Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was on the ice Thursday afternoon in Denver for the team’s optional practice, meaning he could be nearing a return to game action.
Thursday marked the first time Boychuk has practiced since suffering a lower-body injury Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. After initially saying he was OK following that game, Boychuk missed Monday and Tuesday’s games. His injury wasn’t believed to be serious, but he was deemed too sore to play.
It’s still unclear if Boychuk will play Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche, but Bruins head coach Claude Julien insisted the club won’t rush Boychuk back. With a huge lead in the Atlantic Division, it’s not worth risking the potential long-term loss of a top-four defenseman.
Coach on Boychuk: "We'll evaluate him day by day, but if he's not 100 percent there's no reason why he should play" ^JI—
Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 20, 2014
The silver lining for the Bruins has been that Boychuk’s injury has allowed the B’s to try some things over the last couple of games. Andrej Meszaros continues to get looks on the Boston blue line, and Corey Potter made his B’s debut in the Bruins’ win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.