BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins could be without two of their top forwards when they open the 2017-18 season on Thursday night.
Both Patrice Bergeron (lower body injury) and David Backes (illness) missed practice at TD Garden on Wednesday, putting their status in doubt for Thursday night’s season opener against the Nashville Predators.
While Backes was told to stay away as he battles a bad virus, in hopes of keeping the illness from spreading throughout the B’s locker room, things are a little murkier for Bergeron. He was termed day-to-day on Tuesday after leaving practice, but said this current ailment in not related to the sports hernia he played with toward the end of last season that required off-season surgery.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted to reporters on Wednesday that he is a little concerned about his assistant captain.
“Well there is simply because he didn’t skate today,” Cassidy said after practice, according to Matt Kalman of The Boston Herald and CBSBoston.com. “Tomorrow I can’t predict how he’ll be. We hope it’s just a minor setback, but yes there is concern simply because he didn’t skate today.”
Bergeron, 32, missed the first three games of last season with an ankle injury but went on to play the 79 remaining regular season games and each of Boston’s six games in the first-round of the playoffs against the Ottawa Senators. He finished the season with 21 goals and 32 assists en route to his fourth Selke Trophy.
Without Bergeron on Wednesday, Ryan Spooner skated on Boston’s top line with Brad Marchand and rookie Anders Bjork.
Defenseman Torey Krug, who will start the season on IR with a broken jaw, skated in a no-contact sweater on Wednesday.
Tune in to Thursday’s Bruins opener against the Nashville Predators on 100.7FM WZLX, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30pm!