Might David Krejci make his season debut Saturday evening?
The Boston Bruins’ second-line center missed Thursday’s season-opening victory with a lower-body injury, but he practiced Friday and was optimistic about being able to play when the B’s take on the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.
“Felt a lot better today. Did some battles at the end of practice, got through that fine,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday, via Bruins.com. “We’re gonna rule him as a game-time decision. But I’m more confident that he’ll get in tomorrow than I was yesterday morning. But it will be his call.”
Added Krejci: “Another day, another good day. Feeling pretty hopeful for (Saturday).”
Par Lindholm skated in Krejci’s second-line center role Thursday. How he fits into the equation, along with Brett Ritchie, remains to be seen if Krejci can play. In that event, David Backes might shift up to the third line, while Lindholm or Ritchie would be the fourth-line right wing. Lindholm had a better preseason, but Ritchie scored the first goal of the Bruins’ season and looked pretty good in the opener.
Joakim Nordstrom practiced Friday, but it seems unlikely he’ll be able to go against the ‘Yotes.
Jaroslav Halak and Darcy Kuemper are expected to be the goaltenders.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
BOSTON BRUINS (1-0-0)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen–Charlie Coyle–David Backes
Chris Wagner–Sean Kuraly–Par Lindholm
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Connor Clifton
ARIZONA COYOTES (0-1-0)
Clayton Keller–Derek Stepan–Phil Kessel
Conor Garland–Carl Soderberg–Nick Schmaltz
Lawson Crous–Christian Dvorak–Christian Fischer
Michael Grabner–Brad Richardson–Vinnie Hinostroza
Oliver Ekman-Larsson–Jason Demers
Alex Goligoski–Nicklas Hjalmarsson
Jakob Chychrun–Jordan Oesterle
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports