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Bruins Camp Journal: No Cuts Yet, Backes Working Hard Not To Be One

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After an impressive performance in a 2-1 preseason win over the Flyers in Philadelphia Thursday night, the Boston Bruins were back at work for another split group session at Warrior Arena Friday. Head coach Bruce Cassidy was happy with the way the young Bruins hopefuls handled a varsity Flyers roster Thursday and acknowledged the hard work of David Backes who was the only player older than 30-years-old in the lineup. Cassidy also told the media to expect the first wave of cuts by Tuesday at the latest.

Here’s the latest from Bruins training camp:

Cuts Coming By Tuesday

For the last two days, NHL teams have been assigning players to the AHL or back to juniors and on Friday the first wave of waivers came out. There were no Bruins on that list and none sent down as of 7 PM Friday night but earlier in the day, Cassidy said that by Tuesday at the latest, the Bruins would join the fray and cut down their roster.

“We’ll go to Chicago tomorrow, still mixing in some veteran guys, young vets I guess and some guys that are still on the bubble that we want to evaluate,” Cassidy said Friday afternoon. “I suspect Sunday or on the plane home [Saturday], we’ll have a discussion and then Providence opens Monday. So I’d imagine – and I don’t want to start speaking out of term – we’ll start getting down the numbers Sunday and Monday. We may want to see some guys in here on Monday so that could stretch it out to Tuesday.”

Backes Working Hard For A Spot

It’s no secret that after two injury-plagued and dismal seasons, that Backes, 35, is no lock to make the Bruins roster and could easily end up on waivers or traded if the Bruins can find someone to take the two years, with a $6 million cap hit off their books. That’s why despite his age and veteran status Backes was playing in the second preseason game and according to Cassidy will also be in the lineup at the United Center Saturday night. So far, Cassidy is impressed with Backes’ work ethic but not enamored with his game yet.

“Hard-working,” Cassidy said of Backes play so far. “He’s competing hard and he’s trying to do every drill he can 100 percent. Sometimes the veteran guys this time of year, pace themselves a little bit more. David’s trying like I said, trying to go hard in every drill. He was vocal on the bench. I thought his game was solid, not spectacular, but got involved. So that’s what I’ve seen so far.”

Patrice Bergeron and the rest of the Bruins veteran core won’t make the trip but Backes will get another chance to stave off hungry youngsters trying to grab a roster spot.

“A lot of our veteran guys will not be going (to Chicago) I can tell you that right now,” Cassidy said. “Bergy’s [Bergeron] not playing; ‘Krech’ (David Krejci), ‘March’ [Brad Marchand], ‘Pasta’ [David Pastrnak] ‘Zee’ [Zdeno Chara] and [Torey] Krug, and David may have fallen into that category years past, but I think right now, in fairness to his situation, our situation, he probably plays a little earlier than he normally would.”

Some Bruins Still Black And Blue

Bergeron, Anton Blidh and Joakim Nordstrom all took maintenance days Friday and rookie defenseman Axel Andersson was donning the no contact maroon jersey on Friday. Cassidy told the media none of them will play at Chicago Saturday. Here;s what the lineups looked like for Group A and B Friday:

Group A

Bjork – Coyle – Heinen

Gaunce – Kuraly – Backes

DeBrusk – Studnicka – Kuhlman

Cehlarik – Shen – Lantosi

Lauzon – Clifton

Gagne-Bergeron Pro-Am

Vaakanainen – Petrovic

Zech – Didier

Zboril – Andersson

Halak

Lagace

Vladar

Group B

Marchand – Lindholm – Pastrnak

Carey – Krejci – Ritchie

Lauko – Frederic – Wagner

Asselin – Steen – Fitzgerald

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Sherman – Grzelcyk

Breen – Kampfer

Rask

Keyser

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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