The Boston Bruins grabbed a couple of young players just in case prior to leaving for Lake Tahoe as Urho Vaakanainen and Jack Studnicka both made the Friday trip to California for this weekend’s outdoor game against the Flyers.
The 22-year-old Vaakanainen has played in three games with the P-Bruins with zero points and a plus-1 rating while the 21-year-old Studnicka has an assist in a pair of games while continuing to fine tune his board work on the wing. The call-ups may just be additions to their taxi squad just in case extra bodies are needed, but it also may point to a second wave of injuries that have hit the Boston Bruins in the last few days.
The AHL transactions page had both players being called up to Boston on Friday following the tough loss to the Devils.
“Jack is not here with us. I’m not sure where he’s currently sitting [NHL status-wise],” said Providence head coach Jay Leach. “We lost [Vaakanainen] a couple of days ago [to a call-up to Boston].”
David Krejci exited in the first period of Thursday night’s loss to the New Jersey Devils with a lower body injury, and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette’s Joe McDonald is reporting that veteran defenseman Kevan Miller didn’t make the trip to California either.
Hearing Krejci and Miller will not travel with Bruins to Tahoe. Vaakanainen and Studnicka called up from Providence.
— Joe McDonald (@JoeyMacHockey) February 19, 2021
While the move is being described as giving Miller “additional rest” and “to recharge” after coming back from serious injuries, it doesn’t really jive with the reality that the Bruins have already had two different four day breaks this month.
Miller also missed practice earlier this week for what the Bruins described as precautionary rest, but he did play in Thursday night’s loss while registering just 17:26 of ice time after logging a season-low 16:32 of ice time last weekend against the Islanders. Perhaps Miller had some kind of difficulty playing the three games in four days stretch last week in New York, as this recent spate of rest for Miller has arrived right on the heels of that tough sequence.
Bruce Cassidy had mentioned Studnicka, along with Greg McKegg and bottom-6 winger Trent Frederic, as possibilities to fill in for Krejci at center if he wasn’t able to play Sunday afternoon against the Flyers in the NHL’s marquee outdoor event this season.