Just as they got healthier, the Bruins now have to deal with another pair of injuries and a suspension as they approach the Winter Classic.
On Friday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced a three-game suspension for David Backes following his illegal check to the head to New Jersey Devils forward Blake Coleman during the third period of Boston’s 5-2 loss at TD Garden.
Here’s a look at Backes’ hit on Coleman for those who missed it:
Backes, a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, forfeits $219,512.19 and will miss Boston’s next three games, including the New Years Day tilt with the Blackhawks at Notre Dame. He’ll also miss a pair of contests against the Sabres in Buffalo and at home against the red-hot Calgary Flames on Jan. 3.
The former St. Louis Blue won’t appeal the suspension. He is eligible to return a week from Saturday when the Bruins host the Sabres at TD Garden.
Update: 2:22 pm Dec. 29
Backes sounded off about his recent three-game ban with reporters following the pregame skate in Buffalo.
More to come on this, but thought this full quote from David Backes on why he didn't appeal his suspension was interesting. pic.twitter.com/OHHKhAy8rw
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson takes Backes’ spot on the third line entering Saturday’s contest. Former Notre Dame standout Anders Bjork, who is down in Providence, could also get a recall prior to the Winter Classic depending on Brad Marchand’s status. Marchand will miss his first game of the season with an upper-body injury and is deemed day-to-day according to head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Charlie McAvoy will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury. Like Marchand, Cassidy didn’t rule out the second-year defenseman for the New Year’s Day matchup with the Blackhawks.
Here’s a full look at the Bruins’ projected lineup in Buffalo.
Danton Heinen-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Joakim Nordstrom-David Krejci-Jake DeBrusk
Ryan Donato-Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson-Noel Acciari
Sean Kuraly-Colby Cave-Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Torey Krug-John Moore
Matt is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in sports journalism and a minor in business. He currently reports on the Boston Bruins and writes featured stories and game recaps for both Bruins Daily and Boston.com
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