After a month-and-a-half on the sidelines, St. Louis Blues forward Tyler Bozak is finally making some progress toward a return. Speaking to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, head coach Craig Berube displayed optimism when discussing the health of his veteran center, who was back at practice on Friday. “He’s gonna get some work here in the next few days and he could be available soon,” Berube said. “It’s good to see him out there and working… making some real good progress.” Bozak has not played since January 26th, when he was forced out of game against the Vegas Golden Knights with an apparent concussion. With the Blue about to embark on a six-game road trip, they will have to decide if bringing Bozak is the right move or if he requires additional time before his return. While St. Louis also just got Vladimir Tarasenko back and Oskar Sundqvist returned from a short-term injury, they could still use all the help they can get. Colton Parayko, Jaden Schwartz, Ivan Barbashev, Robert Thomas, Jacob De La Rose, and more are still among the Blues’ injured.
- The news on Carolina Hurricanes forward Vincent Trocheck does not sound as optimistic. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour tells The Athletic’s Sara Civian that Trocheck’s recent upper-body injury will keep him sidelined for “longer than hoped”. The coach held back on providing any definitive timeline, but any long-term absence for Trocheck will be a major loss for the team. In his first full season with the Hurricanes, Trocheck has been a point-per-game player and is tied with Sebastian Aho for the team’s scoring lead. If there is one silver lining for Carolina, it is that the injury occurred before the trade deadline; with a considerable amount of cap space, the ’Canes still have time to bring in help to make up for an extended period without Trocheck.
- Back on the positive side, the Boston Bruins have been dealing with an onslaught of injuries for some time, but there could be some help on the way. Head coach Bruce Cassidy announced today that veteran defenseman Kevan Miller has resumed skating and is likely to travel with the team on their upcoming road trip. Miller has been resting his surgically-repaired knee, but seems like he is ready to get back on the ice. Cassidy also said that defenseman Brandon Carlo is “coming around” and, while he is unsure if it will happen, there is at least some consideration that he could travel as well. This is the first concrete update on Carlo since he was hospitalized by a high hit from Washington’s Tom Wilson, but its seems that Carlo will not be out for a lengthy period as many feared.
- It’s a scary time for any unknown illness given the shadow of the Coronavirus, so the Los Angeles Kings played it safe and cancelled practice this morning, citing an “illness” spreading around the group. Head coach Todd McLellan and the Kings do not believe that this is COVID, but a seasonal virus. However, the team will wait to see what their latest batch of test results say. Defenseman Olli Maatta is currently on the league’s COVID Protocal Related Absences list, though Alex Iafallo missed the team’s last game with similar symptoms and did not test positive for COVID. Obviously, the hope of all involved is that this is what McLellan believe it to be: some unrelated bug going around the locker room.