Bruins’ Sean Kuraly In COVID-19 Protocol, Tuukka Rask Could Play Saturday

'Guys are getting an opportunity to play and we're looking at our depth'


March 18, 2021

Morning skate for both the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres was canceled Thursday morning ahead of their matchup due to a player entering the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.

By the afternoon, the Bruins revealed that player was center Sean Kuraly.

The game is still on as scheduled, but it made for a pretty anxious morning for everyone involved awaiting testing, as Bruce Cassidy relayed during his pregame video press conference. The Bruins head coach is hopeful that Kuraly had a false positive, though.

“I think it could be a false, I don’t know if any second positive has come back,” Cassidy said.

“That I don’t know so I don’t want to mislead you. The fact that everyone else tested negative is a good sign that it could be a false positive. But we won’t know that probably till his other tests. So, we would probably find out tonight if one came back negative, then he’d need I think two more. So that puts Saturday in play. The fact that it’s an afternoon game might take it out of play, but that’s what’s happened with both Charlie (McAvoy) and Jake (DeBrusk) in the past they were able to get back into our next game.”

Here are some other injury updates from Cassidy’s availability:

— Starting goaltender Tuukka Rask seems close to a return. He’s been dealing with a lingering injury that had him looking pretty uncomfortable in a loss to the New Jersey Devils on March 7.

Cassidy said Rask was able to practice Thursday and will be touch-and-go determining his availability for Saturday in the second game of the mini-series against Buffalo.

“He got some work in this week, yesterday, obviously, you know, as an injured guy, he’s allowed to practice on an off day. He did, just didn’t feel that he would be 100% tonight,” Cassidy said. “So, if he gets through practice tomorrow and feeling 100% I then I anticipate this Saturday would be certainly an opportunity for him to start. You’d have to see how he feels Saturday morning when he wakes up, but I fully expect him to practice with the group tomorrow.”

— After a scary hit that sent him into the boards Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jarred Tinordi is out against Buffalo.

Jack Achan replaces him in Thursday’s third defensive pairing, and it will be the blueliner’s NHL debut. Additionally, Greg McKegg will get a shot replacing Kuraly on the fourth line.

Cassidy is seeing the silver linings to these injuries, as it allows the team to explore their depth. Especially on defense, as we’ve seen so far this season.

“We try not to make excuses with injuries and whatnot,” Cassidy said. “I mean, we’ve got other good players that we’ll put in.

“You lose a guy (Tinordi) that did have a good game the other night with his line but you’re putting in a guy that’s been there so, you know, looking forward to see what (McKegg) has. We haven’t seen a lot of him. So it’s the same with Achan. We lose another defenseman, I think it’s the 12th one we’ve used. But you know the positives are guys are getting an opportunity to play and we’re looking at our depth.”

We’ll see if these guys step up against Buffalo. Puck drop from KeyBank Center is slated for 7 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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