By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Hit with a game-time decision tag following the morning skate, Bruins center David Krejci wasn’t spotted on the ice for the team’s pregame warmup for their Opening Night head-to-head with the Stars, and ultimately missed a 2-1 victory in Dallas.
It came as a slight surprise, but certainly seemed like a case of Bruce Cassidy and the B’s playing it safe with their No. 2 center.
“[Krejci] wasn’t ready,” Cassidy offered after the victory. “We thought he would be, to be honest with you. I think the original diagnosis had him ready for the opener. It just didn’t heal as quickly as we’d like, so we’ll aim for Saturday and see who’s in and out then.”
With Krejci out, the Bruins moved Charlie Coyle up with Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie to form the team’s de facto second line, while Par Lindholm centered a line with wingers Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman. The shuffling came with results for members of both lines, as Ritchie scored just 1:09 into the game, while Heinen scored the power-play goal that held as the game-winning goal.
An improved Krejci would leave Cassidy and Co. with an interesting decision on Saturday night. While Ritchie would be the obvious candidate to come out, the 26-year-old did appear to have some chemistry with Coyle, and scored a goal. Lindholm, meanwhile, won six of his 11 faceoffs, including three of four in the defensive zone, in 14:18 of action. The Bruins may also be a bit reluctant to mess with their fourth line with David Backes, Sean Kuraly, and Chris Wagner given the way that trio terrorized the Stars into what was a period-saving power-play opportunity drawn by the Bruins.
The 33-year-old Krejci, who appeared in just one preseason contest, is coming off a 73-point 2018-19 season.