After injuring his left knee against the Montreal Canadiens, Charlie McAvoy felt much like you, Boston Bruins fans.
The rookie defenseman left Saturday’s game at TD Garden with an injury that, after three nerve-wracking days, eventually was diagnosed as an MCL sprain — a relatively positive outcome. Initially, however, McAvoy feared the worst.
“Went down and felt a little nervous,” McAvoy said Thursday, via The Boston Globe. “I never had any sort of knee problem. Little bit scared. Natural feelings whenever something feels off. Now I’m just fortunate it wasn’t anything more severe.”
Although McAvoy didn’t suffer a dreaded ligament tear, the injury still is expected to sideline him for at least four weeks. And while he and the team understandably are playing it safe, McAvoy hopes to return before the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“My goal’s to get back as soon as I can, as fast as possible,” McAvoy said. “That being said, not putting myself at risk to come back early to potentially hurt it again. That wouldn’t do well for me or the team. No one really wins if that’s the scenario. But we’re working really hard here. We have a good game plan as to the necessary steps to get back. I am confident that I’ll be back.
“My ultimate goal would be back for regular-season games so I can give myself an opportunity to get up to pace and find my game a bit before the playoffs. But whatever happens, there’ll be a reason behind it. Just stay positive.”
The Bruins have continued their winning ways without McAvoy and the also-injured Patrice Bergeron, who remains out with a fractured foot. Boston topped the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 in overtime Tuesday night and picked up a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. The Bruins’ five-game winning streak has them comfortably in second place in the Eastern Conference standings, six points behind the juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning.
But while Boston’s spot in the playoff largely is secure, it’ll need both McAvoy and Bergeron to be fully healthy if it has any hopes of making a deep postseason run.