Brandon Carlo can’t say for sure when he would have returned to his role with the Boston Bruins.
The B’s defenseman simply doesn’t know whether he would have played in Game 7 against the New York Islanders had their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series gone that far.
The upper-body injury Carlo suffered in Game 3 ultimately sidelined him for the remainder of the series, as the Islanders eliminated the Bruins on Wednesday night with a 6-2 victory in Game 6. Nevertheless, Carlo addressed a hypothetical return for Game 7 on Friday during a video conference.
“Definitely questionable, if I was able to make it through the (concussion) protocol steps,” Carlo told reporters. “That’s what we were working toward, but I’m not sure how I was feeling on the ice that day that I skated — just from dizziness and what-not from the hit — how that would have gone.
“Overall, I (was) feeling very good off the ice and then I went and saw one of the specialists here and did some stuff. I feel like that dizziness had started to subside. … So it’s obviously disappointing, but (I’m) not sure I’d be able to make it in there (Game 7) with the protocol steps.”
We never will know for sure whether Carlo would have featured in Game 7. The Bruins probably would have listed him as “questionable” for the winner-take-all game, which would have taken place Friday night at TD Garden if the Bruins had beaten the Islanders in Game 6.
However, Carlo sounds rather doubtful over whether he would have progressed through the protocol steps in time to play in the big game. It also is worth noting head coach Bruce Cassidy believes the Bruins would have ruled out Carlo for Game 7 if they had to make such a decision.
Nevertheless, Carlo plans to use the offseason to recover fully from the injuries that hampered him in 2021.
“I’m feeling good and encouraged that with this time off I’ll be more than 100 percent going into camp and everything,” he said Friday.
The Bruins hope Carlo meets that stated goal because his presence boosts their defense.