BOSTON - The Bruins may be without one of their most important pieces for Game 2 of their second-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, as David Krejci is considered day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Krejci was banged up late in Game 1 after taking a heavy hit from Columbus forward Riley Nash in the waning minutes of the third period. The pivot did not come out for the overtime session, and after the game coach Bruce Cassidy said that Krejci was not in the concussion protocol.
Cassidy did not have much more to offer on Friday morning during his daily press conference at Warrior Ice Arena, saying only that Krejci continues to be day-to-day and is likely to be a game-time decision on Saturday night.
"Krech came in today," said Cassidy. "See how he is tomorrow. We'll let you know in the morning whether he's in or out, or [after] warmup. Could be a game-time decision."
Video: Cassidy touches on Game 1, Krejci's status
Should Krejci miss any time, Cassidy will have to do some tweaking to his forward lines. But with the emergence of Charlie Coyle that job will be far easier. Coyle, acquired from the Minnesota Wild just ahead of this year's trade deadline, was brought in to solidify the Bruins' third line center spot, as well as serve as insurance should Krejci or Patrice Bergeron have to miss any time.
"We had that conversation internally for a long time," said Cassidy. "Do we have a guy that could move up? We plugged guys in there that played well at times, but could they move up in the event of a Bergeron or Krejci injury? We know Sean Kuraly can go from fourth line to third line, we know we have ourselves covered with Acciari and Wagner down in the lineup.
"Charlie's a big piece of the puzzle in that situation if one of those guys isn't able to go. We're thankful to have him."
The Bruins were certainly thankful to have Coyle on Thursday night. The Weymouth native scored two massive goals, the tying tally with just under five minutes remaining in regulation and the overtime winner early in the extra session.
Coyle now has five goals in eight postseason games and has been the highlight of a recent emergence of secondary scoring. Boston's last eight goals? Joakim Nordstrom, Marcus Johansson, Kuraly, Coyle, Bergeron, Acciari, Coyle, and Coyle.
"To win in playoffs, you need every line, every D pairing, and both goalies to pull their weight and everyone's done that so far," said Brad Marchand. "It's the reason we got through the first round and won [Thursday] night. Coyle's line was very, very good for us [in Game 1], got a big goal to tie it up and obviously got the winner in OT. It's great to see that contribution by them. They've been very good all playoffs."
Sticking With It
One player who would feel the effects of a Krejci absence is David Pastrnak, who shifted down to the second line late in the Toronto series. If Krejci is sidelined, Pastrnak could move back up to play with Marchand and Bergeron, which could help spark the winger, who has just two goals - both in Game 4 against the Maple Leafs - so far this postseason.
"It's a tough league. Cant' score every time. Just gonna find other ways to help the team," said Pastrnak, who is tied with Coyle for second on the Bruins in playoff scoring with six points. "Maybe would like myself to shoot a little bit more. Obviously passing on a couple shots. But that's normal. Sometimes I just think the pass is better. Have to get back to shooting the puck more…we're winning, that's the most important thing."
Video: Pastrnak discusses his play and linemate Krejci
Finding A Way
The Bruins know they must get creative when it comes to finding ways to beat Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Despite the fact that the Bruins put three past him in Game 1, the Blue Jackets netminder was immense, particularly in the first period when he made 13 of his 34 saves.
"He's a great goalie. He's been the backbone of that team all year," said Marchand. "He's obviously on top of his game right now. He made a lot of really big saves. The amount of backdoor plays that happened and he got across on them. He competes hard. There's never an easy goal on that guy. We've got our work cut for us with him."
Video: Marchand talks Game 1 win