After a day off the ice Friday, the Boston Bruins were back at it Saturday with a full practice. After being suspended for the Bruins’ 5-2 Game 1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, Bruins star defenseman Charlie McAvoy will be back in the lineup for the B’s Sunday in Game 2 (3 PM ET, NBC).
McAvoy was chomping at the bit when he met the media Saturday afternoon.
“I can’t wait, I’m very excited,” McAvoy said. “It’s happening in the conference final, I’m looking to make an impact in whatever way I can. Just really thrilled for the opportunity.”
The team is thrilled to have McAvoy’s breakout skill and improved physicality back in their lineup.
“Breakouts,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked what his team missed most without him in Game 1. “Quick transition in the neutral zone, those kind of seam passes or those up-the-middle passes that made the other guys just don’t have the vision or confidence, or both, to make. So those quick-strike plays where forwards are getting the puck in their hands in good spots with a chance to attack, rather than a more predictable play where a team can close on them.
Physicality in the playoffs too. He’s really, I think upped his [physical play] – obviously, he got suspended for it – but he’s trying to play a more physical, clean game than he did in the regular season.”
Forward Noel Acciari (upper-body) was also back on the ice with his team but in a red non-contact jersey. According to Cassidy, Acciari is nearing a return but will not be ready for Game 2.
“[Acciari] won’t play tomorrow,” said Cassidy. “He’s doing well. He should be a full practice [participant] for Monday. We’ll see what we’re doing [as a team] that day, but he’ll be ready whatever the case may be. Hopefully, that allows him to play Tuesday and then we’ll make our decision then.”
Defenseman Kevan Miller (lower-body) who hasn’t played since April 4 was walking around Warrior Arena, the Bruins practice facility, without the brace he’s had for about a month, but Cassidy said there were no new updates on his potential return.
Here’s what the Bruins roster should look like in Game 2: