BRIGHTON, Mass – Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk joked that he watched a lot of old Entourage and Fresh Prince of Bel Air episodes while getting through quarantine during his bout with COVID over the last couple of weeks. DeBrusk lost his sense of taste and smell while working through the illness but felt lucky that it didn’t negatively impact his lungs or other organs as he slowly made his way back to the Bruins lineup.
“I had a couple of low days, but it was nothing too major,” said DeBrusk. “Obviously it hits everybody differently and I was able to recover fairly fast. It didn’t affect my lungs, so that was the best part about it. But the [loss of] taste and smell was weird.”
Now he’s “super-pumped” to get back into the Boston Bruins lineup on Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers after missing the last six games due to the NHL’s COVID Protocols and hoping he’s going to pick up right where he left off in March. When we last saw DeBrusk he scored the game-winning goals against the Sabres and had two goals in last four games, and now he’s aiming to get on the scoresheet on Monday after resting up for the last two weeks.
“If there’s anyone that can do it, I think it’s me,” said DeBrusk, of returning to form coming out of his extended break. “I didn’t mind the way that I was playing, and I thought I was kind of finding my game. That’s been pretty much the story of this year. It just keeps getting delayed.
“At this point, I’m not looking at the past at all. It’s a new beginning and it’s the second half of the season. I feel like I’ll be able to build, but I usually come in pretty hot after breaks [from games]. I’m not expecting too, too much. I just want to use my speed, win 50/50 puck battles and get on the board. I wouldn’t mind scoring because it’s been a minute, and this is my first time seeing the fans. So, I’m super-pumped just to play.”
With the B’s top-6 forwards beginning to gel together, DeBrusk will enter in on the third line with Charlie Coyle and the speedy Zach Senyshyn with Sean Kuraly dropping back down to the fourth line.
Bruce Cassidy said that rugged D-man Kevan Miller has a chance to play on Tuesday night in Philly against the Flyers as they look to avoid back-to-back games with him. Tuukka Rask won’t play in the next couple of games after skating ahead of practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday, but he will be taking the upcoming road trip with the team as Jaroslav Halak sits out in COVID Protocol.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena with the Bruins getting ready to entertain the Flyers for a one-game meeting at TD Garden: