The Boston Bruins injury list keeps growing as the team is dealing with injuries to Brad Marchand, Anders Bjork, Ryan Spooner and Peter Cehlarik. However, the one good piece of news is that forward David Backes, who underwent surgery to have a piece of his colon removed on Nov. 1, has already been cleared for contact in practice, according to NBC Sports Joe Haggerty.
Originally estimated to be out for eight weeks, putting the timetable to early January, Backes has already been skating with the Bruins for a week and could be returning sooner than expected.
The other news isn’t as good, according to Haggerty, who says that Marchand will miss today’s game against the Edmonton Oilers and was still sporting a non-contact sweater in practice Saturday. Bjork is expected to miss another week with an upper-body injury, while neither Spooner or Cehalrik practiced Saturday. The scribe says only Spooner has a chance to play today.
- Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register tweets that Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell, who didn’t play in Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings due to an upper-body injury, won’t travel with the team starts their road trip. Stephens adds that coach Randy Carlyle was vague about when Rakell would return to the team.
- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber, who has missed the past three games lower-body injury, missed practice today, according to the Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan. Instead, the veteran defenseman opted for therapy. He remains day-to-day as Montreal hosts Columbus on Monday.
- Cowan also reports that defenseman David Schlemko, who is on a condidtioning stint with the Laval Rocket of the AHL, was practicing with the Canadiens today, suggesting a return could be near.
- Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg, who has been out with an upper-body injury since Nov. 11, participated in practice fully today and is expected to travel with the team for Monday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline.
- Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter, who is expected to miss today’s game against the New York Rangers, is more than just “day-to-day,” according to Canucks head coach Travis Green. The coach adds that it’s nothing too serious, but in his place Alexander Burmistrov will fill in for him while he is out.
- Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika reports that defenseman Stephen Johns, who was suffered an upper-body injury in Friday’s game against the Calgary Flames, skated today and is expected to be ready for Tuesday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.