Why Bruins’ Mike Reilly Feels ‘Rejuvenated’ Entering New Season

Reilly underwent offseason ankle surgery

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September 30

Mike Reilly couldn’t avoid it any longer. The Boston Bruins defenseman knew he needed ankle surgery and finally went through with it this offseason.

That’s never an easy decision to make, but Reilly told reporters Friday his ankle was bothering him for a couple of years, which led to some uneven play, and he was glad to get the surgery done.

With it now behind him, the 29-year-old Reilly feels reinvigorated as he gets set for his third season with the Bruins.

“Obviously this summer was a little bit different than past summers coming off of surgery,” Reilly told reporters, as seen in a video from the Bruins’ Twitter. “Started ramping up pretty good as soon as I got to Boston right around Labor Day. I’m glad the way my foot is kind of responding to obviously the workload and skating every day and being able to get in the action on Tuesday night there for the game. Feeling good. Just feels like a little bit of a fresh start. Kind of rejuvenated a little bit to get the season going.”

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Reilly got into Tuesday’s preseason contest in which the Bruins pulled off an overtime win thanks to a goal from A.J. Greer. He said he wasn’t trying to protect his ankle like in years past when he was on the ice for 19:03, allowing him to play more free. It seemed to help as Reilly recorded an assist and had five shots — the most of any Bruins defenseman.

But while Reilly is feeling healthy, he admitted he isn’t quite at 100% yet.

“Pretty close. Still feel like I’m getting there a little bit,” Reilly said. “But I think the good thing about playing hockey you’re in a boot. That kind of works as a brace a little bit compared to I guess if you were walking barefoot or not.”

The Bruins will most likely count on Reilly, especially at the beginning of the season, with Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk still recovering from injuries. Jim Montgomery’s new system, which seems to favor offensive defenseman, could benefit Reilly after he notched four goals and 13 assists in 70 games last season.

And with the Bruins shorthanded on the backend, Reilly looks to prove he can make an impact for Boston on the blue line.

“Guys are going to have to step up,” Reilly said. “Missing two good guys and two good players on this team. I think we all know that and the expectation is to kind of carry the load a little bit until they get back.”

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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