Boston Bruins practice report – November 28, 2017

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 30: Brad Marchand
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 30: Brad Marchand /

Injuries have been the recurring theme so far this season for the Boston Bruins, and that was the case once again on Tuesday.

Boston Bruins forwards Brad Marchand (undisclosed), David Backes (colon) and Ryan Spooner (groin) were all full participants in the teams practice session as they did not sit out any drills nor shy away from contact.

Marchand, who hasn’t played since November 11th against the Maple Leafs, still hasn’t revealed what has been plaguing him the past two weeks.  But he says he “feels good” and has for a few days now. He is considered day-to-day and will be a game-time decision Wednesday night according to Bruce Cassidy. Judging by both the player and coach’s demeanor, I think signs are pointing towards Marchand suiting up against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Backes has been in and out of the lineup battling diverticulitis since the beginning of the season, has only appeared in five games. His last was October 30th in Columbus. Cassidy also ruled him to be a game-time decision, but unlike when he addressed Marchand, he pointed out Saturday might be more realistic. This is a pleasant surprise for the Bruins, however, as the veteran forward was orginially expected to miss at least eight weeks after his November 1st surgery. If he plays Saturday, he would be back three weeks ahead of schedule.

Spooner re-aggravated his groin injury during Friday’s win against the Penguins. He missed Sunday’s tilt against the Edmonton Oilers but is a “full go” according to Cassidy, and is expected to play on Wednesday.

The last bit of positive injury news is that Anders Bjork (upper body), who has missed the last seven games, was the first player on the ice for practice, albeit in a red non contact jersey.  Apparently he is progressing well. He did some solo puck-handling exercises before the rest of the team came out and left once the more intensive drills began.

With the good comes the bad…

On the negative side, David Krejci (upper body) and Jake DeBrusk (upper body) both missed practice Tuesday and have been ruled out for Wednesday’s game. Cassidy wouldn’t go into much detail about either player, but it appears both players were injured during Sunday’s game against the Oilers.

On the non-injury related news front, no decision has been made yet as to who will be in net against the Lightning. The team will make the announcement in the morning, but Cassidy did make note of how well Anton Khudobin’s playing and that he’s been in a groove, while Tuukka Rask “is not there yet.”

Boston Bruins
BOSTON – FEBRUARY 8: Boston Bruins goalies Tuukka Rask, left, and Anton Khudobin take a break during a practice with new coach Bruce Cassidy at Warrior Arena in Boston on Feb. 8, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

In his press conference Cassidy was asked if records against certain teams factor into making the choice between the two. He shook it off and stated “we’re not afraid to use either goalie right now,” before adding “Tuukka’s our number one, Anton’s our backup, but our backup is pushing our number one right now.”

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Tuesday’s Practice Lines/Defensive Pairings:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Heinen – Nash – Backes
Vatrano – Spooner – Acciari
Beleskey – Kuraly – Schaller

Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Miller/Postma