The Boston Bruins will play host to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday in their next to last preseason game. And as they come closer to having to finalize their roster on October 2, 2018, they have made some additional training camp transactions as well as trying out some of their players in different spots—in part the result of the current recovery of Patrice Bergeron’s off-season groin surgery and the recent injury to Sean Kuraly.
Monday, Boston returned Axel Andersson to Djurgaden IF (SEL) and assigned Cameron Hughes, Emil Johansson, Joona Koppanen and Zach Senyshyn to Providence. Tanner Pond was also scheduled to report to Providence, though he ended up playing in Monday’s game against the Flyers. On Tuesday, the Bruins organization announced that they were putting Anton Blidh, Colby Cave, Cody Goloubef, Mark McNeill and Jordan Szwarz on waivers, all of whom cleared on Wednesday. Additionally Connor Clifton, Karson Kuhlman and Jeremy Lauzon were to report to the Providence Bruins. Wednesday afternoon the team announced that they were returning Jack Studnicka to the Oshawa Generals (OHL) and that Blidh, Cave Goloubef, McNeill and Dan Vladar were assigned to Providence.
At present the roster stands at 39 individuals, but there are a couple of injured that will remain in Boston until they are healthy, including Martin Bakos and Jakub Lauko.
For Wednesday night a couple of fan favorites—Noel Acciari and Torey Krug—will return to the lineup. Krug has certainly been eager to get back into the swing of things, though reminding himself that he has been recovering.
“Just being patient, the mindset and realizing that you’re not going to feel exactly how you felt the last time you played,” Krug shared. “But like I said, it will come pretty quick and I’m not too worried about it at all. We’re right on the cusp for sure.”
And both he and Acciari will get a chance to begin getting back into the full game experience while still in the preseason, which should certainly make it easier for them to be closer to their peak production when the season starts on Wednesday, October 3rd.
In the mean time, David Backes is going back to a position he knows well, though his line mates are new for him, as he slots into the center position on the first line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
“We’ll give it a whirl. See if a little lighter, a little more mobile makes me effective there. Obviously playing with some pretty good players. We’ll get the puck and try to make some space and let them do what they do so well and we’ll see what works out,” Backes chuckled. “Obviously I’m not replacing [Bergeron], but hopefully he’s healthy for game one.”
Last season, Backes spent a lot of time playing with Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk, and they developed some chemistry. At present, permanent line mates for Backes are still an unknown, but in the meantime, the ten-pound lighter forward is happy with how he is progressing.
“Pretty good, I think. Yeah. I think, for me, the line mate situation of who I’m going to play with to try to start developing some of that chemistry because, from the looks of it Heinen and [DeBrusk] might play with [David Krejci], so I may have two completely new line mates. And whether it’s a young kid or a couple old guys, whoever it is, just try to get a little bit of that chemistry under our belt, whether it’s practice or the last preseason game. Trying to sort that out is probably at the front of my mind on what needs to be done before the season, but personal, you know, feeling well on the ice, I think that’s there. It’s just, now it’s assimilating in with the group and being structured and getting the job done on the ice,” Backes shared.
Going into Wednesday night’s preseason home game, the Bruins stand 5-0-1 with two remaining preseason games—both played on home ice. The regular season is just around the corner and those trying to make the starting roster will be showing everything they have to offer.