Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy finally had an update to provide on forward Jake DeBrusk.
As reported by team insider Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic, DeBrusk was absent from practice this morning despite telling reporters he felt 100% after the first game agains the Toronto Maple Leafs in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
"Hundred percent," DeBrusk said after Game 1 loss. "I’m feeling alright, yeah, it wasn’t fun causing the turnover there and then seeing him on the breakaway. I was just trying to get back, trying to make a play, and obviously didn’t like the result of that and then he scored. I think that was a turning point in the game as well, and something that I needed and something that’s going to help me in this series."
It was noted that Leafs forward Nazem Kadri took out DeBrusk way late and high, as it’s added that it’s not the first time he’d have done this to a Bruins forward. Last spring, Kadri was suspended three games after the first game of the series. He was disciplined for boarding Bruins forward Tommy Wingels in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round back in April 2018.
After practice on Friday, Cassidy explained that he let DeBrusk have a maintenance day, but did reveal that forward David Backes could be inserted back into the lineup for Game 2 on Saturday if DeBrusk is a no-go.
During Bruins practices both on Monday and Wednesday, Backes was not assigned to a specific line, which hinted at him being a healthy scratch in Game 1 agains the Maple Leafs.
He was not part of the lineup last night in the Leafs' 4-1 win over the Bruins, allowing them to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
Backes could see some ice-time tomorrow if DeBrusk still feels the pain of Kadri's hit however Cassidy did not rule out inserting the veteran forward back in regardless. We will have more information on the projected lineup tomorrow.
With DeBrusk out, here is what the practice lines looked like this morning: