Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Avalanche
On paper, the Bruins should find their way with the lowly Colorado Avalanche for their Columbus Day matinee at TD Garden.
The B’s, a few days removed from their 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on opening night, could get some reinforcements to complement the trio of Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy and Anders Bjork – all of whom tallied their first regular season points on opening night. Patrice Bergeron (lower body), Torey Krug (jaw) and Austin Czarnik (illness) are all game-time decisions against the Avalanche.
Fresh off their worst season in franchise history, the Avs are pegged to have another tough season. With trade rumors surrounding Matt Duchene and countless other talented members of the Avalanche like Nathan McKinnon, Colorado is hoping for some sort of progress after its league-worst 48 points in 2016-17. The Avs are 1-1 in their season-opening three-game road trip, which included a loss on Saturday to the New Jersey Devils where former Bruin Jimmy Hayes scored his first goal for his new team.
Monday marks the first game of a home-and-home. The two teams will meet on Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center to conclude their two-game season series.
Gametime: 1:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 1-0-0 (2 points), Avalanche 1-1-0 (2 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Ryan Spooner-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Anders Bjork
Tim Schaller-Riley Nash-Sean Kuraly
Matt Beleskey-Austin Czarnik-Frank Vatrano
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Avalanche projected lines
Sven Andrighetto-Nathan McKinnon-Mikko Rantanen
Alex Kerfoot-Matt Duchene-Nail Yakupov
Colin Wilson-J.T. Compher-Gabriel Landeskog
Carl Soderberg-Tyson Jost-Blake Comeau
Nikita Zadarov-Erik Johnson
Patrick Nemeth-Tyson Barrie
Anton Lindholm-Chris Bigras
– Of the aforementioned trio of injuries, Krug and Czarnik are the most likely to play in their first game(s) of the 2017-18 season, while Bergeron may have to wait. Both Krug and Czarnik were full participants during this weekend’s practices at Warrior Ice Arena, while Bergeron donned a red non-contact jersey during Sunday’s skate – but did trade shifts with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak during line rushes. Assuming Krug goes, he’ll slot in his usual spot on the top power play unit and with fellow defensive partner Adam McQuaid, while Czarnik will likely get bottom six minutes in place of the injured Noel Acciari, who is out for six weeks following surgery on his left index finger.
– Update: 11:15 Krug and Czarnik’s return is that much closer to confirmation as both removed were removed from injured reserve. Additionally, Backes and Acciari have been placed on injured reserve, while Matt Grzeclyk was sent down to Providence.
– David Krejci looked a few years younger on Thursday night. Playing with Bjork and DeBrusk helped that cause as the veteran looked like he had an extra pep in his step against the Predators. Not only did Krejci tally three assists, but he was also 14-of-18 from the faceoff dot. Regardless on whether Bergeron or Spooner play on the top line, the DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork trio will likely stay intact, at least to start.
– Again, it’s worth mentioning that the Bruins haven’t beaten the Avalanche on Causeway Street since October 14, 1998. In the two decades since their home win against the Avs, the Black and Gold are 0-8-1 against the Rocky Mountain hockey squad. To put that in perspective, Jaromir Jagr was still a member of the Penguins, Zdeno Chara was in his second season in the NHL and Colorado Springs’ own Brandon Carlo was a month away from his second birthday.