The Boston Bruins have been rolling since getting Jake DeBrusk back from injury, and now they may get even more depth with the return of Tomas Nosek after he joined the B’s on the practice ice during their current road trip.
The 30-year-old Nosek has missed the last 11 games after suffering a broken bone in his foot during the Jan. 19 win over the New York Rangers, and the B’s have run through several fourth line center options in his absence like Joona Koppanen and, as of late, Trent Frederic. There’s little doubt they have missed Nosek’s intelligence and grittiness on the penalty kill and in the face-off circle at times, and there have even been discussions of making a trade for a veteran forward like Ivan Barbashev to shore up Boston’s bottom-6 forward depth.
Currently, it looks like the Boston Bruins will get through Thursday night’s road game against the Kraken again without Nosek as he’ll miss his 12th straight game, but a return looks imminent for one of Boston’s most dependable veteran forwards.
“That’s [Nosek’s] first day practicing with us,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “Maybe at some point on this trip, but not [Thursday] night [against Seattle].”
🎥 Jim Montgomery on Tomas Nosek's return: "It's his first day back practicing with us, maybe at some point on this trip..but not tomorrow night." pic.twitter.com/7z4WpmuELb
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 22, 2023
Nosek has three goals and eight points along with a plus-4 rating in 42 games this season for the Black and Gold and has been a constant in the lineup when healthy. Once Nosek returns it should send Boston back to it’s full depth at forward where, at the beginning of the season, Montgomery was toggling between AJ Greer and Craig Smith as the extra forward while creating a lineup that’s got some pretty impressive offensive and defensive balance from top to bottom.
It makes one wonder, of course, if the return of DeBrusk and Nosek from injuries really mitigates any trade needs that the Boston Bruins might have when it comes to the forward position, as they clearly are focusing on back end improvements with the NHL trade deadline quickly coming into focus.