Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug left the team’s preseason finale in the first period last night and the early indications are not good. Krug did not return to the game and was later seen in a walking boot. Head coach Bruce Cassidy did not have much of an update after the game, saying that he has “no information” on his status, adding “hopefully it’s nothing serious, but it’s tough luck if it is, obviously.” The offensive blue liner was already returning from a fractured ankle suffered in the postseason and had been limited in training camp, but this sounds as if it was a new injury on Saturday night. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen and with the regular season opening in just a few days, Krug’s availability is up in the air. The team does have fellow puck-moving lefty Matt Grzelcyk to fall back on. Grzelcyk was a starter as a rookie last season for the Bruins, but looked slated for No. 7 duty to begin the year. If he can overcome his own minor lower-body injury, he would be an easy fix. If not, Cassidy said that he would not hesitate to start rookie Urho Vaakanainen. The 2017 first-round pick is in his first season in North America, but has impressed in camp and has yet to be cut. While Krug is clearly the superior option, the Bruins have plenty of depth to manage his potential absence to begin the year. The concern would be just how long their power play quarterback remains sidelined.
- Los Angeles Kings veteran forward Dustin Brown was another casualty last night. The big winger took a shot up high from teammate Anze Kopitar and was forced out of the game. Brown did not return and the team issued an update that he had suffered an upper-body injury on the play. However, there has been no word from the Kings since. The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman reached out to head coach John Stevens and GM Rob Blake, but could not get any more information. The team is likely taking their time to evaluate Brown, but it’s also possible that the injury is more serious and the team wants to approach the news on their terms. Like Krug, the proximity of the injury to Opening Night leaves his status to begin the year as a question mark.
- One question that has been answered is who starts the year in net for the New Jersey Devils. Although he traveled with the team to Europe for their exhibition game in Switzerland and regular season opener against the Edmonton Oilers in Sweden, Cory Schneider is primarily there to continue working with the team’s medical staff. Head coach John Hynes made it official today that Schneider will not start for the Devils in their opener, reports NHL.com’s Mike Morreale. Still rehabbing from off-season hip surgery, it was always a long shot for Schneider to be ready to go for game one. New Jersey’s starter has yet to even be cleared to play. As such, last season’s savior Keith Kinkaid is likely to get the call, while veteran third-string keeper Eddie Lack remains on the roster as the current backup. Schneider is actually progressing well in his recovery and could be back in net soon, just not next week.