By Producer Alex
The Boston Bruins went 1-2 on an uneven road trip against the Colorado Avalanche, Arizona Coyotes, and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Though Boston handled the Coyotes fairly easily last Saturday, winning 6-2, they looked outclassed against Colorado and Vegas, two teams that had a surprisingly good start to the season. The Bruins were outscored only 11-10 on the road trip but only managed to bring home two points in that stretch. They sit with only four points on the season so far, tied with the Florida Panthers for fifth place in the Atlantic Division.
Bergeron, Backes eye return to lineup sooner rather than later
Forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Backes both returned to Bruins practice this week, though Bergeron still sports a no-contact jersey for the time being. Backes missed the first five games of the season after suffering an unusual case of diverticulitis.
Bruins management appears to hope that Backes will return to the lineup for Thursday’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks, which would mark an earlier return than his original prognosis. If Backes does return on Thursday, we could see him centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, allowing forward Riley Nash to return to a more familiar role on the third or fourth lines.
Backes will likely return to game action before Bergeron, though head coach Bruce Cassidy said a return tomorrow night for Bergeron is still possible. If not, it’s most likely the Bruins’ assistant captain will hit the ice with the team for the first time this season on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Rask injured in practice, Spooner out
Goaltender Tuukka Rask needed help exiting the ice during Wednesday’s practice after colliding with rookie forward Anders Bjork. Cassidy offered no update on Rask’s status after practice, but he did not appear to doubt Rask’s availability for Thursday night. If Rask must sit the game out, backup goaltender Anton Khudobin is fresh off his impressive win against the Arizona Coyotes last Saturday, making 29 saves on 31 shots. If Rask is not able to dress Thursday night, Providence goalie Zane McIntyre would be the likely call-up to the NHL.
Center Ryan Spooner was injured during Boston’s 3-1 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday night, and the team announced Wednesday that he will be out for four to six weeks with a right groin adductor tear. The injury strikes a blow to Boston’s power play, which now misses two forwards from its top unit in Bergeron and Spooner.
Agostino, Cehlarik called up while Heinen, Czarnik sent to Providence
The Bruins took advantage of their forward depth in the American Hockey League this week by sending Danton Heinen and Austin Czarnik to Providence, calling up Kenny Agostino and Peter Cehlarik to take their places on the NHL roster. Agostino and Cehlarik lead the Providence Bruins in points through three games this season, with 12 points between the two of them together. Heinen’s demotion surprised after he more than held his own, totaling three assists in three games played with an average time on ice of 13:56 minutes per game. The roster moves mark a likely desire to continue tinkering with the roster until the team finds a comfortable group; should Heinen continue to impress in Providence, he’ll find his way back to the NHL club soon enough.
Next 7 days at a glance:
Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. vs. Vancouver Canucks
Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. vs. Buffalo Sabres
Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. vs. San Jose Sharks