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Bruins’ McAvoy ‘Feeling Better’, Not Expected to Play Next Two Games

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Boston Bruins

The good news is that Boston Bruins No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy (upper body) is “feeling better” after sitting out Tuesday night’s game in Philly.

The bad news is that the Bruins will be without their top defenseman for at least two more games as he’s returned to Boston and will miss the final two games of the road trip against the Capitals and Flyers over the next three days. Bruce Cassidy sounded hopeful that the 23-year-old D-man might be able to play on Sunday night at TD Garden against the Capitals, but that might be tough given the lack of practice time after five days with an injury.

It appeared that McAvoy injured his arm awkwardly crashing into the boards in an OT loss to the Flyers at TD Garden at the beginning, but it sounds like it isn’t a long-term issue for the Bruins.

“He’s feeling better, back in Boston. So, we’re not sure what his timeline would be for us. Saturday is probably out of the question, but we’ll get the updates from the trainers and we’ll be looking at Sunday,” said Cassidy. “That’s the best update I’ve got for you right now.”

That’s certainly a good thing for a Boston Bruins team that struggled mightily without him on Tuesday giving up 42 shots to the Flyers, including a second period where they were under siege with rookie Jeremy Swayman making 23 saves to keep them in the game. Luckily, Kevan Killer was able to return to the lineup just as McAvoy was put on the shelf, and the Bruins were able to cobble together a top pairing of Miller and Matt Grzelcyk with both McAvoy and Brandon Carlo still injured.

McAvoy has pushed his way into the Norris Trophy conversation while leading all Boston Bruins defenseman with four goals and 22 points in 35 games this season along with a plus-10 rating, and he’s been the workhorse averaging 24:23 of ice time per game while playing all situations. The fancy stats crew loves him when paired with Matt Grzelcyk as a puck-moving duo that rarely needs to even defend because they are so adept advancing into the offensive zone.

Given that the Bruins back end has struggled mightily this season with young D-men like Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon and Connor Clifton with Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara gone from the roster, they won’t survive for very long with McAvoy absent from the ice.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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