelmsford’s own Jack Eichel scored on the rebound of a Scandella shot to make it a two-goal game going into the final period of play, and Benoit Pouliot potted his first goal with the Sabres to make it really close down the stretch. 

Anton Khudobin and the Bruins tried to hold strong in the closing minutes of the third, but couldn’t overcome a shaky interference call on Brandon Carlo that ultimately led to a game-tying Evander Kane score after the PP had expired.  

Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

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Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

BRIGHTON, Mass – It took seven games into the regular season, but it looks like Paul Postma will be making his Bruins debut on Saturday night after signing on in Boston as a free agent last summer. The 28-year-old Postma is getting into the Bruins lineup after a couple of blocked shots knocked Adam McQuaid out of the Bruins lineup with a broken leg, but it’s a moment he’s been prepared for since the end of NHL training camp.

“Those things happen. I obviously wish him the best and we’re going to miss him a lot, but it’s up to the other guys to step up and I’m going to get a chance to play now. [I’m going to] make the most of it,” said Postma, who finished with a goal and 14 points along with a plus-3 rating in 64 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season in his eighth and final year with the organization that dated back to their days as the Atlanta Thrashers. “It was a long summer and I obviously play this game because I want to get into the lineup. I’m ready and excited, and I’m excited to just play my first game as a Boston Bruin.”

Postma has pretty good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, but he’s more of a puck-mover and offensive catalyst with a strong, accurate shot from the point than he would be considered a defensive stopper-type. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has to keep that in mind while building the defensemen pairs, and adjusting to also potentially being without fellow stay-at-home defenseman Kevan Miller on Saturday night as well.

The book on Postma, according to sources within the Winnipeg Jets organization, was that he could impress with the talent and skills within his game, but that he could never consistently put it together on a consistent basis. With injuries piling up for the Bruins, Postma will now get a new, fresh chance with the Bruins after serving as the seventh defenseman for the first few weeks of the season. 

“He’s working diligently to close a little quicker and understand what his assignment is. We’re more zone oriented in terms of layers [than Winnipeg] and we’re not going to chase people away from our net, so he’s had to get used to that,” said Postma, of his adjustment from the Jets system to the one that the Bruins play. “The puck-moving department will always be there. That’s one of his strengths and we’re going to expect that from him. He’s got a big shot, so he’ll definitely add some offensive blue line presence.”  

The nice part for Postma is that all of the talk and theory about how he’ll look in a Bruins uniform will be over at puck drop on Saturday night, and it will be about impressing a team full of new people where he’s looking for a permanent role.