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Top-heavy Bruins won’t have Bergeron, Backes in opener

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game Five

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 21: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins looks on during a stoppage in play against the Ottawa Senators in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 21, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

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The Boston Bruins have a chance to improve in 2017-18 if they get some of the bounces they didn’t get last year.

To clarify, those bounces revolve around shooting and save percentages, as “PDO” wasn’t particularly kind to the Bruins in 2016-17. Their puck-hogging didn’t always pay off.

On the other hand, there’s the concern that the Bruins might be a little dependent on a handful of top guys to get the job done. Their season-opening game against the Nashville Predators already stood as a challenge, and now it could also be a litmus test, as both Patrice Bergeron and David Backes are ruled out of the game.

At least they’re only considered “day-to-day,” though?


NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty also notes that Torey Krug is still determining his own injury situation, with the good news being that he might be able to play on Monday. It’s another variable that tests the Bruins’ depth, and possibly provides an intriguing opportunity for much-touted young defenseman Charlie McAvoy.

Still, Bergeron (53 points) and Krug (51) were two of Boston’s top-five scorers last season, and that doesn’t tell the full story of how important each player is. It’s plausible that Brad Marchand will need to work harder to create chances without his Selke-caliber center around, as just one example.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said that there may be tinkering, but this is how things looked in the morning:

Looks like David Pastrnak’s going to need to earn that spiffy new contract.