Boston Bruins

For what feels like the third year in a row, the Bruins find themselves absolutely ravaged by injuries early in the season.

This year, it was the Black and Gold’s early-season trip through Canada that came with the on-ice personnel losses, as forward David Backes and defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller were all lost prior to Saturday’s overtime loss to the Canucks. On a Monday practice day in Ottawa, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy provided an injury update on those injured on Boston’s currently-winless road trip — as well as one sorely-missed player working on a return to the Boston lineup.

“Backes returned home, not feeling well,” Cassidy, who termed the Backes injury as an ‘upper-body’ issue but made note that we all saw what really happened (he got hit in the head), offered. “Same issues as [Sunday]. So he’ll have some tests done.”

The 34-year-old Backes was rocked by the Oilers’ Matt Benning in the first period of Thursday’s loss in Edmonton, and though he returned to the game and logged ice-time both in the second and third period and then went through a morning skate on Vancouver, it was before the game against the Canucks that Backes told Cassidy that he did not feel well enough to play.

Backes saw his 2018 Stanley Cup Playoff run was ended on a concussion from the Lightning’s J.T. Miller. It was far from the first concussion of the veteran forward’s career, which has created cause for concern with this latest incident.

With Backes out for at least tomorrow night’s game against the Senators, the Bruins will slide Joakim Nordstro, who scored the lone goal in Saturday’s loss, to the middle of their third line with Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner on the wings.

As for the injuries on his backend, actual updates will likely have to wait until the Bruins return back home.

“Miller saw a doctor, we’ll have further update on him when we get back,” Cassidy said. “But he’s definitely out tomorrow.”

Cassidy also knew nothing other than that McAvoy, who ‘wasn’t feeling right,’ is undergoing a battery of tests in Boston.

“I have nothing new other than he’s going through a bunch of tests and hopefully we get news on him back home tomorrow.”

In a day of relatively bad news and unknowns of injury recoveries, Cassidy did note that Torey Krug, who has yet to play this season due to an ankle injury, almost traveled to Ottawa to practice with the team. Alas, travel issues kept the ultra-talented puck-moving defenseman back in Boston, where he has started skating on his own, which is an obvious plus in his recovery.

The Bruins will conclude their four-game road swing Tuesday night in Ottawa.