Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy made his return to the ice earlier today, practicing with his teammates at the team’s practice facility in Brighton. The 21 year old blue liner has missed the past six games with a foot infection. He has officially been ruled out for tomorrow’s big game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, but is nearly a return and could suit up for Saturday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"He was a full go today," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "He's progressing well. Again, [Thursday] morning we'll find out if there's any setbacks. If not, then Saturday becomes a reality. Won't say he's in - he's not gonna play [Thursday], but that becomes a target date. We'll see how it works out."
After missing 20 games earlier this season with a concussion, McAvoy blocked a shot off his foot in just his seventh game back from injury. The blast caused some pretty nasty cuts to McAvoy’s ankle which required stitches and, as luck would have it with this kid, he developed an infection around the cut.
"The doctors did a great job of making sure we got on top of it," said McAvoy, who has managed just 17 games this season. "Unfortunately I had to cut my time short with my family, but it was good to get on top of it because I really didn't know much about it.”
"Our doctors and trainers did a phenomenal job really playing this one safe and being on top of it. I'm very fortunate to always have them looking out for my best interest."
Meanwhile, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was busy at practice shuffling his lines and making sure his squad is ready for a tough matchup against the Capitals. The team’s top two lines remain intact from last night’s 4-0 shutout win over the Minnesota Wild, but the third and fourth lines will see a bit of a shake up tomorrow night. Moving up to the third line are wingers Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato, with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner receiving a demotion to the fourth line. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Noel Acciari could switch spots, as well with JFK taking the 3rd line spot and Acciari taking the 4th line spot.
The defense pairing will remain the same, at least until McAvoy makes his return.
Here’s how the B’s should line up tomorrow evening:
Marchand - Bergeron - PastrnakDeBrusk - Krejci - Backes
Heinen - Forsbacka Karlsson - DonatoKuraly - Acciari - Wagner
Chara - CarloKrug - Moore
Grzelcyk - Miller