David Backes

Jake DeBrusk (lower body) looks like he's going to miss a couple more games

Jake DeBrusk (lower body) looks like he's going to miss a couple more games

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins will be without left winger Jake DeBrusk for at least a couple more games after suffering a lower body injury in the loss to the Montreal Canadiens earlier this week.

DeBrusk complained of an issue the morning following that Tuesday loss and didn’t make the trip to Detroit earlier this week, and is expected to miss both Sunday night’s game vs. the Flyers and Tuesday night’s home date against the Florida Panthers as well.

With DeBrusk’s offensive pop out of the lineup and off the second line, the Bruins have been forced to reshuffle the deck a bit with their forwards and slide Charlie Coyle over from third line center to second line right wing with David Krejci.

“It’s a lower body injury. He was evaluated and my guess is that he’s probably looking more at the weekend [against Toronto] than Tuesday [for a return],” said Cassidy of DeBrusk, who was the next leading scorer at 27 goals scored last season behind the big three of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. “We’ll have a better idea when we get to those practices Wednesday or Thursday.”

It’s too bad as DeBrusk appeared to be starting to heat up offensively and had scored goals in two straight games before going scoreless in 17:07 of ice time in the loss to Montreal.

In other Bruins health updates:

*David Backes (upper body) was once again present at the Bruins practice facility on Sunday “and feeling better”, but there is no timetable for his return. Backes has been out three games and counting.

*John Moore (shoulder surgery) skated with the Bruins on the practice ice during morning skate but is wearing a no-contact sweater and is still weeks away from a return. Kevan Miller was given a day off the ice on Sunday, and Bruce Cassidy indicated earlier this week that his return is probably a couple of weeks away at this point.

*Brett Ritchie (upper body) wasn’t on the ice on Sunday morning, but the hope is that he’ll be on the practice ice on Monday and back in the process of working back into the lineup. Cassidy called it “a curveball” that Ritchie wasn’t able to play in Detroit on Friday, so there is some uncertainty about how quickly he’ll get back into the lineup.

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Backes "doubtful" for the next couple of games after big collision

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Backes "doubtful" for the next couple of games after big collision

With the Bruins readying for back-to-back games against the Penguins and Canadiens over the next few days, they aren’t expecting forward David Backes to play in either of the big Eastern Conference tilts. Backes suffered a suspected concussion that’s being called an “upper body injury” after a scary head-to-head collision with Scott Sabourin during Saturday night’s Boston win over the Ottawa Senators.

Sabourin had moved in on Backes near the sideboards for what appeared to be a standard, clean hit. But both forwards knocked heads, and Sabourin had to removed from the ice on a stretcher while a clearly upset Backes watched on before exiting the game for good.  

The 27-year-old Sabourin was taken to a nearby hospital after being knocked out cold on his skates, but sent out a smiling picture on Instagram Sunday morning after clearly feeling a lot better.

The 35-year-old Backes was doing a little better this morning as well as he made into the Bruins practice facility for an early medical evaluation.

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Still, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy termed him “doubtful” for the next couple of games and it would likely be at least a week the veteran winger would be out if it is indeed a concussion.

“[Backes] came in [on Sunday] morning to get checked out. [He’s] doing a little better than last night,” said Cassidy. “But we’ll probably get a better evaluation on him [on Monday]. He’s doubtful for the next couple of games. Brett Ritchie is out skating, so there might be some progress there. We’ll see how he’s feeling in the morning. We’ve got a few balls in the air if he’s ready to go and get back in there with [Charlie] Coyle, is Peter Cehlarik the best fit with [Sean] Kuraly and [Chris] Wagner?”

Backes joins Joakim Nordstrom (infection) and Par Lindholm (upper body) as injured B’s forwards currently on the shelf. But the potential return of Ritchie would prevent the Bruins from digging too deeply into their organizational depth chart, amidst the rash of forward injuries.  

Backes has played in eight of the B’s first 13 games of the season, and has one assist along with a minus-1 rating while averaging 8:17 of ice time, largely playing on the fourth line.

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David Backes forced to exit Bruins win with suspected concussion

David Backes forced to exit Bruins win with suspected concussion

BOSTON – While the vast majority of the concern was for hospitalized Ottawa forward Scott Sabourin following a violent collision in Saturday night’s 5-2 Bruins win over the Ottawa Senators TD Garden, there was another injured player on the first period play. Sabourin threw a hit on Bruins forward David Backes against the side boards that left him knocked out cold before he hit the ice, and the 27-year-old was stretchered off the ice after medical personnel worked on him for 10 minutes.

Backes stayed on the ice until Sabourin had been wheeled off and then the 35-year-old also exited the game after understandably looking pretty upset on the ice in the collision’s aftermath. Bruce Cassidy said following the game that one could “do the math” on the upper body injury, meaning that Backes had suffered another suspected concussion.

That’s concerning news for an aging player with a history of concussions, who was done for the night after two shifts and a grand total of 34 seconds on the ice.

“I haven’t talked to Backes, obviously [he] left, upper-body injury, can probably do the math on that one,” said Bruce Cassidy. “We’ll see [on Monday], probably have a better idea on the mental part of it. But I’ve heard Scott [Sabourin] is in the hospital and doing well in terms of he’s aware, he’s alert, so that’s good news.

“We play hard and we battle each other, but you don’t want to see something like that happen to a young guy, especially. He was in Manchester when I was in Providence, and he’s battled his way to get to the National Hockey League. Those are the guys you root for and hopefully he’s okay.”

Hopefully Backes is okay as well after netting his first point of the season in Tuesday night’s win over the Sharks, and playing solid hockey to start this season after doing a ton of extra work on his skating this summer. With the Bruins already down Joakim Nordstrom, Par Lindholm and Brett Ritchie among their forward group, the Black and Gold are beginning to dig very deeply into their organization depth at the AHL level.

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