Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cassidy sticking with Nordstrom on 2nd line, reinserting Donato

Matt Kalman
October 12, 2018 - 3:28 pm

Expect Joakim Nordstrom to remain on the second line and Ryan Donato to re-enter the lineup when the Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden on Saturday.

Nordstrom scored a goal in the Bruins’ 4-1 win against Edmonton on Thursday in his debut skating on left wing on a line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy expressed some surprise, and maybe even a little disappointment, that one of the Bruins’ better skilled wings hadn’t won that spot next to Krejci and DeBrusk. The coach didn’t want to rule anyone out, but for now Nordstrom is something of a placeholder.

“I think he adds a level of veteran responsibility to that line as well, so that helps,” Cassidy said after practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Friday. “If he can finish some plays, then maybe he stays there because that’s what you want out of that spot, some offensive production. That’s what we thought the other guys would be a little bit ahead of him. We’ll see how it all plays out. I think it’s too early to write a guy off right now.”

Donato was a healthy scratch against the Oilers. Cassidy said Donato will “probably” play against Detroit. The Bruins would then have to sit a different forward, with Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork the likely candidates. Heinen’s removal from power-play practice and his rotating with Nordstrom during line drills may have indicated he’s headed for the press box.

Cassidy didn’t want to commit to Heinen being scratched but explained the failures he has seen in the second-year forward’s game this year. Heinen has no points and has landed just two shots on net through four games. He’s also taken one minor penalty in each of the past three games.

“Another penalty [Thursday] night, that’s something that Danton in general, when he’s had tough stretches last year, he was very reliable and we could usually count on him to bring his B game and be a good defensive player, not hurt you,” Cassidy said. “But right now he’s taking a lot of stick fouls, preseason and now, so that’s the first thing we have to correct, is him digging in and getting under people instead of always over the top and one hand on the stick.”