There was some hope that the Boston Bruins would be able to get goalie Tuukka Rask and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk back into their lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden but unfortunately, that won’t be the case.
Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy seemed optimistic that Thursday against the New York Islanders could finally be the night he and his team get their No. 1 goalie back but as they and Rask have learned with this nagging upper-body injury, nothing is set in stone. Rask has been out of the lineup since leaving after the first period of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders on March 25. That was his first game back after missing six games with the same injury.
“We’re hoping for Thursday. That was the plan. When we left the rink on Sunday morning, he had a good skate with the guys who weren’t playing,” Cassidy told reporters following the team’s game-day skate Tuesday. “We’ll be back on the ice (Wednesday) and get him a little more live-action. That’s the way he’s trending.”
Rookie Jeremy Swayman will make his fourth NHL start Tuesday.
Cassidy wasn’t asked for one and didn’t provide an update on Grzelcyk who left with an upper-body injury after the first period of a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. The oft-injured defenseman missed his 14th game of the season Sunday when the Boston Bruins were humiliated in an 8-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.
The Boston Bruins blueline will also still be without defenseman Brandon Carlo (upper-body) against the Sabres and likely for the back-to-back set against the Islanders at TD Garden on Thursday and Friday. Carlo is still listed as week-to-week.
Cassidy was asked about the mysterious illness that has kept rookie forward Trent Frederic out for the last three games and if there was a timetable for his return?
“He was under the weather there for a long time but he’s not on the COVID list so nothing to do with that,” Cassidy said when asked what the deal was with Frederic. “He’s been back skating but he’s missed. …because of last week, we had no real practice time and I don’t think he got on the ice until at least yesterday. So we’re going to let him build his conditioning back up and he’ll be back available as soon as that comes back around, which could be as early as Thursday. It’s just getting back on the ice, getting reps in for him, and not rushing him in. It’s as simple as that. So like I said, should be available to the group, like I said Thursday.”
Goalie Jaro Halak, who has missed the last five games, remains on the NHL COVID Protocol List.
The Bruins did get some good news as defensemen Kevan Miller and Charlie McAvoy will be back in the lineup on Tuesday night, as will, at least two, and likely all three of the three players the Bruins acquired prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday.
#NHLBruins morning rushes:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Coyle – DeBrusk
Kuraly/Blidh – Lazar – Wagner
Lauzon – McAvoy
Reilly – Kampfer
Tinordi/Zboril – Clifton
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 13, 2021