The Boston Bruins are inching closer toward a playoff berth, and for the first time in a while, also getting closer to a fully healthy blue line.
The Bruins have battled injuries to their defenseman essentially all season between Matt Grzelcyk constantly battling injuries, Kevan Miller dealing with knee and other ailments and Brandon Carlo suffering a concussion before dealing with an oblique injury that has kept him out for a month.
Carlo hinted of a possible return this week against the New Jersey Devils. Head coach Bruce Cassidy doubled down on that after Monday’s practice, telling reporters he’s hopeful to have him back Tuesday in New Jersey.
It’s likely Miller will sit out the second night of the back-to-back against the Devils on Tuesday night, and Mike Reilly won’t play Monday due to an injury of his own, so Cassidy doesn’t know if all six blue line starters will be able to play together down the stretch.
At the end of the day, though, Cassidy is OK with that because (mostly) everyone has had time to play with one another.
“Some nights, we’re not able to probably look at the pairs we want to because of the health,” Cassidy told reporters. “That’s OK. As long as they’re all healthy on Game 1 of the playoffs, then we’re in good shape. I think we’ve seen enough of different pairs that we’ll be okay. I guess the one guy that hasn’t played with( Charlie) McAvoy is Reilly, so that’s probably something you wouldn’t see. But at the end of the day we’re comfortable with both Grizz or (Jeremy Lauzon) up there. The rest of the pairs have all had some level of time together with the exception of Brandon with Reilly.”
The playoffs will be here before we know it, and if the Bruins are completely healthy come that time, they’ll certainly be a force to be reckoned with.