SUNRISE, Fla. --- With Halloween in the rear-view mirror, it’s still unfortunately looking a little grim up front for the Boston Bruins.
There’s no update about David Backes, who is still absent from the team after undergoing an elbow procedure, David Pastrnak is out while serving the second game of his two-game suspension for a high hit on Dan Girardi and now it looks like Patrice Bergeron may be out for Tuesday night’s game with an unspecified injury. That leaves the Bruins with some rather modest-looking top-6 forward lines, and a real challenge generating offense within a hockey club that’s already ranked 26th in the NHL at 2.3 goals per game through eight games this season.
Brad Marchand admitted it’s a little “frustrating” to have been unable to ice their full lineup even once yet this season, but that it’s something the Black and Gold needs to keep fighting through.
“It’s a little frustrating when we know we have a good team, and we’d like to have us all together and playing together. That will give us our best opportunity to win games, but it’s also good to face some adversity at times. Hopefully we deal with it the right way. You’d rather have these problems early in the year than later in the year,” admitted Marchand. “We need to pay good attention to detail, especially defensively. Missing those three guys [Bergeron, Backes and Pastrnak] are obviously big parts of our team, but we have to find a way to win no matter what. The easiest way to do that is to play a very sound game. We still have a good team in here, and we need to find a way to win regardless.”
In the good news department, Tuukka Rask appears healthy and on track to make his second straight start between the pipes when the Black and Gold take the ice against the Panthers at the BB&T Center on Tuesday night. Boston’s best hope for two points is probably a similarly-played game to the 1-0 win over the Red Wings last weekend where defensive attention to detail, hard work and hitting on one or two scoring chances were good enough with a skeleton crew.
“We have to play the way we did in Detroit: play hard and win the battles and the races. I thought we played well. We didn’t sit back. We just played a hard, honest game while minimizing the mistakes, and we did that,” said Julien. “Our goalie was good, but the players in front of them were just as good.
“[Florida and Boston] are two teams that compete hard, two teams that respect the system and from what I’m told [the Panthers] are coming off a tough trip. We’re going through some tough times as well, so maybe it’s two desperate teams looking for a win.”
If the Bruins are going to get a good result missing so many key veterans, they’re going to undoubtedly need rookie forwards like Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and new P-Bruins call-up Sean Kuraly to make an impact within an important divisional matchup.