Bruins notebook: Ryan Spooner sidelined with concussion
Bruins center Ryan Spooner, the steady anchor on the team’s third line, was diagnosed with a concussion yesterday and will be out indefinitely in compliance with the NHL’s concussion protocol.
Spooner sustained a blow to the head in the third period during the 4-2 loss Monday night to the Ottawa Senators. The five-year veteran has 11 goals and 23 assists in 65 games while playing with a variety of wingers and being a mainstay on the power play. Spooner also has played many games this season as a winger.
B’s general manager Don Sweeney recalled center Austin Czarnik from Providence to fill the roster vacancy. Czarnik has played in 47 games with the B’s this season and recorded five goals and eight assists.
The Bruins have other centers on the roster currently skating as wingers, including David Backes, Frank Vatrano, Tim Schaller and Riley Nash.
Dominic Moore centers the fourth line with Schaller and Nash. Vatrano skates the left wing on Spooner’s line.
Change ’em up
A 2-0 first-period deficit and a lackluster response in the second compelled Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy to reconfigure his lines during the Ottawa loss. Cassidy did not say yesterday if the changes will carry into tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Garden.
“Sometimes it’s just your gut,” Cassidy said yesterday at Warrior Ice Arena. “Usually you are behind, and that’s when you generally do it, and that’s a no-brainer. Sometimes it will energize a guy on the line if he has somebody new or looks at it as, ‘I just have to get going.’ You just hope to tweak the individual and get him more focused and play with a little more urgency.”
Cassidy moved sniper David Pastrnak to the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, dropping Backes to the third line. The B’s needed some firepower, so Cassidy combined the team’s three top goalscorers in Marchand (30), Pastrnak (26) and Bergeron (17).
“I have no problem with that,” Pastrnak said, “and I played with both (Bergeron and Marchand) in the past so I know what to expect from each of them. I’m ready, and we were together for a long time last night, and it’s a good fit as the game goes on.”
Other changes saw newcomer Drew Stafford moved to the right wing with center David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik. Backes was on the right side with Spooner and Vatrano. Backes said Cassidy is quicker to change lines than former coach Claude Julien.
“(Cassidy) seems to find a time in the game where we are in a lull or need that spark,” Backes said. “He likes that injection of energy, and by switching the lines a little, not crazy just a little bit, gives you that refocus on here’s what we need to do.
“It increases conversation, it increases communication, and it has worked in a lot of different instances. When you have that option in your toolbox to spur us on, he has used it well.”
Time for a break
The combination of three games in five nights and a douse of freezing rain in Ottawa prompted Cassidy to cancel the on-ice portion of practice.
The Bruins’ flight from Ottawa was delayed because the plane needed to be de-iced. The only players on the ice were Ottawa healthy scratches Jimmy Hayes, Matt Beleskey, John-Michael Liles and Joe Morrow. The rest of the team’s work day consisted of meetings and film study.
“We’ve had a pretty intense schedule lately, and we got in late last night,” Cassidy said. “I thought it would be better to get some stretching and some off-ice workouts and get the blood flowing, and hopefully we’ll be energized.”
Torey Krug holds lopsided team leads among B’s defensemen in points (44) and shots (173). The next closest is captain Zdeno Chara with 18 points and 104 shots. Only Bergeron (241), Pastrnak (208) and Marchand (192) have taken more shots that Krug.
“On the shots I do take, I’m looking at creating rebounds and putting the puck in good areas for guys to tip the puck,” Krug said. “There was a point where I went nine games without points, and then it kind of snowballed.” .?.?.
Cassidy shifted defenseman Kevan Miller to his natural spot on the right point against the Senators.