John Moore (shoulder) will be out to begin Bruins training camp

John Moore (shoulder) will be out to begin Bruins training camp

BOLTON, Mass – At the very least, the Bruins are going to be down at least one regular player when the season gets going next month.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed on Monday at the Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at the International that D-man John Moore won’t be ready to start training camp after shoulder surgery this summer.

The 28-year-old Moore made it all the way through the Stanley Cup Final with a banged up body and then succumbed to shoulder surgery on June 26 that’s estimated to sideline him for 4-6 months. The earlier end of that timeline would leave Moore out for pretty much all of the preseason, and leave him out to start the regular season as well.

Moore is hopeful that he’ll be back sooner than later, but it will well ahead of schedule if he’s available to play much before the beginning of November.

“I feel good. It’s been kind of a process getting back and doing rehab. I’ve been here all summer just grinding away,” said Moore. “This surgery really kicked my ass, but every day I’m just trying to take little steps and make little improvements.

“I definitely won’t be ready to go off the start, but I hope I’ll be ready to go shortly thereafter. You base it off what the surgeon says. There are guidelines and I’m optimistic I’ve been hitting all of them that it will be sooner [for a return] than later. Initially when we started the process 4-6 months was the window and I’m hoping it will be more toward the fourth months.”

Moore finished with four goals and 13 points in 61 games this past season, his first as a member of the Bruins, and is among a number of Bruins defensemen that might not be ready to start the regular season for a number of reasons. Kevan Miller (fractured kneecap) may be out to start training camp as well and both Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo remain unsigned with NHL training camp set to begin on Thursday morning.

While Moore’s absence will be among a number of factors testing Boston’s depth on the back end, it also opens up some salary cap flexibility to start the season as he will most assuredly begin the season on long term injured reserve. This means the B’s will be able to use his $2.75 million in cap space while attempting to resign McAvoy and Carlo ahead of October’s start to the regular season, and put off any cap moves until well into the regular season.

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Brad Marchand on the shootout whiff: 'You’ve got to have fun with it'

Brad Marchand on the shootout whiff: 'You’ve got to have fun with it'

PITTSBURGH – Brad Marchand is still on pace for 35 goals and 107 points and he’s one of the best players in the league, so his expression and his words don’t betray much of a lack of confidence. The 31-year-old winger has been through slumps and tough times before, and he’ll undoubtedly go through them again.

But Marchand also hopes that his empty net goal at the end of Thursday night’s win over the Penguins represents an escape from a current slump that’s seen him score just three goals since the beginning of December. And so does his head coach.

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“I think he’s fighting it and he’d be the first to admit it. The puck is not cooperating with like he’d like it to, and that’s aside from the [missed] shootout. That’s in general,” said Bruce Cassidy. “When he’s in all alone the pucks are bounding when he thinks they are going to be flat and that can get on your nerves a little bit. You think you’ve got to flatten a puck when it’s already flat and there goes your time and space.

“Every player can have those moments, especially when you are handling the puck a lot. But he’s looked good [the last few days] and hopefully that translates.”

It has also seen him tweet out a self-aware message that he’s searching for a pair of “hands that have either been lost or stolen” and hopes they be returned to TD Garden.

“You’ve got to have fun with it. I’m not happy with missing a breakaway and missing a shootout, especially with the game on the line,” said Marchand. “But [expletive] happens. We’re in the middle of January. We’re not in the playoffs or anything like that. We’re in a good position as a team and one of the top teams in the league right now.”

Given that the offensive downturn has also included Marchand completely whiffing on a shootout attempt earlier this week as well in a loss to the Flyers, he felt it was about time that he poked a little fun at himself.

“It just hasn’t gone in. That stuff happens. There was a stretch there where I was having bad games and the puck was still finding the back of the net, so it all evens itself out. It’s been a while since I had a stretch like this, but it happens, and it happens to everybody.

“You just play through it. There are other areas of the game you can focus on and play well. It’s nice to get one to up the confidence a little bit, but it’s going to come. I play with too good players and get put into too many good opportunities for it to not [come], so it’s just a matter of time.”

Now that the Bruins have won a game they played well in against the Penguins, Marchand felt like he could open up a little bit more about his mindset in the immediate aftermath of completely fanning on his shootout attempt. Given who he is within the world of the NHL, he knew he was going to hear about it and he absolutely did.

But he’s also looking at from the perspective of one of the best players in the world flubbing something on the ice. It happens from time to time even to the best ones, or the ones that opposing fan bases around the NHL are waiting to carve up.

“This stuff happens in hockey. [Connor] McDavid dumped the puck in the corner in a shootout and so did [John] Tavares,” said Marchand, who admitted he’s been battling some bumps and bruises that should get time to heal over the NHL All-Star break and bye week.

“They’re two of the best players in the league. Stuff happens to good players and you just battle through it. Not everybody is great every night. You need to laugh at yourself. I laugh at everybody else, so if you’re going to chirp people you need to take it and chirp yourself.

“Obviously everybody is looking for a reason to troll. Keyboard heroes or warriors, or whatever you want to call them. That’s part of it. They feel like they pay us to chirp us. It’s going to come.

"I can laugh at it too. It’s not a huge deal and it’s the same as if I just went down and missed it. It’s the same result. You just look at it in that context, and by the way my penalty shots have been going that’s what was going to happen either way. We have such short careers that you need to enjoy every day whether it’s a good or a bad day.”

Given that Marchand is talking about and snapped out of his scoreless stretch with the empty netter earlier this week, it stands to reason that the offense is going to return in pretty short order as well.

Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: How to watch NHL game online

Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: How to watch NHL game online

The Boston Bruins just beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at the TD Garden. After the Penguins scored the opening goal just seconds into the contest, the Bruins roared back and scored four unanswered to earn the win.

Now, they'll have to bring forth that same type of energy in a hostile road environment.

The Bruins are taking on the Penguins at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon in a marquee afternoon clash at the PPG Paints Arena.

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The Penguins (30-13-5) sit at second place in the Metropolitan division behind only the Washington Capitals, a team that has the most points in the NHL. Pittsburgh is coming off a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night that will serve as a palate cleanser for the team.

Meanwhile, the Bruins (28-9-12) are coming off the win against the Penguins and have posted a modest 5-2-3 record in their last 10 games. They've made some roster changes in the past week with Brett Ritchie and David Backes being waived while Tuukka Rask is dealing with a concussion.

Rask's concussion means that Jaroslav Halak will likely start again in net. Halak had been in a bit of a slump before the game against Pittsburgh, allowing 17 goals in a five-game span in which he went 1-2-2 as a starter. Hopefully, he will be able to repeat his strong performance against Pittsburgh.

The Bruins will also be without second-line center David Krejci for another game. Par Lindholm will take his place in the lineup and will likely center the team's third line with Coyle playing on the second unit. Lindholm is on a two-game point streak and scored a goal on Thursday against the Penguins.


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