Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Scratched Donato hoping he’ll be ‘pissed off’ enough to get back in Bruins lineup

Matt Kalman
October 11, 2018 - 2:07 pm

Ryan Donato has been a healthy scratch in the NHL before.

After leaving Harvard early and playing in 12 regular-season games for the Bruins last season, he sat out all but three of the Bruins’ 12 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

So he knows what he’s supposed to take from being a healthy scratch against Edmonton on Thursday at TD Garden.

“Definitely there’s a few things. Obviously one thing that I think was the biggest benefit was being pissed off and wanting to come back harder, you know what I mean?” Donato said after he followed the Bruins’ morning skate with extra on-ice work at Warrior Ice Arena on Thursday. “And I think that’s something that this time does.

“And being above also there’s things that you learn in the game and it’s hard to see that when you’re on the ice. And being able to go above and get that hunger that when I get my number called again I want to make sure I give it all I’ve got and don’t take any shifts off and just make sure I give it my all.”

Donato quickly confirmed that his “pissed off” feeling was a positive.

“I’m supportive of my teammates, I understand where they’re [the coaches] coming from, but more pissed off at myself and wanting to get back and in the lineup,” Donato said.

Through three games this season Donato has one power-play goal for his only point and he’s landed four shots on net. In the Bruins’ 6-3 win against Ottawa on Monday he had one shot on net in 12:56 of ice time, prompting coach Bruce Cassidy to come up with the idea to replace Donato with Joakim Nordstrom.

“Fairly straightforward, we’re not set on who’s going to be our automatic 13th forward, we’re still looking at different combinations. And at the end of the day, play better if you want to stay in the lineup,” Cassidy said about the message to Donato. “That’s usually the last message if guys are confused; he’s not by any means. But if that’s the case, then listen you’ve got to start earning your spot, earn your spot and keep it. And how do you play better? Well ... for me I thought his last game his details weren’t great, and that’s on us to make them better, teach him. Some of it is picking them up, so we’re going to meet halfway on that and hopefully the next time out he’s better.”

Nordstrom will start out as David Krejci’s left wing with Jake DeBrusk moving to the right side of the Bruins’ second line. But Danton Heinen or Anders Bjork could easily move up the depth chart if Cassidy doesn’t get the results he wants from that second line against the Oilers.

Here’s the how the Bruins figure to line up against Edmonton:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak

Joakim Nordstrom-David Krejci-Jake DeBrusk

Danton Heinen-David Backes-Anders Bjork

Chris Wagner-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy

John Moore-Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller

Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

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