Krejci questionable vs. Jets with back spasms

Krejci questionable vs. Jets with back spasms
September 27, 2013, 3:30 pm
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SASKATOON – The Bruins had hoped to go with a lineup that is close to their opening night group in tonight’s preseason finale against the Winnipeg Jets at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. But instead the Bruins coaching staff wants to get another look at a couple of different players vying for roster spots, and they may also be without David Krejci after he had to leave the ice with back spasms on Friday morning.

That left Ryan Spooner out on the ice as an alternative to No. 46 if he can’t take his customary place between Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla, a potential “attaboy” for the skilled 21-year-old at the end of an excellent training camp. Bruins coach Claude Julien also indicated that both Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille will be out of the lineup, and that Jordan Caron and Nick Johnson will both be skating in between Gregory Campbell as they battle it out for the spare forward roster spot.

Dennis Seidenberg will also be out of the lineup with Boston taking a long look at both Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski as they consider their top-six blueliners for opening night.

“We’ve got some decisions to make. It will be close to the [regular season] lineup, but it won’t be everybody in there,” said Claude Julien. “Krejci came off this morning with some back spasms, so we’ll see if he’s okay for tonight. Our lineup could change.

“We’ll have Johnson and Caron on the line with Campbell because those are two guys we have to make decisions on.”

Julien indicated that Tuukka Rask is likely to get the full game between the pipes as a final tune-up before the start of the NHL regular season on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But in the same breath Julien also noted how much of a tough decision it will be choosing a backup goaltender between Niklas Svedberg and Chad Johnson.

“It’s not easy…especially in the goaltending area. It doesn’t take much to sway one way or the other. Let’s be honest: Svedberg has played well, but so did Johnson in that Detroit game. What tarnished [Johnson’s camp a little was that game in Montreal,” said Julien. “He just had an average half-game. At the end of the day we’ll have to make some decisions, and go into a lot of discussions about a lot of things. We know it’s not just hockey. Sometimes it’s about development and sometimes it’s about the cap. Those are part of the decisions we make along the way.”

Tonight represents the last time the Boston coaching staff and management will have a chance to evaluate before making those tough decisions. They must be hoping some of those players make it a little easier for them with one more stellar preseason game before they count for real.

Based on Claude Julien’s comments, here is the projected lineup for Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets: