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Krejci A Game-Time Decision for Season Opener

Center says he will have better feel for status after Thursday's morning skate in Dallas

by Eric Russo @erusso22 / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - After suffering a lower-body injury in the Bruins' penultimate preseason contest, David Krejci is considered a game-time decision for Thursday's season opener against the Dallas Stars, per coach Bruce Cassidy.

Krejci, who was felled after just two shifts against the New Jersey Devils on Sept. 26, did practice in a regular white sweater during Wednesday's session at Warrior Ice Arena. The center had donned a maroon non-contact jersey on Monday and Tuesday.

The 33-year-old said following practice that he was feeling better but needed another day to determine whether or not he will be able to play against the Stars.

"I felt better today than yesterday, but tomorrow we'll decide if I go or not. But for sure, even better today than yesterday," said Krejci, who suffered the injury after an awkward fall in front of the Devils net.

"Definitely frustrating. You put in some work and then you have a setback. It was frustrating when it happened, but I'm just looking at it with a positive point of view and working my way back up.

"Right now, it's all good. I feel better every day. Hopefully feel better tomorrow and hopefully I play. That's the goal. I want to play."

Video: Bruins forward Krejci discusses health ahead of trip

With Krejci's status in question and Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed) out for at least the season opener, there are still some moving parts when it comes to determining who gets the call as the team's 12th forward.

Should Krejci have to sit out in Dallas, Par Lindholm would likely jump up to center Jake DeBrusk and Karson Kuhlman. If Krejci plays, Cassidy will have to decide whether Lindholm or Brett Ritchie slides into the lineup to skate with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner on Boston's fourth line.

"We have Nordy out who is a penalty killer," explained Cassidy. "That's where Lindholm has an advantage going into Dallas with Ritchie. Tough call if it ends up going either way for either of those players."

Nevertheless, whether it's Ritchie or Lindholm sliding into that spot, Kuraly expects there to be an adjustment period.

"That's a challenge, always," Kuraly said of skating with new players. "I think it's something that myself and Wags will embrace and really try and make it work for the betterment of the team…just move forward, and really try to communicate I think is the big thing."

Cassidy also noted that Nordstrom, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, will travel with the team on the road trip. The winger skated with the group for the first half of practice on Wednesday, donning a maroon non-contact jersey.

Video: Bruins forward Sean Kuraly talks first trip

On the Road Again

The Bruins kick off the 2019-20 season with four straight road games, three of which are against playoff teams from a year ago (Dallas, Vegas, Colorado). And with Arizona - buoyed by the addition of Phil Kessel - predicted my many to make a jump this season, it will certainly be a stringent test for the Bruins right off the bat.

"I think it's going to be very difficult - a good measuring stick, see where we're at," said Cassidy. "You got three playoff teams and one everyone is talking about being a playoff team in Arizona. There's going to be no easy - not that there's easy games in this league - but this trip there isn't."

When it comes to Thursday's season opener against the Stars, however, Cassidy believes there can be some benefit for the road team. With the opening ceremonies and added juice in the building, the host can sometimes get caught up in the hype - though that wasn't the case during last year's 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals.

"I think so. I think there's a lot of sitting around for the home team, a lot of hype," said Cassidy. "These guys are professionals, so they've been through them, but you always want to put on a show right away. So, if the puck is not bouncing your way as players, sometimes you get antsy.

"I think that's where the road team sometimes has an advantage. Certainly, did not work in our favor last year…I guess it could work either way."

Video: Cassidy readies for first trip of the season

Wednesday's Practice Lineup

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Karson Kuhlman

Danton Heinen - Charlie Coyle - David Backes

Chris Wagner - Sean Kuraly - Brett Ritchie/Par Lindholm

Joakim Nordstrom (maroon non-contact)

 

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton/Steven Kampfer

 

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

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