The injury bug bit again in the final days of 2019.
The Bruins will play in New Jersey Tuesday — the last day of the year — but they’ll have to do it without many of their regulars. Torey Krug will miss his second straight contest after there was some hope he might be back on Tuesday, while the team placed Charlie McAvoy on injured reserve a week after he was hurt against the Capitals.
”I feel good,” Krug said to reporters on Monday after skating with the team at practice. “Obviously, anytime you get to be back on the ice with your teammates and back in a full practice, full contact, everything, you get excited and it gets you pumped up for the next possibility to come. Definitely feel good.”
Jeremy Lauzon was recalled from Providence in place of McAvoy, but they aren’t the only blueliners out; Connor Clifton missed much of the second half of Sunday’s game with the Sabres, and he will miss the contest with the Devils with an upper body injury of his own.
”Really excited,” Lauzon said after practice. “I think since the beginning of the year my game has been strong. I feel really good and I’ve been waiting for that call since the beginning of the year, so it’s nice to be back up here.”
Krug seems to be the closest out of all of them to returning.
”We’re erring on the side of caution a little bit here as well,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s very close, but would the extra couple days help him? We have to discuss that internally.”
They’re comfortable enough with Lauzon where they believe he can step in after seeing him a little bit last season.
”I think with Jeremy it’s always about, can he sustain a level of puck play at this level where he makes a good first pass a reasonable amount of the time?” Cassidy said. “We’re not going to ask him to go on the power play or anything like that. He’s much more of a killer or a shutdown guy. We’ve seen him do that last year at the start of the year.”
Defense isn’t the only area hit, though. David Krejci will also miss Tuesday with a lower body injury after he didn’t practice on Monday. According to Cassidy, he was injured on Sunday against the Sabres.
Kuhlman sent down
After having missed the bulk of the regular season, Karson Kuhlman will return to the lineup, but in Providence.
The Bruins announced on Monday they’d sent the right winger to the AHL as he returns from a broken tibia suffered after playing in just eight games this season.
Kuhlman was on the fast track to play top-six minutes for the B’s on the second line this season, but hadn’t produced a goal before he went out for more than two months.
Cassidy said that Kuhlman will rejoin Boston after getting some reps in the minors.
Rask named an all-star
David Pastrnak will have some company in St. Louis. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask was named to the Atlantic Division team of the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Monday, the lone Bruin announced.
Patrice Bergeron is the B’s representative for the last man in vote, where fans have a chance to vote online for the last all-star on each team. Every team gets one nomination.
For Rask, it’s his second appearance in the annual event after playing in 2017. He is seventh in the NHL with a 2.31 goals against average and is tied for ninth in save percentage at .923.