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David Krejci Still Day-to-Day, Torey Krug a Possibility to Play Monday

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - David Krejci was absent from the ice when the Bruins returned to practice on Sunday morning at TD Garden.

"He's day-to-day, we'll leave it at that," Head Coach Claude Julien said following the skate. "He's still going through the same thing."

Krejci returned to the lineup on Thursday night after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. He has not been part of the Bruins' past two practices. The team was off on Saturday.

His status for Monday night's game against the New Jersey Devils is in question.

Julien was asked if Krejci's situation is something "chronic" that the bench boss will have to manage for a while moving forward.

"No, I think those are just speculations," Julien responded. "So I'm not going to comment more on that, but those are speculations right now."

If Krejci doesn't suit up on Monday, Chris Kelly will likely be slotting in again at center with Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith on his wings.

Kelly's versatility has made the lineup juggling fairly easy for the Bruins so far in Krejci's absence.

"I roll with the punches," Kelly said after Friday's practice. "I think just you have some chemistry with certain guys, and then you're bouncing around and trying to figure out the strengths of other guys and things like that, but everyone, if you're communicating, it makes things easier."

"We have the depth there to fill that void and put Chris there, who can actually play with anyone in this lineup," said Patrice Bergeron. "He's got the versatility that he can actually play center or wing so it's nice to have."

"But it's really about our team concept right now, and it doesn't matter necessarily who's out - we all have to do the job, and be better."

The Bruins ride a four-game win streak into Monday night's matchup with New Jersey, when they kick off a stretch of three games in four days.

Whether or not Krejci is in the lineup, Boston will power through as they have without Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug and now David Warsofsky on the back end.

"Obviously we'd like to have all these guys with us right now and fighting with us and battling, but at the same time, we've got to do the job without them and hold fort until they get back," said Bergeron.

Krug a Possibility to Play Monday

Torey Krug has missed four games since having his finger broken on a slash. After getting in two practices with the team, there's a chance he could return to game action on Monday against the Devils.

"We're letting him practice and then we're going to meet with the trainers and they'll give me more information," Julien said following Sunday's practice. "But I think that decision will be made [on Monday], versus being made today."

Krug feels that a return on Monday is realistic.

"Yeah, definitely," Krug said after practice. "It's realistic, it's something that we've just got to talk about and make sure I feel comfortable with it, the coaches feel comfortable, and it's going to be a group decision."

On Friday, the defenseman said he was taking baby steps to get the feeling and grip back in his left pinky finger. He's still pleased with the progress.

"I feel good," said Krug. "I'm feeling more comfortable. Every time I'm on the ice I feel better about it, so it's good so far."

"I've been shooting a lot better - I don't know, I've got to ask Tuukka if I can shoot a little bit harder than I have been," he laughed. "So it's getting better every day, getting more comfortable, taking slap shots and everything."

While it's just the pinky finger, the injury was fairly gruesome and Krug needed surgery to essentially stitch the top half of his finger back on.

"The pain you've got to deal with, it's [not] going to feel perfect. It will eventually but not right now," said Krug. "And then obviously it's just getting comfortable in the glove and making sure I can do everything without thinking about it, so that's kind of where I'm at."

The Bruins have survived injuries to the blueline thus far with young players like Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky filling in from Providence.

But now that Warsofsky is out with an undisclosed injury, Krug's return on Monday would be especially welcome.

"Obviously we had a couple of guys down when I was in the lineup - another goes one down, it's not fun to watch your teammates go down and get hurt," said Krug. "I look forward to getting in there, whenever I do, and kind of helping out with that void that is there, so I'm just excited to get back."

No Timeline for Warsofsky

On Friday, Julien said that Warsofsky will be "out for a while." The type of injury and timeline were not specified.

"I haven't been given - to be honest with you - a timeline as far as how long he's going to be out," Julien said in another update following Sunday's practice.

Warsofsky saw doctors on Saturday for the injury.

"I don't know what's come out of it, to be honest with you," said Julien. "Again, I haven't been looking at these injuries that currently aren't a factor for me right now as far as moving forward."

Power Play Impact

The Bruins' first power play unit has taken a hit along with the injuries to Chara, Krejci and Krug.

"We've got Torey as a possibility [for Monday]. If that happens, great. If not, then we're back to the same issue," say Julien. "So we'll see how that goes but there's still some good players - Trotman's a guy that's always gotten his shots through in the past. I know he's been a good shooter and you know, Warsofsky was another one that was pretty decent there on the power play."

Krug and Trotman practiced on the points during Sunday's skate, with Lucic, Griffith and Brad Marchand rounding out the unit.

"You know, up front, Griffith I think is a smart player, makes good plays, can shoot the puck well," said Julien. "They're young, you know, so you've got to take some of the inexperience into consideration when you put them out there and understand that it may not be as good as if it was a bunch of veterans but they're still good enough in our mind right now to be the guys to put out there."

The injuries have put more emphasis on the other unit, with Bergeron, Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Dougie Hamilton, to produce. Having been together since last season, the chemistry is there, and they'll continue to work on their creativity.

"Well it does [put more emphasis on them] and I think they realize that, and so do we," said Julien. "We probably use them a lot more than the other power play now, because they're the power play that's the strongest of the two."

Back-to-back power play goals from that unit gave the Bruins a quick two-goal lead over Edmonton on Thursday that proved to be the difference, and they're hoping for more of the same results moving forward.

Practice Lineup 11/9

Milan Lucic - Chris Kelly - Seth Griffith
Brad Marchand
- Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Matt Fraser
- Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille
- Gregory Campbell - Simon Gagne

Defensemen: Dennis Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Joe Morrow, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, Zach Trotman

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg

Injuries: David Krejci (undisclosed), Kevan Miller (shoulder), Zdeno Chara (knee), David Warsofsky (undisclosed)

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