BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins will indeed have the return of Charlie McAvoy for Thursday night’s game against the Calgary Flames at TD Garden after the B ‘s No. 1 defenseman had missed the first 13 games of the season while coming back from shoulder surgery.
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The B’s had amassed an incredible 11-2-0 record while shooting to the top of the top of the Atlantic Division and NHL in the process without McAvoy – and Brad Marchand for nearly the entire first month – but now they begin to get their full lineup back together.
“it’s nice having another Charlie out there…it’s tough being the only one for this long,” said Charlie Coyle with a big smile on his face. “We all know what he means to our town and what having him in the lineup does for us.
“That’s the kind of player he is. I’m sure he is excited. We are all very excited to have him back. You want your full team out there playing, right? It’s always nice to have your full, healthy roster and to get everybody going and playing good hockey.”
It looks like McAvoy will be in a familiar position paired with Matt Grzelcyk as a puck-moving top pairing while Hampus Lindholm will slide to the middle pair with Connor Clifton, who has been impressive thus far this season in an extended role.
“There will be some mixing and matching. He’ll start the game with Grzelcyk,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery of McAvoy. “It doesn’t seem like he takes a second off when he’s out there. It’s his impact in all three zones.”
None of it is really a surprise after he was inserted into a top pairing with Hampus Lindholm at Wednesday’s practice and led the Boston Bruins team stretching circle at the end. All signs pointed toward his return, but it remains to be seen if McAvoy will play in both ends of the back-to-back with travel this weekend.
Here’s a projected Boston Bruins lineup for Thursday night’s game vs. the Flames with Linus Ullmark once again in net for the Black and Gold: