The Boston Bruins won’t get much clarity on injured right wing Craig Smith (lower body) until they hit the ice for Game 2 morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday. Smith was knocked out of the game a couple of shifts into the third period of Saturday night’s Game 1 5-2 win over the New York Islanders after a leg-on-leg collision with Isles winger Cal Clutterbuck.
Jake DeBrusk finished up as the right wing on the second line skating with David Krejci and Taylor Hall for most of the third period and would presumably get the promotion into the top-6 group if Smith can’t play on Monday.
Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller still hasn’t skated to this point and will be out again for Monday night’s Game 2 vs. the Islanders. Matt Grzelcyk was also similarly dinged up and missed a couple of shifts after taking a hard hit from Leo Komarov along the end boards, but it sounds as if the puck-moving defenseman will be okay after finishing Saturday night’s win.
“He’s here getting treatment. It’s an optional today, so most people are going to exercise their option. He’ll give it a shot if he’s able to in the morning, and we’ll have a better update then,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Not much of an update until we see him on the ice tomorrow. [Kevan Miller] won’t be available tomorrow. Grzelcyk was in for treatment, but he obviously finished the game and looks good. So, we should be fine on the back end.”
Smith would, of course, be a big loss for the second as his energetic, second-effort style has been a great fit with Hall and Krejci as he’s got a goal and three points six games, including a double-OT game-winner in Game 3, along with 16:06 of ice time. It remains to be seen who might draw into the Boston Bruins lineup if Smith can’t go, but one would expect it to be Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh or Karson Kuhlman from the Black Aces/taxi squad if Smith isn’t feeling good enough to play.