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Bruins Make Two Recalls; Hoping For Injured Players



Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins made two recalls from the Providence Bruins and are holding out hope that two injured players could return in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said that the Bruins would be recalling two players for practice on Friday morning.

“Right now, we’re slated to bring up just two. Two players for tomorrow’s practice,” Sweeney told reporters on Thursday.

Well, the Bruins GM kept his promise, as the team announced 45 minutes before practice was scheduled to begin on Friday morning that they have recalled rookie forward John Beecher and rookie defenseman Mason Lohrei from the Providence Bruins (AHL). With the salary cap no longer in effect, the Bruins did not have to reassign or loan anyone back to Providence.

The Boston Bruins loaned rookie Beecher to the Providence Bruins and recalled forward Jayson Megna on Tuesday. Megna played in the Bruins’ season finale, a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, and was sent back to Providence on Wednesday.

As for Lohrei, after playing in just one game since March 14, the 23-year-old, 6-foot-5, 211-pound rearguard was reassigned to Providence a week ago so he wouldn’t become rusty before the playoffs. As Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery pointed out to the media when Lohrei went back to the AHL, Sweeney made it clear that the reassignment was not due to performance.

“Mason has had a good year. First-year really pro, he’s been in a lot of games in the National Hockey League, he’s done a good job,” Sweeney said on Friday. “There are some areas of his game we want to continue to see growth. He’s back down playing in every different situation minutes, and he’ll be back up tomorrow to practice, I believe. I’ll talked to Monty [Jim Montgomery] and confirm, he’s one of the guys we discussed that you guys had asked about. To continue to integrate him into this environment I think is really important, and to be around to absorb that… albeit not playing for a significant period of time and being rusty wouldn’t be the greatest thing for other him either.

Individually, offensively gifted player, sees the game offensively, needs to respect the game a little bit more from a standpoint of defense, taking away time and space, and being as hard on the puck recovery side of things. But his exits and his offensive blue line stuff, it’s really hard to teach at that size, so we’re really excited about his progression. He hasn’t even played the position for that long, and he comes into a brand-new system. But he’s done a good job overall, and we’re excited about his growth and potential moving forward.”

Sweeney also gave an update on two injured players as well.

Defenseman Derek Forbort has been on long-term injured reserve since the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline. This past Tuesday, the 32-year-old rearguard was sent to Providence on a conditioning stint, which was surprising given the fact that he underwent two surgeries a month ago, and Sweeney had indicated his season was over. Well, now it appears that Forbort could return to the lineup at some point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs should the Bruins advance to the second round.

“Yeah, that’s a wait and see,” Sweeney acknowledged on Friday. “I mean, Derek [Forbort] has made great strides, and a little bit surprisingly, to tell you the truth, he was on an operating table not too long ago for two different situations. So, good on him and good on the training staff. We still have an undetermined timeline in terms of how he’s going to continue to progress. But it’s certainly a positive sign that he’s made the progress that he has, and credit to Derek, to tell you the truth… because he could have just arguably shut things down completely. But he wants to play, he’s a gamer and wants to play, he wants to see whether or not the healing process can continue, and if he becomes a factor at some point in time during the playoffs.”

The Bruins are also hoping they will get forward Justin Brazeau back into the lineup, potentially later in the first round. Brazeau hasn’t played since leaving in the second period of the Bruins’ 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators on April 2. On Friday, Sweeney indicated that it’s still a longshot that the 26-year-old, 6-foot-5, 220-pound winger could be ready even if the Bruins-Leafs series goes deep.

“Again, he’s coming back from an injury that… the timeline as we described is to week to week,” Sweeney said of Brazeau. “I still think we’re in that week-to-week phase, so the early part of the series is very unlikely. We’re hopeful, but there’s no guarantees on that one. That one’s going to take some time. He is skating, clearly, but he has some hurdles to get through.”

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