BRIGHTON, Mass – The Boston Bruins got back to work on Wednesday after a couple days off the ice following their first round series win over the Washington Capitals, and they’ll have at least one healthy body returning ahead of the second round versus a still-unknown opponent.
Rugged defenseman Jeremy Lauzon was skating at Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena in a no-contact jersey, but looked like he might be available to play soon after missing the final four games of the first round series vs. Washington. Lauzon was knocked out of action after getting hit in the right hand with a Justin Schultz blast during the overtime Game 1 loss to the Capitals.
Bruce Cassidy couldn’t say whether he’d be ready to play Game 1 when the Bruins don’t even know when the series is getting started (or who they might be playing), but it certainly sounds like they’ll get Lauzon back at some point in the second round.
“It is midweek, so that’s a good sign,” said Cassidy. “I don’t know when we’re going to start, but let’s assume it would be on the weekend. He’s trending very well. Will he be ready for Game One? I don’t know, but I’d probably have a better update by Friday when he’s been through a few of these practices.”
Connor Clifton had been playing in place of Lauzon since the injury and actually played very well for the Bruins in a physical series against the Capitals.
Kevan Miller (upper body) wasn’t on the ice on Wednesday, but he’s been reporting to the Bruins practice facility the last few days in a clear indication he’s also feeling better after absorbing a nasty Dmitry Orlov hit that sent him to the hospital during Game 4 vs. Washington. The hardnosed Miller won’t become an option until he actually begins skating on the ice with his teammates, but it sounds like he’s also trending in the right direction.
“He’s been in the last couple of days, so he’s feeling better. But not able to participate [in practice] yet,” said Cassidy. “Until he gets back on the ice, it’s tough to predict when he’ll rejoin us.”
Otherwise, it doesn’t sound like the Boston Bruins are going to enact any changes to their lineup with the forwards looking to remain intact and Tuukka Rask taking some additional rest time staying off the ice during Wednesday’s practice with Jaroslav Halak and Jeremy Swayman getting the extra reps with the rest of the team.