The worst was feared for Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (upper body) when he looked dazed and needed help getting off the ice in Game 3 after a heavy hit from Cal Clutterbuck along the end boards.
Carlo exited the game midway through the third period and looked rubber-legged after his head violently smashed off the glass prior to Boston pulling out the 2-1 overtime victory at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.
Surprised announcers were so concerned with complimenting Clutterbuck’s hit on Brandon Carlo, with an obviously bad head injury. Don’t think it was dirty, but that’s not the story. Surprised if Carlo plays again this year & career is in doubt. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/am58JaFJEq
— Dan Kelley (@DanKelley66) June 4, 2021
Afterward, Bruce Cassidy said Carlo was walking and talking normally and was “feeling pretty good” and the Boston Bruins shutdown defenseman still seemed to be doing okay on Friday morning.
The Boston Bruins head coach still termed the 25-year-old defenseman “day-to-day” at this point but didn’t rule him out from potentially playing in Saturday night’s Game 4 against the Islanders with the B’s up 2-to-1 in the series.
“We’ll list him as day-to-day. He’s feeling good this morning, better. Obviously, he took a hard hit last night,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who is averaging 22:30 of ice time in eight playoff games this postseason and has teamed with Mike Reilly as a solid middle ‘D’ pairing. “I’ll give you an update on whether he’s going to play tomorrow morning, but he’ll be day-to-day, and we’ll go from there. Kevan Miller skated today. He’s not going to join us, but that’s obviously good news on that front as well.
“We have [Urho] Vaakanainen, [Jakub] Zboril and [Jarred] Tinordi and all have played a little bit on the right, but they’re obviously left sticks. So that’s something we’ll need to talk about. [Lauzon] might have to go to his offside. One of those guys will have to get a comfort level on their off-side if we have to take Brandon out [due to injury].”
Clearly the Bruins haven’t ruled Carlo out for this weekend, but they also need to tread lightly with a player that missed months this season after suffering a concussion following a dirty head shot from Tom Wilson. Carlo suffered some significant post-concussion symptoms following that previous head injury this season, so that’s part of the medical calculation with a 24-year-old player that’s now had several concussions during his NHL career.
Either way with Miller and perhaps Carlo now missing with injuries after absorbing big hits, the defensive depth is getting very thin on the right side for the Black and Gold.