When the Boston Bruins placed Torey Krug on injured reserve earlier today, it was more a reflection of their injury-riddled lineup than it was the extent of his injury and timeline for recovery. While Krug is expected to miss at least a couple more games with an upper-body injury, the Bruins could not afford to wait that long to bring up reinforcements. Yet, the team had already recalled rookie Urho Vaakanainen to sub in for Krug, so it was veteran forward Paul Carey getting the all from AHL Providence. As it turns out, that move was made in response to Patrice Bergeron needing to take a seat tonight, as Boston hosts the Washington Capitals. Head coach Bruce Cassidy spoke to the media about the situation, indicating that Bergeron is dealing with a nagging lower-body injury, a frequent issue for the star center over the past few seasons, and the team feels that giving him the night off in the second game of a back-to-back may help to prevent the injury from lingering. Bergeron is considered day-to-day, but this is likely a case of load management and he could return to the lineup as soon as the team’s next game on Tuesday.
In more encouraging news for the injury-plagued Bruins, Cassidy noted that Krug skated this morning, as did forwards Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie and defenseman John Moore, who has yet to play this season. Cassidy stated that Ritchie is the closest to returning and could be in play for Tuesday as well. The potential returns of Ritchie, DeBrusk, and Moore sooner rather than later would allow the Bruins to return to some state of normalcy, as they currently are lining up with an entire line – Carey, Par Lindholm, and Trent Frederic – of players who were not expected to have a regular role in Boston this season. The Bruins have done relatively well for themselves to not allow injuries to slow them down too much this season, but the team has struggled this past week or so and improved health would help to get them back on track.
- Among the Bruins not yet ready to resume skating are Kevan Miller, Karson Kuhlman, Zach Senyshyn, and David Backes. Backes has been out since early November following a violent collision with Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin, which left the latter hospitalized. There is no time table for Backes’ return, and the same goes for Sabourin. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports that the journeyman grinder has finally resumed working out, but exclusively off the ice. Sabourin has not been cleared to resume skating and the Senators have not released any details on when to expect him to return to play. While Backes’ history with head injuries it what is keeping him off the ice, it was very evident from the collision that it was Sabourin who received the more serious hit to the head and is likely dealing with a severe concussion.
- Another season, another setback for Vancouver Canucks’ defensive prospect Olli Juolevi. Canucks GM Jim Benning announced that Juolevi has been removed from the roster of the AHL’s Utica Comets and is on his way to Vancouver to undergo medical testing. Although all reports out of Utica were that Juolevi’s recent absences from practice were precautionary, the status quo has clearly changed, as he is now expected to miss considerable time. This is purportedly a new lower-body injury plaguing Juolevi, unrelated to the issue that cost him all but 18 AHL games last year. The 2016 No. 5 overall pick seems as far away from making his NHL debut as ever before and it’s fair to begin wondering if he will ever be an impact player in Vancouver.