Bruins Notebook: David Backes likely to miss both Florida games
SUNRISE, Fla. — A week ago, David Backes was termed “day-to-day” by Bruins coach Claude Julien, who added it was a “minor issue.”
It appears that minor issue will force Backes to miss at least five games. The versatile, tough veteran already has missed three games because of the surgical procedure he underwent eight days ago that removed the bursa sac in one of his elbows. Backes was hospitalized for several days because of a fear of infection.The Bruins hoped Backes would
rejoin them here in Florida and be available tonight against the Panthers or Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Julien yesterday indicated that likely will not happen.
“He’s getting better,” Julien said. “I would say doubtful for these next two games. When I say doubtful, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible (that he’d play against Tampa Bay). If everything goes well, he should start skating in the next day or two.”
Julien said the post-surgical infection, always a threat with that elbow procedure, no longer is an issue.
Heinen steps in
The lines in practice had Danton Heinen in the suspended David Pastrnak’s spot with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The second line was David Krejci between Ryan Spooner and Austin Czarnik. The third group was wingers Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes with Riley Nash, and the fourth line featured Noel Acciari, Tim Schaller and Dominic Moore.Pastrnak got his work mixing in as the extra forward.He’ll return to the lineup against Tampa Bay after serving his two-game suspension for a hit to the head on Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi last week in New York. .?.?.
The Bruins power play is 2-for-28, a success rate of 7.1 percent that ranks dead last in the NHL.
Matheson in mix
Three-year Boston College standout defenseman Mike Matheson is paired with Aaron Ekblad for the Panthers. The 22-year-old Matheson has two goals, two assists and a plus-2 rating in eight games. .?.?.
Former Dallas Stars winger Colton Sceviour had his first career hat trick for the Panthers on Sunday against the Red Wings in Detroit. Sceviour was playing on Florida’s second line with Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck.
A check of the relative performances by Smith and Hayes — who were traded for each other 16 months ago in maybe the worst deal yet by general manager Don Sweeney — will be painful for Bruins fans. Smith, 25, has played 91 games for Florida, with 26 goals, 27 assists and a plus-19. Hayes, 26, has played 83 games for the B’s, with 13 goals, 16 assists and a minus-12. He is scoreless and minus-7 in eight games this season.
Baby B’s struggle
The Providence Bruins are off to a rough start at 2-4-2.
Defenseman Linus Arnesson (one assist, minus-4 in eight games) is one of many players off to slow starts. Winger Sean Kuraly, part of the deal that delivered goalie Martin Jones to San Jose, has one assist and a minus-1. First-rounder Jake DeBrusk has two points and a minus-3.
Malcolm Subban, who lost 3-2 to Syracuse on Saturday, is 0-4-1 with a 4.10 goals-against average and .854 save percentage.