Boston Bruins daily report: Multiple key names return to practice

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 2: Brad Marchand
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 2: Brad Marchand /

The good news from yesterday just keeps on coming.  More players returned to practice today for the Boston Bruins, at least in some capacity.

The Boston Bruins took another step towards full strength on Tuesday, as Ryan Spooner, Brad Marchand, Torey Krug and David Backes all participated in practice at the Warrior Ice Arena.

Spooner (Groin) was the only one of the group to be a full participant, however, as the other three skaters all sported non-contact jerseys. Spooner, who hasn’t seen game action since October 15th in Las Vegas, will be evaluated Tuesday afternoon according to Bruce Cassidy.

After stating that Spooner is “a lot closer” to suiting up, Cassidy ruled out Marchand (undisclosed) and Krug (upper body) for Wednesday night’s game against the Devils. He wouldn’t go much into detail on Marchand, but Krug he considers to be “day to day,” hinting that he may return for Friday’s matinee against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the TD Garden.

Marchand spoke to the media after practice, but he would not specify what has been plaguing him the past 10 days. He did however say that he “feels better” and is happy to be around the team again as they try to add on to their two game winning streak.  

In a corresponding move following Krug being ruled out, the Bruins recalled Matt Grzelyck from Providence. Grzelyck has appeared in one NHL game this season, where he had a plus-one rating. In 14 AHL games he has amassed four assists while being a plus-four.

Cassidy also ruled out Anders Bjork (undisclosed) who did not skate on Tuesday, saying that he will be out until next week.

Between the pipes for the Boston Bruins

On the goaltender front, no official decision has been made yet for who will be in net against New Jersey. Cassidy was asked multiple times if he’s leaning one way or another, while he would not say specifically, he did state that the good news from this situation is that the team is “no longer worried about the backup goalie situation” which was a concern at the start of the season. I believe all signs point towards Anton Khudobin getting the nod on Wednesday.

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Before wrapping up his press conference, Cassidy answered some questions about the Devils, noting that New Jersey plays a much faster game than the Bruins previous two opponents, the Sharks and Kings, joking that “the boys will have to have their skates sharpened.”

He credited New Jersey’s hot start (12-5-3, 1st in Metropolitan) to the team’s GM Ray Shero, saying that the Devils now play very similar to Shero’s old team the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also added that this team is much different from the Devils of old where they liked to clog up the middle and were built around their defense. Now they’re built around their forwards and he singled out Taylor Hall from that group.

Tuesday’s Practice Lines and Defensive Pairings:

Heinen – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Cehlarik
Vatrano – Spooner – Nash/Szwarz
Schaller – Kuraly – Acciari
Beleskey – Marchand – Backes

Chara – McAvoy
O’Gara/Postma – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Miller