The Boston Bruins were dealt their first significant injury blow of the regular season this weekend, but things are looking a bit more positive than they did initially.
Brandon Carlo left the Bruins’ 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday after just 6:40 of ice time after taking a big hit from Liam O’Brien late in the first period. Described as an upper-body injury, Carlo’s injury history created pause for most Bruins fans as they contemplated what the injury could mean for the team moving forward. On Sunday morning, head coach Jim Montgomery provided some answers.
“He’s better today than we were expecting. We’re hopeful. But he’s still not ready to play,” Montgomery said, per team-provided video. “… There’s going to be no rush (in getting him back on the ice). It’s just like there’s no rush for (Matt Grzelcyk) or (Brad Marchand) or when (Charlie McAvoy) starts skating with the team.
Anything other than a trip to long-term injured reserve is good news for the Bruins, who without Carlo are down 75% of their top four on defense: Carlo, McAvoy and Grzelcyk. Connor Clifton is the only right-shot defenseman remaining in the lineup. Despite that, Boston opted for to fill Carlo’s spot in the lineup with left shot defenseman Dan Renouf.
“We felt in camp he was the one that was most like a steady, stay-at-home defenseman that can defend really well,” Montgomery said. “Help us bring pucks out. He’s very similar to (Carlo) so that’s why he’s the guy.”
The Bruins are waiting on recently signed defenseman Anton Stralman to receive a work visa before they can implement him into any game plans.