Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 23: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the third period of Game Seven of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Maple Leafs 5-1. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • The upper-body injury that knocked Jake DeBrusk out of Wednesday’s win in Washington will keep him out of at least one more game, as the Bruins have ruled out DeBrusk for Saturday’s home opener against the Coyotes.

    “He’s not eligible to play tomorrow,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said following Friday’s practice at TD Garden. “But we think he’s gonna be back a lot sooner than when it originally happened, so that’s good news.”

    With DeBrusk out of action, the Bruins plan to move Craig Smith up from his usual third-line right wing spot to the right of Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall on Boston’s top line.

    The 33-year-old Smith has experience with both Hall and Bergeron throughout his B’s tenure (but not really together as a trio), and Smith has been especially productive with Bergeron, with Boston holding a 211-100 shot edge and 17-to-8 scoring edge in 275 minutes with Bergeron-Smith on the ice together at five-on-five.

  • Down the lineup, it will be left winger Trent Frederic who draws into the lineup and on a line with Charlie Coyle and A.J. Greer to make it an even 12-forward lineup for the Black and Gold.

    It wasn’t a great camp for the 24-year-old Frederic (Bruins president Cam Neely himself said that, so make of that what you will), and Montgomery shed some light on Frederic’s game and where it needs to be in the final practice before the start of the regular season.

    “Just be on top of pucks more. That was my message to [Frederic],” Montgomery said back on Tuesday. “His practice yesterday was best practice he’s had, so he’s building the right way. And when he gets that opportunity to show us how he can hang on to pucks, how he can get to hard areas, and how he can change momentum of the games with his physicality is something that we’re going to need throughout the year. And once he gets in the lineup, I’m confident he’s going to show why I should’ve had him in since day one.”

    Frederic is coming off a 2021-22 campaign that included a career-high eight goals and 18 points in 60 games.

  • WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the first period of the game at Capital One Arena on October 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the first period of the game at Capital One Arena. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    Elsewhere in the lineup, the Bruins appear poised to shake their defensive pairings up a little bit, with Derek Forbort reunited with Connor Clifton, and Jakub Zboril opposite Mike Reilly.

    With veteran righty defenseman Anton Stralman (visa issues) and lefty puck-mover Matt Grzelcyk (shoulder) still unavailable — and with the Bruins obviously still without Charlie McAvoy (shoulder) — Montgomery and the Bruins remain on the hunt for their perfect mix on the backend.

    Despite those changes, the B’s will still be led by a Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo pairing.

  • May 4, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) skates off the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes before the game in game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

    May 4, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) skates off the ice against the Carolina Hurricanes before the game in Game 2 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. (James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

  • In net, the Bruins will turn to Jeremy Swayman for what will be his first start of the season, and his second career home opener start for the Bruins.

    The 23-year-old Swayman is coming off a 2021-22 campaign that featured 23 wins and a .914 save percentage in 41 games played, as well a fifth-place finish in the voting for the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s top rookie.

    The Bruins will hope that Swayman’s status as a force against the league’s lower-tier team remains in effect, as the Alaskan-born netminder posted a 15-3-1 record and .916 save percentage against non-playoff teams last year. That run included a 27-of-29 performance in a win over the Coyotes, too.

  • Oct 13, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Arizona Coyotes left wing Nick Ritchie (12) scores his second goal of the game against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) during the third period at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 13, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Nick Ritchie (12) scores his second goal of the game against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) at PPG Paints Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Across the ice, it’s Year 2 (of TBD) of what’s best described as a ‘scorched Earth rebuild’ in Arizona, and boy, is the Coyotes’ on-ice product feeling it.

    Opening their year up this past Thursday in Pittsburgh, the Coyotes found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-2 final, and this was despite goaltender Karel Vejmelka stopping 47 of the 53 shots thrown his way.

    This was just the 30th time since 2005 that a goaltender made at least 47 saves and lost in regulation (coincidentally enough, it happened to the Kings’ Jonathan Quick in his loss to Vegas just two nights prior).

    Offensively, the Coyotes were paced by ex-Bruins winger Nick Ritchie, who scored of Arizona goals in the losing effort. The big-bodied Ritchie has come alive in the desert, too, with 12 goals and 16 points in 25 games with the Coyotes since landing there via trade from Toronto.

    The Bruins, of course, opted not to extend a qualifying offer to Ritchie following his career-high 15 goals with the club during the pandemic-delayed 2021 season.