Opening Night: Boston Bruins Are Getting Healthy

We are a few days into training camp and, already, more players are being added to the mix as they return from injuries. On Saturday, the Boston Bruins added two players to their Group A roster, forwards Trent Frederic and Joakim Nordstrom. Nordstrom has been out since mid-June with a fractured foot that he suffered in the Stanley Cup Final. He spent the offseason healing in order to be ready for the 2019-20 campaign.

Carolina Hurricanes Jordan Staal Boston Bruins Joakim Nordstrom
Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal and Boston Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Last season, Nordstrom suited up for 70 games and posted 12 regular-season points and added 3 goals and 5 assists in 23 playoff appearances. He bounced between lines in 2018-19, playing alongside David Krejci on the second line and seeing ample time on the third line on both the left wing and at center. He played a prominent role on the Bruins’ penalty kill as well.

In an interview with NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty Nordstrom stated: “I felt pretty good throughout the season. Toward the end I had better production than earlier on, I played with the same players for a time there and I think confidence plays a role.”

It’s unlikely that Nordstrom will have the same linemates as last season, but there are plenty of talented forwards vying for a roster spot and hopefully he can find chemistry with whoever he’s paired with and keep the point production flowing. 

Trent Frederic Returns Stronger

Along with Nordstrom, Frederic made his training camp debut on Saturday. Frederic, who had been out with a lower-body injury is now looking to make an impression after working extensively during the offseason to prepare.

“It’s completely different than I was doing. A lot more cardio and conditioning and for the first time I have a little abs going,” Frederic joked .

Frederic paired up with ex-Bruins hopeful Jeff LoVecchio to do an extensive offseason routine to improve his core strength. LoVecchio explained it was mostly, “teaching him how to use his body efficiently.” Though it may not translate into point production, we should see a more controlled game from the youngster.

Last season, the Bruins relied on him to help generate offense for the bottom-six. However, through 15 games, he failed to register a point and sported a minus-4 despite landing some hits. Pairing his physicality with some more controlled play should give him an edge against prospects looking to make the lineup this season, and give him the opportunity to make a decent second impression.

Kevan Miller Making Strides

After one of the most tumultuous seasons of his career, Kevan Miller is working his way back to the Bruins defense. He was only able to suit up for 39 games in 2018-19 after battling a hand injury in October, a fractured larynx in November, torn oblique in February and then a broken kneecap that is still healing.

Kevan Miller (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He isn’t yet back to 100% health but he is making strides to rejoining the teamsooner rather than later. “We’re not sure yet,” Miller told reporters on the first day of training camp. “It’s kind of [up to the doctors]. We went over some stuff today, we have some things we need to cross off before that becomes an option. But it’s still kind of up in the air…[it’s] day-to-day, week-to-week, especially lately.”

Once he is ready to go, the Bruins’ defense will again be a strong and dominant force, especially after re-signing both Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo this week.

Patrice Bergeron’s Full Participation Expected

Patrice Bergeron is also making his way back to full health after a lingering groin injury that has been bothering him for the majority of the past two seasons. During the offseason, he had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, which used his blood platelets to speed up the healing process.

In an interview with NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty, Bergeron stated: “I should be able to play through it. It’s been there for a long time. With the PRP shot we hope that it’s one of those things where it takes some time for it to work. It’s getting better but it’s still there a little bit. I’m feeling good and I’m feeling positive that I’ll definitely be ready for the start of the season.”

Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins Boone Jenner Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Boone Jenner of the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Bergeron has been skating on his own throughout training camp and participated in his first official practice Monday, sporting the maroon no-contact jersey.  He was in his usual spot alongside Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak and is expected to be practicing at full capacity today.