The Bruins continue to suffer through an unprecedented deluge of injuries, and that was once again the case when Bruce Cassidy ruled out both Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork from the first two games of their three-game road swing through California. Perhaps they will be able to return against San Jose this weekend or will be ready to go on the night before Thanksgiving against the Devils in New Jersey, but that’s a different story for a different day. The bottom line is that the Bruins are missing half the top-six forwards they were counting on at the start of the season. Only Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and rookie Jake DeBrusk are currently playing. That group has had exactly one game together this season when both Bergeron and David Krejci were both healthy, and that was a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 19. “I would really like to have all [top-6 forwards] at my disposal, and then we could sort it all out,” Cassidy said wistfully. “The message going forward is to play well and to play hard. Control the things that we can control like effort and execution. In terms of effort I think it’s been pretty good, but the execution is coming on even though it’s hurt us in certain games.” The Bruins will have DeBrusk, Sean Kuraly, Jordan Szwarz, Danton Heinen, Kenny Agostino and Peter Cehlarik all in their lineup on Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, and expecting six rookies to help stabilize things on a California road trip usually spells doom. Certainly things will be helped by a potential return from Krejci over the next few games, but the Bruins are going to struggle to merely be competitive down so many players from their regular lineup. Another less obvious consequence resulting from the injuries is the enormous burden being placed on Bergeron’s shoulders since he returned from his lower body injury. The 32-year-old has four goals and 11 points in 11 games, but he’s also averaging a career-high 21:28 of ice time per game and topping the 20-minute mark for the first time he was 22. Similarly, Brad Marchand is averaging a career-high 21:30 of ice time per game, which is two minutes more per game than he’s ever played in his NHL career. Perhaps it shouldn’t be all that surprising that Marchand is now banged up after being used so much, and the same fate may break Bergeron down again if the Bruins aren’t careful.
Bergeron carrying the load for shorthanded Bruins, and it may prove too heavy
NBC Sports Boston | Nov 16