The Bruins were dealt both good news and bad news when it came to injuries.
Boston expects Derek Forbort to miss the rest of the regular season after blocking a shot against the Winnipeg Jets, which certainly is a blow to the defense and the Bruins’ penalty kill. But it wasn’t all bad Tuesday as Taylor Hall practiced in a non-contact sweater while Nick Foligno skated on his own before practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
Hall and Foligno are dealing with lower-body injuries. While we don’t know the exact extent of either, Montgomery did say it’s possible for both of them to miss the rest of the regular season. Still, Tuesday was an important step for both players.
“They’re checking boxes, they’re progressing well but there’s no timeline for us yet,” Montgomery told reporters after practice.
Montgomery has used the term “checking boxes” in the past when a player has gotten close to a return, and it’s clear Hall and Foligno are progressing in the right direction, but the head coach isn’t thinking about how he will tinker with his lineup once they’re ready for game action.
“I still think they’re a ways away,” Montgomery told reporters. “It’s not at the point I’m starting to think about lines and stuff. … I don’t think it’s a problem. It’s a great situation. … A deep lineup’s going to get even deeper. It’s a great problem to have.”
Bruins fans saw Brad Marchand, Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy return from their injuries well ahead of schedule at the beginning of the season. But the B’s are in a unique position where they have a lot of depth thanks to the additions of Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi at the NHL trade deadline, on top of having Jakub Lauko with the team.
With 13 games left in the season and a playoff berth already clinched, it wouldn’t make sense to rush either player back. Having a healthy, deep team for the playoffs is what will help the Bruins in the long run, and it’s clear they’re not going to jump the gun with Hall and Foligno.
The B’s return to action Tuesday night when they welcome the Ottawa Senators to Boston. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET on NESN.