It continues to be a medical adventure for the Boston Bruins on the back end this season with Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) forced out of Saturday’s matinee against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.
Grzelcyk appeared to take an inadvertent elbow while retrieving a puck in the first period but played on after that finishing with 7:21 of ice time and a shot on net.
Grzelcyk took an inadvertent elbow in the 1st, didn’t seem like a big deal and he stayed on the ice for the next faceoff. pic.twitter.com/xHcWIo52I4
— dafoomie (@dafoomie) April 10, 2021
The puck-moving Boston Bruins defenseman didn’t come out for the start of the second period, however, and shortly afterward the club sent word that Grzelcyk is done for the day.
“Just upper body. He’s day-to-day and we’ll see where he’s at [on Sunday],” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy postgame when asked about Grzelcyk.
Grzelcyk has missed 12 games this season with an assortment of injuries that serve as a pretty example of why it’s so difficult for a 5-foot-9, 174-pound defenseman to stay in one piece consistently playing top-4 minutes at the NHL level.
Charlie McAvoy also didn’t sound like a possibility to play prior to Saturday’s game in Philly after missing the last three games due to an upper body injury. And the Bruins are looking to avoid suiting up Kevan Miller on Sunday against the Capitals at TD Garden as they don’t want to put his balky knees through back-to-back games in a load management situation.
“Charlie is skating. I don’t believe he’ll be available [on Sunday]. We won’t completely rule him out, but we’re probably targeting Tuesday [for McAvoy’s return.],” said Cassidy, prior to Saturday’s game. “We’ve talked about back-to-backs with [Miller] and he’ll obviously get the front end of this one. We’ll probably make a change there tomorrow, but we’ll obviously see how we get through this game.”
So at least it sounds like Miller and McAvoy haven’t been completely ruled out for Sunday night against Washington. But it would less-than-ideal to rush either one of them back if Grzelcyk can’t return to play on Sunday night.
So, the Bruins could be without McAvoy, Miller, Brandon Carlo and Grzelcyk on Sunday night against the Capitals with Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril as the top two left-handed defensemen still left healthy for duty. Certainly, they have Jarred Tinordi, Urho Vaakanainen and Jack Ahcan as depth defensemen they .could call upon for Sunday night’s game, but it’s absolutely not going to help puck-moving and offensive push issues they’ve had on the blue line since the injuries began cropping up earlier this season