Boston Bruins Forward David Backes Game-Time Decision Against Maple Leafs After Missing Morning Skate
The Boston Bruins could have a different looking top-line against the Maple Leafs on Monday. As Joe Haggerty of CSNNE mentioned, David Backes was missing from the Bruins’ morning practice due to feeling “under the weather” and is a game-time decision Monday. Another report from the Boston Globe confirms this, but also states that Backes “should be good to play.”
In Backes’ place at the team’s morning skate alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand was Jimmy Hayes. While it isn’t ideal to play Hayes in such a significant role, this is nothing new for Bergeron and Marchand. The Bruins top duo has dominated the league over the last few months, and they have a history of playing with a revolving door on their right wing. With or without Hayes, the line will get things done – this could benefit Hayes more than hurt the Bruins.
The lines at practice Monday were as follows:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Drew Stafford
Dominic Moore-Riley Nash-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Colin Miller-Kevan Miller
Another noticeable change in the lines includes Matt Beleskey alongside David Krejci and David Pastrnak. Beleskey looked like a potential scratch due to injury, which led to the Bruins making an emergency call-up of both Noel Acciari and Sean Kuraly. With Beleskey slotting in alongside the Czech forwards, Stafford is back on a line with Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano.
While Kuraly doesn’t look to be slotting into the lineup, Acciari looks to make his return to the Bruins fourth line against the Maple Leafs in a very important game for the Bruins. With NHL experience under his belt and a willingness to play a physical game, Acciari could be a good addition for the Bruins down the stretch as Tim Schaller recovers from injury.
If Backes is good to go, Hayes will likely revert to a healthy scratch. The Bruins are in full-steam-ahead mode heading to the playoffs. Having Backes in the lineup is always the optimal choice for the Bruins, but they’ll also need to dress whoever is best suited to play each night.