A day after Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney gave a status quo on the five Bruins players on the NHL COVID List, Head Coach Bruce Cassidy did the same but did express optimism that the team can resume practice tomorrow at Warrior Arena.
“Nobody came off yet but we have to test again tomorrow morning and we’ll have a better idea again tomorrow night and after we practice, who will be off and who will stay on,” Cassidy told reporters early Tuesday evening. “I do expect a practice. We have another round of testing early in the morning so it won’t be your normal 11 o’clock but we do expect to and hopefully, we’re able to.”
As for playing their first home game with fans in the stands since March 7, 2020?
“That’s how we’re approaching it,” the Boston Bruins bench boss said when asked if he expected his team to play the New York Islanders Thursday. “We’ll adjust and make the necessary lineup changes we have to.”
While Cassidy didn’t have much to update on the COVID 5, David Krejci, David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, Jake DeBrusk, and Craig Smith, except that thankfully all have been symptom-free, he was able to give updates on the laundry list of injuries the team has been dealing with, including goalie Tuukka Rask possibly playing Thursday or Saturday and for the first time since March 7.
Boston Bruins rookie winger Trent Frederic (lower-body) joined Rask and the ever-growing injury list after the Bruins 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres last Thursday, the night before the aforementioned players were put on the COVID List. Cassidy said Frederic has been skating and could play Thursday and then got into more detail about the rest of the walking wounded.
“A few of them will be skating and have skated,” Cassidy said of his crowded MASH unit. “[Brandon] Carlo’s been on the ice; Jeremy Lauzon’s been on the ice; Zach Senyshyn’s been on the ice. So those guys, I don’t know that they’d be ready to play Thursday, that quickly, but at least they’re back skating.
Kevan Miller will not. He is skating but he will not be available right away. Johnny Moore had surgery so he’s out. Then [Jarred] Tinordi has an opportunity if he practices with us. Tuukka Rask is expected to join us for practice as well. Now whether that’s enough time to get back in the net right away. …if he makes it through practice, then obviously he’s a real possibility for Thursday, if not Saturday.”
As for the sometimes forgotten injured Bruins forward, Ondrej Kase, Cassidy likened any potential return for him to ‘gravy’.
“Kase has skated. But again, such an unknown with him,” Cassidy said. “You almost have to go forward assuming that’ll be gravy if he gets back in. … Because it’s been a long time — the second game of the year.”