The Boston Bruins are rolling to start the year despite a predicted slow start due to injuries to key players. Their 11-2-0 record is good enough for 22 points and first place in the Eastern Conference, and as if things haven’t been good enough, they’re about to get the final key piece of the puzzle back in their lineup. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy is set to make his season debut tomorrow against the Calgary Flames, marking his return from offseason shoulder surgery.
McAvoy, 24, has finished top 10 in Norris Trophy voting each of the past three seasons but has yet to receive his first nomination for the trophy. He’s coming off a 2021-22 campaign when he set career highs in goals (10), assists (46), points (56), plus-minus (+31), and average time on ice (24:38). The New York-born All-Star is set to resume his top-pairing role alongside Hampus Lindholm, who’s taken the reigns in McAvoy’s absence with 13 points in 13 games. The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter reported last week that McAvoy was ahead of schedule in his recovery, and was set to return earlier than his rough projection of December 1.
- Philadelphia Flyers youngster Carter Hart is ready to return to action in the crease tomorrow against the Columbus Blue Jackets after a one-game absence due to illness, notes Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi. Head coach John Tortorella didn’t go so far as to name Hart as the starter for tomorrow night, but it wouldn’t shock anyone if the netminder took the crease. The 24-year-old has yet to lose in regulation through eight starts in 2022-23.
- Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour today offered an update on goaltender Frederik Andersen, saying that “he tweaked something.” Brind’Amour added that he didn’t think Andersen’s undisclosed injury was serious but didn’t want to put Andersen in the net without full health. His injury necessitated the emergency recall of Pyotr Kochetkov yesterday.