BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins will be without one of the scrappy members of their fourth line for the first few weeks of the NHL season.
Noel Acciari will miss roughly six weeks after fracturing his right index finger blocking a shot in the opening-night win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. It's another injury in what’s been a bruising couple of seasons for the hard-hitting Rhode Island kid. Acciari has battled with an assortment of issues the past couple of seasons and will probably have a hard time avoiding them given his intense, punishing style of play.
The Bruins will certainly miss Acciari’s physical style and fearless ability to hit anybody in an opposing jersey. The lineup may take on even more of a speed-skill look in his absence.
Said coach Bruce Cassidy: "[Acciari] gives some flavor to the bottom of the lineup in terms of his physicality, and he had good chemistry with [Riley] Nash playing a straight-line game. With [Tim] Schaller, I thought they gave us a hard-to-play-against line with some ability to chip in offensively. He was starting to grow his game on the penalty kill as well. It was something we wanted to build in there. So it's a tough one. He's a guy that will put himself in harm's way at a moment's notice, and this is a little bit of bad luck again. He's had a few of those, but he's a tough guy and he'll be back."
The Bruins didn’t have any call-ups from Providence at practice Saturday, but Austin Czarnik did return to the practice ice for the first time since falling sick at the end of training camp. Patrice Bergeron also skated on his own prior to practice, but let the ice once the rest of his teammates filtered on for the start of the morning session at Warrior Ice Arena.
Likewise, Torey Krug went through a full practice without restrictions and has shed the non-contact jersey after what must have been a good meeting with doctors on Friday.
Here are the Bruins line combos and D-pairings fat practice with a couple of healthy bodies entering the mix ahead of a Monday holiday matinee against the Colorado Avalanche: