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:
Bjork – Coyle – Heinen
Gaunce – Kuraly – Backes
DeBrusk – Studnicka – Kuhlman
Cehlarik – Shen – Lantosi
Lauzon – Clifton
Vaakanainen – Petrovic
Zech – Didier
Zboril – Andersson
Marchand – Lindholm – Pastrnak
Carey – Krejci – Ritchie
Lauko – Frederic – Wagner
Asselin – Steen – Fitzgerald
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Sherman – Grzelcyk
Breen – Kampfer