BRIGHTON, Mass – The Boston Bruins had a large group on the practice ice at Warrior Arena on Wednesday night as they came out of the NHL’s COVID Protocol, a good sign that most of the players are through the mini-outbreak and an indication that they are also getting back to good health as a group.
Jeremy Lauzon, Trent Frederic, Jarred Tinordi, Zach Senyshyn and Brandon Carlo all returned from injuries to practice with the main group, and Craig Smith, David Krejci and David Pastrnak were all back from the NHL’s COVID Protocol list. Tuukka Rask was also back as a full participant at Boston Bruins practice and is trending toward the start on Thursday night vs. the New York Islanders provided he feels good physically in the morning.
Among the injured position players, Tinordi (upper body) and Frederic (lower body) have the best chance of playing vs. the Isles, with Carlo perhaps the furthest away while skating at practice in a no-contact jersey.
“I don’t expect Lauzon or Carlo [to play],” said Bruce Cassidy. “Tinordi, Frederic and Senyshyn will all go out for morning skate. They all felt good today. If they get through morning skate, then we will make a decision. All of those guys technically are not being held back by a diagnosis. It’s ‘are they ready and do they feel good?’
“It could be that they play on Saturday, but they are also very close, and they could play [on Thursday]. Carlo still has to go through contact [at practice]. That will be the next phase in his recovery. For Lauzon, it’s how is his strength in the battles. Until he gets through another practice or two [he won’t be ready to play], but I would guess because [Lauzon] is going through the contact part now that he’s closer [to a return] than Carlo.”
Kevan Miller (knee) and Ondrej Kase (upper body) are both still missing while nursing their physical issues and Sean Kuraly and Jake DeBrusk remain on the NHL’s COVID Protocol while going through the normal routine of testing and quarantine.
Here’s the Boston Bruins line combos and D-pairings from Wednesday’s evening practice with the largest group that the B’s have seen healthy and practicing together in quite some time: