By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins will have to wait at least one game to see free agent addition Craig Smith in action, as the winger was missing from the pregame warmup and will miss Thursday’s Opening Night meeting with the New Jersey Devils.
Smith, who tweaked something earlier this week, was considered a game-time decision due to a lower-body injury after waking up in pain, according to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.
It’s a definite bummer for all involved, as the Bruins were beyond excited to have the 31-year-old Smith in the fold as the third line’s hardworking, shoot-first talent.
With Smith out, the Bruins will move Anders Bjork up to the right side of Boston’s third line with Nick Ritchie and Charlie Coyle. There is some familiarity when it comes to Bjork on line three, too, as the crafty wing played over 383 minutes of five-on-five hockey with Coyle in 2019-20.
Bjork totaled nine goals and 19 points in 58 appearances last year.
Trent Frederic, meanwhile, will enter the mix as Bjork’s replacement on the Bruins’ fourth line with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner.
A first-round pick in 2016, Frederic is looking to make his NHL impact as a bottom-six bruiser after leading the AHL in fighting majors a season ago. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Frederic has compiled 26 hits in 17 NHL games over the last two seasons.
Brad Marchand, who like Smith was considered a game-time decision, will be in action in his normal spot to Patrice Bergeron’s left on the Black and Gold’s first line.