BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins came out of Thanksgiving weekend looking much healthier after a few, hard-earned days off.
Linus Ullmark led the Bruins out to Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena after being knocked out of Friday afternoon’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes following a crease collision, and is cleared to start or backup on Tuesday night vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jeremy Swayman entered the game in relief of Ullmark and earned the comeback win over the Hurricanes.
Trent Frederic (upper body) is also a possibility to return after tumbling shoulder-first into the end boards in Tampa and even Derek Forbort hasn’t been ruled out from a possible return from long term injured reserve after breaking his finger blocking shot in a Nov. 1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Ullmark is good to play or for backup duty,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “We will re-evaulate him and Forbort. But it seems like Frederic will for sure be an option to play.”
It sounds like Forbort is more of a long shot to play on Tuesday as the Boston Bruins see how he responds to Monday’s practice, but the shot-blocking defenseman is eligible to come off LTIR at this point after sitting out most of November. He would immediately improve a Bruins penalty kill that’s been struggling this month without him, but it will also require the Boston Bruins to make room on the salary cap for his current $3 million salary cap hit.
The one downer is Craig Smith, who was missing from Monday’s practice ice and is out for Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after exiting Friday’s win over the Hurricanes with an upper body injury. It doesn’t appear to be an issue that will land him on injured reserve, but he’s not ready to play or practice at this point even after the weekend away from the ice.
Here’s the Boston Bruins lineup from Monday’s practice with nearly everybody on the ice for the hour-long session: