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:
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||David Pastrnak|
|Jake DeBrusk||Par Lindholm||Karson Kuhlman|
|Danton Heinen||Charlie Coyle||David Backes|
|Chris Wagner||Sean Kuraly||Brett Ritchie|
|Zdeno Chara||Charlie McAvoy|
|Torey Krug||Brandon Carlo|
|Matt Grzelcyk||Connor Clifton|
|Jakub Zboril||Steven Kampfer|
|Tuukka Rask||Jaroslav Halak|
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