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Boston Bruins Near Full Strength With Brandon Carlo Return

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Boston Bruins

BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins are as close to a full group on the ice as they’ve been in weeks as defenseman Brandon Carlo rejoined the team on the ice for Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

That leaves Charlie Coyle as the only Boston Bruins player still off the ice and serving in the league’s COVID protocol as the B’s continue to practice and gear up toward a return to game action on Saturday afternoon vs. the Buffalo Sabres.

But in encouraging news, there may even be a chance that Coyle is back prior to this weekend with the NHL dropping the COVID quarantine period from 10 to 5 days in lockstep with the CDC’s announcement this week.

“I believe he tested the day after Christmas, so we’d most likely get him back this weekend if it’s under the new protocol,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “It will be interesting to find out where the players [currently in COVID protocol] end up in all this.”

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on Wednesday’s Boston Bruins practice and the bodies available to the Black and Gold right now with the B’s taking a keen look at the Jake DeBrusk, Trent Frederic and Nick Foligno trio as a possible third line option.

“Can that be a good line for us and where does Nick fit best? Is he a right winger, or a left winger? And on which line,” said Cassidy. “Is that a line that can work for us? I think we know what Nosek and Lazar can bring us on the fourth line, but it’s getting that middle of the order set, healthy and [finding out] what’s the best look. That’s something we’re still sorting through. Until you get all of the pieces in the mix, you don’t know.”

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Hall-Haula-Smith

DeBrusk-Frederic-Foligno

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Blidh-Nosek-Lazar/Kuhlman

Grzelcyk-McAvoy

Reilly-Carlo

Forbort-Clifton/Moore

Ullmark

Swayman

Rask

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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