The Boston Bruins want to avoid any kind of injuries, nagging or more serious, at this time of season with the playoffs clinched and just four games remaining in the regular season. Unfortunately, a blocked shot appears to have knocked Charlie Coyle out of Tuesday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
Coyle was hit with a puck late in the second period of the OT loss, made it out for one shift in the third period and then was done for the night with David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk filling in at right wing on the third line in Coyle’s absence. That was actually the reason for Pastrnak’s presence on Sean Kuraly’s goal in the third period that gave the Bruins a brief 3-2 lead and appeared to be when the B’s relaxed before letting the game slip away in the extra session.
Bruce Cassidy didn’t have much of an update after the game but conceded that Coyle was forced out of the game with a physical issue.
“He had to leave [the game]. He’s getting looked at,” said Cassidy. “I don’t have any update. Hopefully he’s okay, but I haven’t heard.”
The Bruins had just begun cobbling together a power third line of Nick Ritchie, Coyle and Kuraly that could be a physically menacing line in the playoffs and was beginning to generate some palpable offensive chemistry as well. Kuraly is hoping that the Coyle issue isn’t a serious one and that it’s something that won’t interrupt the momentum the third line was building headed into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Man, [Coyle] has been playing some good hockey and it’s been fun to play with him and [Nick Ritchie],” said Kuraly, who has two goals and three points in three games during the month of May. “Losing him definitely puts a kink in it, I guess. You’ve got to mix it up and the three of us were feeling really good together. But we’ve got a lot of good players on this team.
“Jake stepped in there and he did his thing. We’re just hoping Charlie is okay. We think he’ll be fine. But it’s just kind of a bummer to lose a guy like that who has been playing really well.”
The Boston Bruins planned for an off day on Wednesday, so there isn’t expected to be any update on Coyle until the B’s resume on-ice activities on Thursday ahead of a two-game home series against the Rangers.