BRIGHTON, MA – While it feels doubtful that Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will be able to return for Tuesday night’s Game 5, it appears that Hampus Lindholm might be a possibility to return for the Black and Gold.
Lindholm participated in an optional skate with the Boston Bruins at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning without any limitations and has not been ruled out from playing on Tuesday night at PNC Arena at this point, per Bruce Cassidy. The Boston Bruins head coach did indicate that he wasn’t sure if Lindholm had been medically cleared to play as of yet, but that’s a status that could potentially change right up until puck drop in Carolina.
“He’s skating today. I’ll get an update on him from the medical team. So, I’m not going to rule him out, but I’m not putting him in either right now,” said Cassidy. “I have to hear from the doctors that he’s cleared. I don’t need to see anything. If he’s cleared, he’s in. If he’s not, then we’ll list him [as] probable for the next game. But the fact that he’s out there skating is always a positive sign.”
Lindholm, of course, has missed the last two games in Boston after an Andrei Svechnikov body check knocked him out of the Game 2 loss to Carolina with a suspected concussion.
Hampus Lindholm needs help getting off the ice after this hit from Andrei Svechnikov. pic.twitter.com/kiHjVBTym6
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 5, 2022
Clearly there’s some urgency for Lindholm to return to at least give the B’s one of their two top pair defensemen in an important Game 5 with the series tied 2-2, but the Boston Bruins defensemen corps did admirably well without either one of them in Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 victory for the Boston Bruins in Game 4.
McAvoy, on the other hand, isn’t expected to travel with the Bruins down to Carolina and would need something miraculous to happen for him to be eligible to play in Game 5 while mired in the league’s COVID protocol. McAvoy will need two back-to-back negative COVID tests before he’d be allowed to play amidst a five-day quarantine period for NHL players in the updated NHL/NHLPA agreement on COVID rules.