The Bruins take the ice Saturday for the final time before the games start to count for real, and they will get a little bit closer of an idea of how their lineup should look.
Patrice Bergeron will make his preseason debut in the matinee against the Blackhawks at the Garden after a lingering groin issue bothered him in the offseason and delayed his start of training camp.
“He’s gonna play tomorrow. That will be a good test for him, some live action,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He felt good today in practice. Sunday is a scheduled off day, he’ll get some rest. Then we’ll ramp it up on Monday. ... He looks good right now and I anticipate he’ll be full go on Thursday in Dallas.”
David Krejci still won’t be ready to go after he suffered a lower body injury in an exhibition contest against the Flyers earlier this week.
There still is hope he’ll be ready to play in next Thursday’s season opener in Dallas, but it all depends on practice.
“He’s in today getting treatment,” Cassidy said Friday. “Obviously not on the ice. He won’t play (Saturday). I think he’ll be back on the ice Sunday or Monday and hopefully with the group early next week to get ready to go.”
Joakim Nordstrom has been the other missing piece with a foot injury, and his status to start the season on time is in jeopardy. Nordstrom won’t play Saturday.
“I was hoping that he’d get a game in before it was all said and done,” Cassidy said. “We didn’t think he would play until at least Wednesday or Saturday, but he’s got neither. So, a little behind schedule. We’ll see how that plays out.
“I think something just lingered. I guess setback may be the word. Didn’t come around as quickly as he’d like.... We don’t expect it’s gonna drag on forever, but we were hoping he’d be back up to speed by now or early next week.”
Lindholm up to speed
Par Lindholm has been a pleasant surprise after arriving to training camp as an unknown. He’s seen a lot of preseason action so far, and though the Bruins almost are a sure bet up the middle already, he’s done a nice job making a case for a role.
“He feels that he has more to give offensively,” Cassidy said. “He knows what we have in the middle of the ice, but still feels given an opportunity that he could certainly slide up there if the situation were to allow him to do that. So far he’s been a man of his word saying he could do it.”
There still are a few things to be decided as far as the roster goes, and if Krejci can’t play, Lindholm is the reasonable next man up. But if not, he should at least stick around considering how well he’s played.
“He made some good plays (Wednesday),” Cassidy said. “That line was lights out offensively the other night. They worked hard away from the puck. (David) Backes’ goal was a great example. (Anders Bjork) gets back to break up a play and off they go the other way.
Paul Carey, Brendan Gaunce and Alex Petrovic all cleared waivers Friday and will report to Providence. Petrovic signed a one-year, two-way deal Thursday with the Bruins after playing on a professional tryout agreement during training camp.