Bruins center Trent Frederic’s ornery Thursday night, which included a couple of fights and a nasty hit on Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov, did not subject him to a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety as of early Friday afternoon.
Wild coach Dean Evason, the former Hartford Whalers forward, clearly thought the hit on last season’s Rookie of the Year needed further punishment.
“It’s a predatory hit,” Evason noted after his team’s 3-2 win, which included a Kaprizov power-play strike late in the first period. “The puck is sitting right there. You know what he’s doing. He’s going to hurt our best player.”
Smacked by Frederic with 9:51 remaining in the second period, Kaprizov tumbled awkwardly into the wall, an extension of a play in which the brilliant Russian star originally was in a puck scrum with Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. Kaprizov was falling down as Frederic approached from his blind side, and it appeared that he Bruins forward pulled up slightly prior to making contact.
It was enough of a shove, however, to send Kaprizov off for the night, having suffered what appeared to be a shoulder or collarbone injury.
“I hope it gets taken care of here,” said Evason, noting his wish for DOPS to consider supplemental discipline for Frederic.
Frederic, assessed a two-minute boarding minor for the hit, answered immediately with a fight in which he pummeled Wild backliner Dmitri Kulikov, and followed with his second bout of the night in the third period with Marcus Foligno, younger brother of Bruin Nick Foligno.
There was no immediate update Friday on Kaprizov’s condition, but early word out of the Wild dressing room was that he likely will be lost for some time.
Unless DOPS deems otherwise, Frederic, who logged only 7:05 in ice time to go with his 16 PIMs, is due back in the lineup Saturday night in Tampa, the start of a two-game trip that wraps Monday night in Washington.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy will be matching wits Saturday night with Tampa Bay bench boss Jon Cooper, who was to be in charge of the Team Canada bench, with Cassidy at his side as an assistant, for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
“[Team Canada] asked for their computer back … rightfully so,” a chagrined Cassidy said recently, after the league and players union decided NHL players would not participate in the Games.
Cassidy and Cooper, the latter shooting for a third consecutive Stanley Cup, rank among the top handful of today’s NHL head coaches.
In Cooper’s time behind their bench, the Lightning have gone 407-205-58 (.651) in the regular season, and the Bruins are 211-93-43 (.670) since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien in February 2017.
Peter DeBoer and Barry Trotz also were part of the Team Canada coaching staff that now will be viewing Olympus from afar, though it’s a good bet they’ll watch while wearing their country’s colors.
“They didn’t get any of their swag back,” said Cassidy, referring to a planning meeting over the summer in Banff, Alberta, where the coaches picked up Olympic clothing. “The Team Canada shirt is going to look great on the golf course this summer.”
Around the rink
Charlie McAvoy, who sat out Thursday’s loss to the Wild with a lower-body injury, is due back in against the Bolts, despite being off skates the last three days. McAvoy had been hot of late, going 1-4—5 in the two games prior to getting slightly banged up Tuesday night vs. the Devils … The Bolts, easy 4-1 winners over Calgary Thursday night with Nikita Kucherov (two assists) back in the lineup, topped the NHL standings Friday morning with 51 points. Their .708 points percentage ranked No. 4, trailing Carolina (.756), Florida (.721) and Toronto (.719) … Both Bruins goals (Taylor Hall, Brad Marchand) vs. the Wild came on the power play, which had gone a meager 2 for 22 over the previous nine games. The Bruins last popped for a pair on the advantage when the Canucks visited here Nov. 28. Their best night this season was Nov. 4 vs. Detroit, Patrice Bergeron rattling home three on the man-up as part of his four-goal night.
Playing from behind
Through 30 games, the Bruins have seen their advantage in lead time dwindle to 591:07 to 546:14. In their latest five-game segment, they went 3-2-0 and trailed (125:15) more than they led (84:48) … The Bruins added a three-game taxi squad prior to heading to Tampa, bringing on defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, forward Steven Fogarty, and goalie Troy Groseneck from Providence. None of the three is expected to suit up soon, and all three likely will be pointed back to Providence early next week. The league recently allowed clubs to carry six-man taxi squads as a means of dealing with the pandemic.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.