Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo will miss his first game of the season Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes because of a family matter, coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday.
Carlo did not practice Friday but is expected to be available for Sunday’s game in Detroit. Cassidy said John Moore will likely start in Carlo’s place alongside Torey Krug.
“It’s kind of the easiest thing to do,’’ Cassidy said. “If it’s not working out, then we’ll make some adjustments on the fly.’’
In other personnel news, Connor Clifton skated with the team for the first time since suffering an upper body injury on Dec. 29 against the Buffalo Sabres. Clifton, who had been skating on his own with fellow rehabbing defenseman Kevan Miller, practiced in a red non-contact jersey.
Center Joakim Nordstrom also returned to practice, after missing the team’s past two games with an allergic reaction. Cassidy said Nordstrom will not play against the Coyotes, but his absence should not extend much longer.
“When he shows up [Saturday], we should have a much better idea of where he’s at,’’ Cassidy said. “That should be the last hurdle if he’s all good.’’
DeBrusk goes overboard
How Jake DeBrusk celebrated Charlie McAvoy’s first goal of the season seems to be getting as much, if not more, attention than the goal itself.
“Jake was first on the scene,’’ Cassidy said. “He’s an emotional guy. He almost killed him.’’
Against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday, McAvoy tapped in a pass from DeBrusk to score the game-winner in overtime and snap his months-long scoring drought. DeBrusk promptly congratulated him with a leaping embrace that sent him to the ice.
“That was awesome,’’ McAvoy said. “He hugged me, and I just told him I loved him. I was just so happy. You could tell how happy he was. That was a heck of a play. I’m thankful for that pass, that he didn’t look me off.’’
Added DeBrusk: “To see him kind of bury one on that play was nice. Obviously, I got a little too excited. I got to stop jumping at guys. I don’t really know what my speed’s like when I kind of come in there. Pretty much blew him up.’’
No big deal
Heading into Friday, the Bruins sit atop the NHL standings with a league-best 78 points. But Cassidy doesn’t seem to think much about the Presidents’ Trophy, the award given to the team with the most points at the end of the regular season.
“I don’t think any team is celebrating the Presidents’ Trophy,’’ Cassidy said. “I really don’t. It means you had a real successful regular season, but does that automatically translate to the playoffs? No. We’ve seen that.’’
Cassidy acknowledged winning the Presidents’ Trophy guarantees home ice throughout the postseason, which, in turn, should make Boston’s goal of hoisting the Stanley Cup “a little easier.’’ He also was quick to note, however, not all teams capitalize on that advantage. The winners of the Presidents’ Trophy last season, the Tampa Bay Lighting, were swept in the first-round of last year’s playoffs.
Garden seats will change
Bruins fans can expect more changes to the fan experience next season.
After reviewing guest feedback about the arena’s newly installed seats, TD Garden president Amy Latimer has announced plans to replace the balcony seats this offseason. The changes include creating a narrower armrest and eliminating the padding on the base and back of the seat.
“We recognized that there were some areas of concern regarding the new seats, specifically legroom and comfort,’’ said Latimer, who apologized for the inconvenience.