Fresh off a decisive win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, the Boston Bruins’ forward lines will look a little different when they face the New York Rangers tonight. The team has announced that bottom-six forwards Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom will both miss the game due to injury. However, the release does not make it sound as if either player is at risk of missing significant time, especially since both played the entire game last night with normal ice time. Wagner is listed as being out as a result of a shot block against the Blues, although no actual injury is listed and the aggressive winger may just need the night off for soreness. Nordstrom has been in and out of the lineup frequently in the young season, dealing with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Today’s news adds even more mystery to his condition, as the Bruins state he is dealing with an “infection issue”. With these two absences coming on top of the injuries to David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman – Kuhlman is expected to join Krejci on IR to create roster space – Boston is shorthanded up front and added that they will recall Peter Cehlarik from AHL Providence. Cehlarik, who played in 20 NHL games last season, leads Providence with six goals and eight points in eight games. The Bruins hope that he can provide the same offensive spark that Anders Bjork has since he was recalled. Tonight should also mark the return to action of David Backes, who has played in five games so far this season and has been held without a point.
- The Buffalo Sabres have gotten off to a hot start this season and their lineup has been almost identical night in and night out. That is about to change. The team has issued an injury report that includes two new additions in Marco Scandella and Jimmy Vesey. The pair both missed Buffalo’s last game, with Scandella suffering from a lower-body injury and Vesey an upper-body injury. Although the specific injuries are not expanded upon in this new report, Scandella is listed as being out two to three weeks, while Vesey is considered week-to-week. It is a blow to the chemistry and consistency that the Sabres have enjoyed so far this season, especially on the back end where they lose their veteran defensive leader. However, in more positive news, defenseman Brandon Montour has been upgraded to day-to-day and a return to the lineup could be imminent. Montour began the year on the injured reserve with a hand injury, but is nearing his season debut and will provide a major boost for Buffalo.
- At this point in their respective careers, both Brent Seabrook and Bobby Ryan are known more for their notorious contracts than for their performance. Yet, both are fixtures in their respective lineups. However, reports out of both Chicago and Ottawa state that Seabrook and Ryan will each be a healthy scratch tonight. It is only the second career scratch for both players in their careers and the first under their current head coaches. Per the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Senators head coach D.J. Smith revealed that Ryan would be a scratch, after recording just three points through the team’s first ten games. Ryan, who is in the fifth year of a seven-year, $50.75MM contract, had been relegated to a fourth line role based on his production, but Smith reportedly does not feel he is a good fit as an energy forward. The team has recalled Filip Chlapik to take his place in the lineup and there is no indication of when Ryan may return. Ryan has not cracked 50 points in any of the past three seasons and has three seasons remaining at a $7.25MM cap hit. As for Seabrook, his contract is arguably even worse. The 34-year-old defenseman still has five years remaining on an eight-year, $55MM contract that carries a $6.875MM cap it. Seabrook’s game has fallen off in both the offensive and defensive departments over the past two years and things are only getting worse. The veteran rearguard has just one point in nine games and a -5 rating, on pace for a career worst in both categories. According to The Athletic’s Scott Powers, Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton will sit Seabrook in favor of untested rookie Dennis Gilbert. Colliton also indicated that Seabrook did not take his benching well. It could be the beginning of an even uglier situation in Chicago. Powers’ colleague Mark Lazerus points out that with Seabrook scratched alongside Zack Smith, the Blackhawks will have over $10MM in salary – approximately 12.4% of the salary cap ceiling – watching from the press box tonight.