With the Boston Bruins dealing with a rash of injuries, any news is good news when it comes to players getting closer to a return.
So, it was a positive development that Bruce Cassidy said Jake DeBrusk (lower body) and Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) are both skating back in Boston at Warrior Ice Arena while the Bruins wrap up their road trip with two games against the Philadelphia Flyers this week. Scrappy winger Anton Blidh will suit up on the fourth line and make his 2021 debut for the Black and Gold at Wells Fargo Center against the Flyers on Wednesday night as the Bruins continue to move around their forwards covering up for the missing bodies with DeBrusk, Ondrej Kase (upper body) and Jack Studnicka (upper body) all out of the lineup.
“Jake and Grzelcyk started skating, so that’s a step in the right direction,” said Bruce Cassidy. “They’re obviously not here and not going to play tonight. In a typical year you’d obviously have an easier time getting them here, but there’s protocols now in place. Now some teams are like ‘Geez, is it worth it unless they’re 100 percent because you have other bodies here [on the taxi squad].
“I think every team will have to juggle that decision, but for us [Connor Clifton] has played well. So now maybe Grzy can get the extra four or five days [to heal] that could be really beneficial rather than trying to jam him into a game. The same with Jake. Is the one game worth four extra days off? I wouldn’t call them days off, but they’re non-game days where you can ease them up into it.”
Grzelcyk has missed the last two games after crashing feet-first into the boards last week against the Penguins, and DeBrusk has missed three games after suffering an injury on a hard hip-check from Penguins star Sidney Crosby.
The bad news for Kase is that he continues to be far away from a return while being out since Jan. 16 after taking a high hit from Miles Wood. Studnicka has missed the last two games after taking a big hit in last week’s bruising game against the Penguins as well. Clifton has played well averaging 16:39 of ice time skating in a pairing with Brandon Carlo since Grzelcyk went down, but the Bruins are scrambling while down three wingers with both Karson Kuhlman and Blidh getting their first action of the season due to the injuries.