Injuries mount for Bruins before game with Red Wings
DETROIT -- The Boston Bruins have dominated the Detroit Red Wings for the past few seasons.
Going into Wednesday's matchup, the Bruins (11-6-3) are 15-1-1 in their last 17 games against the Red Wings (9-9-2) and 19-2-1 in the last 22, including the playoffs. But they look more like a M.A.S.H. unit because of a rash of injuries.
And things got worse Tuesday when the Bruins announced that center and leading scorer Patrice Bergeron will miss four weeks because of a "a rib and sternoclavicular injury" suffered Friday against Dallas.
The Bruins were already without several defensemen, including captain Zdeno Chara (MCL tear, re-evaluated in four weeks), Charlie McAvoy (concussion, injured reserve), Brandon Carlo (upper body, IR), John Moore (lower body) and Urho Vaakanainen (concussion).
Defenseman Kevan Miller is expected to return Wednesday from a hand injury.
With the injuries, particularly to Chara and Bergeron, Boston coach Bruce Cassidy says star left winger Brad Marchand has to be more of a leader, which means being more disciplined.
"Even just to stay focused on the ice for his own personal success and team success and not let the officials frustrate him if he feels there's a call not going his way," Cassidy told the Boston Herald about Marchand, who has six goals and 21 points this season. " ... He likes to stir the drink a little, but hopefully some of the (misconducts), or most of them, are behind him now. He's had a few."
Right winger David Pastrnak leads the NHL with 17 goals and his nine assists give him 26 points, second on the team to Bergeron.
After a miserable start (1-7-2), the Red Wings have won eight of 10.
"We've made big plays at big moments, whether it's been a save or goal," coach Jeff Blashill told the Detroit News. "Our goaltenders have played real well, and we've gotten a lot of net-front presence ... We were in some really close games early in the season and we didn't win them. Now we're finding ways to win."
Center Dylan Larkin said it has been quite a difference.
"After our start, everyone was counting us out. Here we are, the last 10 games, we've showed not only the league and our fans but ourselves, that we can play with every team on a nightly basis,"Larkin said. "We're winning games and we're having fun and we're rolling. We need to keep this going."
The young players have also led the way. Larkin, 22, has four goals and 12 points in the 10 games (and leads the team with eight goals and 19 points); forward Andreas Athanasiou, 24, three goals and six points; rookie forward Michael Rasmussen, 19, a goal in three consecutive games, and right winger Anthony Mantha, 24, three goals and an assist in four games.
Detroit forward Darren Helm will miss six to eight weeks with a right shoulder injur suffered in Saturday's 3-2 overtime road win over the New Jersey Devils. The Red Wings will also be without forward Thomas Vanek (knee) and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (lower body).
The Red Wings also sent center Wade Megan to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.
Updated November 20, 2018