Bruins

David Krejci missing from Bruins practice, status murky for opening night

David Krejci missing from Bruins practice, status murky for opening night

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Once again David Krejci (lower body) is missing from the practice ice on Monday morning a week after suffering an injury two shifts into his only game action of the preseason. Krejci and Joakim Nordstrom (foot) were both not skating at Warrior Ice Arena in the opening practice of the first regular season work week for the Black and Gold, and their absences put into doubt the availability of both players for the Oct. 3 season opener in Dallas.

Krejci collided with Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere in the first period of last week’s preseason game, and hasn’t been seen on the ice since, though the Bruins have maintained that the Czech playmaker should be ready to go for the regular season.

Otherwise, Anders Bjork, Trent Frederic, Jack Studnicka and Cameron Hughes were all missing from the practice ice as well and those young forwards have essentially been cut from NHL training camp and sent to Providence for AHL training camp. The Bruins haven’t announced those final moves as of yet while dancing around the uncertain availability of Krejci for the opener, but it’s expected they will deal with the absence of No. 46 with the players currently on the NHL roster.

If Krejci indeed doesn’t play on Thursday night against the Stars, it would be expected that Charlie Coyle would bump up to No. 2 center between Jake DeBrusk and Karson Kuhlman, and then the two bottom-6 lines would be a mix-and-match exercise with Nordstrom also out of the lineup.

“When Coyle’s on like that, he’s got a bit of Krech in him, right? He’s got the puck, he’s drawing people to him, those two guys find a way to get open. We’re encouraged by Charlie, the way he’s going offensively. Trying to attack a little more, whether he dishes or shoots, that’s decision as he gets closer to the net,” said Bruce Cassidy following Saturday’s preseason finale win over Chicago. “[I’ve] liked his game [and] liked his camp. Obviously, he’s done a good job, the numbers back that up on the scoresheet, but also, just watching every day in practice, he’s dialed in, ready to go.

“Maybe being here now, from the beginning, it’ll give him more confidence. I think the playoffs gave him confidence last year, a big part of us, our team’s success, scored goals. Looks like he’s taking off from there than maybe when he first got here. He could just be that guy that needs a little time to settle in. We like him in the middle, we think he’ll make our third line stronger, no matter who he plays with. It’s nice to know we also have a guy that, if Krech or Bergy go down, that can go up [the lineup].”

Krejci was healthy all of last season with 20 goals and 73 points in 81 games played, but his potential absence at the start of the season is a reminder that the Bruins core group is getting awfully rickety with so many key players well into their 30’s and 40’s at this point.

Here's how the Bruins lined up at practice Monday morning: 

FORWARD LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk Par Lindholm Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen Charlie Coyle David Backes
Chris Wagner Sean Kuraly Brett Ritchie

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Connor Clifton
Jakub Zboril Steven Kampfer

GOALTENDERS

Tuukka Rask Jaroslav Halak

Four Bruins ranked among NHL Network's Top 50 players>>>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

charlie_coyle_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

Here are my talking points from the Bruins’ first regulation loss at home in 2019-20:

GOLD STAR: It isn’t going to happen very often, but Ian Cole turned out to be the single biggest contributor in a team-wide win for the Avalanche. It was Cole that smoked a slap shot past the glove hand of Jaroslav Halak to give Colorado a 2-1 lead in the second period, and he made certain his first goal of the season was an important one. Cole also blocked five shots in 17:17 of ice time and was part of a gritty, determined effort to protect the lead once the Avs got up 3-1 in the third. He mixed in a couple of hits and a couple of takeaways as well, and made some big plays in what was pretty much a perfect game overall for Colorado.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bruins take first home regulation loss vs. Avs, 4-1

BLACK EYE: There’s more than a few, but how about Danton Heinen just not making the plays that he needs to make when he’s in the lineup? Forget about the zero shots on net in 16:45 of ice time, with a number of them either getting blocked or missing the net. That’s nothing new when it comes to a player that’s barely averaging a shot on net for game. But he also turned the puck over behind the Boston net in a sequence that led to Cole’s game-winner as the Bruins began to run around in the defensive zone. It was that particular play that led Bruce Cassidy to lament that the attention to details was lacking for his players at this point in the season. If Heinen isn’t making the little plays, is a minus player and isn’t bringing any offense, then he isn’t worth having in the lineup.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins went into the first intermission tied at 1-1 after only putting four shots on net, and should have had the kind of wakeup call that they needed to turn the intensity up a little bit. Instead they went through a second period where they again only put up four shots on net while falling behind by two goals headed into the final 20 minutes. The Avalanche only leveled five shots on net as well, but they scored on a pair of them and pounced all over Boston’s mistakes while playing a surprisingly disciplined, two-way game despite their explosive offensive players. This time around, the Bruins didn’t have any way to come back in the third period against a quality Colorado team that wasn’t going to fold for them.

#HaggBag: Any worries about the B's? Let's hear 'em

HONORABLE MENTION: One of the few players to put up an honest-to-goodness effort in the loss was the hard-hitting fourth liner, Chris Wagner. It was Wagner that redirected a John Moore point shot in the first period for his third goal of the season that gave the Bruins an initial lead in the game. Wagner led the Bruins with five registered hits, scored on the only shot on net he had in the game and won 5-of-10 face-offs that he took in his 12:39 of ice time. The shame was that there weren’t enough other players that rose to the level of urgency and compete that Wagner was showing throughout the game for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 – The home point streak (12-0-5) is over for the Bruins as the Avs handed them their first regulation loss on home ice this year, and their first since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues almost six months ago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “There’s just a lot of details that are working us against us now. We’ve just got to wake up and start playing to our abilities in those situations. And live with the result. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I think we’re leaving plays on the table because our lack of urgency or understanding that teams are coming after us.” –Bruce Cassidy, lamenting the lack of urgency in the B’s game as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Avalanche.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

mcavoy_charlie.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

FINAL SCORE: Avalanche 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins tied it early with a Chris Wagner tip-in off a John Moore shot from the point, but from there the Avs dictated play to hand Boston its first home loss in regulation at TD Garden in the 2019-20 season. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Avs, though, who lost Calder Trophy favorite and former UMass star Cale Makar to injury.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 20-4-6 (46 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)

HIGHLIGHTS

WAGNER TIPS HOME MOORE’S SHOT FROM POINT

AVS LOSE MAKAR

UP NEXT:

At Ottawa, Monday, 7:30 p.m., NESN

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.