BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins got a big batch of good news on Monday as Charlie McAvoy has been cleared for full practice with the team and will be joining the group on their upcoming road trip through Pittsburgh, New York and this weekend in Toronto.
Mac’s in black. 👏 pic.twitter.com/N8rtjUUKtu
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 31, 2022
Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery confirmed that McAvoy isn’t going to play during the upcoming three-game road trip, but the practices on the road will get him closer to being game ready in the coming weeks.
“He’s ahead of schedule. He’s ahead of Dec. 1. He’s just starting to progress. I’m hopeful it will be before Nov. 24 to be honest, but he’s going to have to check boxes as we continue to progress here,” said Montgomery. “Today was the first day where he had a little bit of contact, but everybody kind of knew it was cautionary around him. He is for sure not playing on this trip.”
McAvoy was mum on a timeline that initially had him returning around the Thanksgiving holiday, but it’s been a blessing that the team is off to an 8-1-0 start in October that’s allowed him to return from shoulder surgery at his own pace. It hasn’t changed the timeline for a return, of course, but it hasn’t been unnecessarily rushed either based on the circumstances for a Boston Bruins group that’s leading the entire NHL right now.
“Good, everybody will stop making fun of me now,” said McAvoy, of his time wearing the no-contact jersey at practice over the last couple of weeks. “Nobody really hits anyway as far as practice goes, but just to get leaned on in the corner and making some plays 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 it was just really fun to get back and play hockey.
“We’re in a fortunate spot, for sure. Regardless of the position we’d be in, everybody is respectful is the timeline and you have no choice but to just be patient with something like this. It’s just working hard and the support from everybody reminding you to stay patient and remember the progress from where we were [six months ago]. Sometimes it’s really hard and you just want to think big picture, but I know we’re getting really close.”
In other injury news, David Krejci (upper body) will travel with the Boston Bruins, but Montgomery said he is out for Tuesday’s Penguins game and likely out vs. the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden as well.
The bottom line: The rich are about to get richer as the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins have Brad Marchand returning to full duty this week after offseason double hip surgery, and McAvoy is ready to resume his duties as No. 1 defenseman and perennial Norris Trophy candidate in the near future as well. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Boston Bruins practice on Monday: