Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug finally practiced in a full-contact jersey Friday. According to head coach Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins best puck-moving blueliner and powerplay quarterback is “probable” to return from the upper-body injury that has forced him to miss the last five games and play against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden Saturday night.
“Trending that way,” Cassidy said Friday after practice. “We’ll make a decision tomorrow. He’s got to check in with the medical staff. He was in a normal jersey today, participated in every part of practice so that’s a good sign. I’ll put him at probable, a strong probable.”
Krug himself expressed the same optimism and knows if he does return to game action tomorrow, the biggest obstacle once he hits the ice will be to regain his timing.
“We have a great strength and conditioning program here where we’re able to keep our conditioning up – although there’s nothing like actually playing in a game, try to be as close to it as possible,” said Krug who leads the Bruins blue line in scoring with two goals and 13 assists in 17 games. “From here on out, it’s just timing and getting your feet back underneath you.”
Whenever Krug returns, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will need to remove him from injured reserve and make another transaction to do so. As of early Friday evening, no moves had been made yet.
Ritchie, Lindholm Questionable
Forward Brett Ritchie (infection), also practiced Friday and the Bruins are hoping he can return Saturday as well, but at this point, he is questionable due to the nature of his injury.
“Ritchie came back much better today,” said Cassidy. “Kind of an ongoing issue, hopefully, we can get a solution too. Really through no fault of his own. It’s fits and starts for him, hopefully, we get him squared away and this takes care of itself. Having him out there today, we’ll see if he comes in tomorrow with no residual effect and he should be good [to play].”
Forward Par Lindholm, who suffered a nasty gash in the 3-2 win over the Sabres Thursday, did not skate Friday, but was not ruled out for the game.
“He got cut [on Thursday night] – an 18-stitch cut in the first period,” said Cassidy. “Today, the residual effect of that. He would have been out there, but I just don’t think he was 100 percent mobile to do that. I would hope it settles down tomorrow, but I don’t know to be honest with you.”
Moore And Miller Still At Least A Week Away
For the first time this season, defenseman John Moore (shoulder) skated in a full-contact jersey but Cassidy cautioned that he will not play in any of the Bruins four remaining games in November.
“He’s not available at all,” said Cassidy. “He’s a little bit away. He’s in a full jersey now, but we’ll talk about him more in a couple of weeks. He’s not playing next week.”
As for Kevan Miller (knee) who only a week ago was practicing with his teammates, but has since been off the ice again, there really is no timetable. Right now, the primary focus is for Miller to be absolutely at 100 percent when he does return so that he doesn’t have any setbacks like he’s had in the past.
“A little setback, I guess,” Cassidy said when asked why Miller had been off the ice again. “They wanted to hold him off. Don’t think it’s major, but again, I think from Day 1 we’re being really cautious at every turn. We don’t want him to go through what he went through last year. The medical staff would rather him be truly 100 percent ready, everything, checked all the boxes. If that takes an extra week or two on this end then that’s the way we’re hoping it will play out, that he’s then basically as good as new when he gets out there, and off he goes.”