The Boston Bruins will be without Derek Forbort for the rest of the regular season, according to Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com. The defenseman suffered a lower-body injury recently and won’t play again before the playoffs, but, according to head coach Jim Montgomery, will not require surgery.
That would suggest Forbort could return at some point in the playoffs, the only thing the Bruins have to worry about at this point. They already have the Presidents’ Trophy effectively locked up, with a 13-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, and are simply waiting to see who they’ll play in the first round.
Forbort has been an effective piece for the Bruins this season, logging huge time on the penalty kill and providing solid physical play. He averages more than three minutes a night shorthanded, tied with Brandon Carlo for the team lead.
The 31-year-old defenseman’s absence would leave a significant hole, had it not been for the acquisition of Dmitry Orlov at the deadline, which extended the Bruins depth chart and prepared them for a scenario like this. The club has more than enough talent to work their way through the last month of the season without Forbort, though decisions will get a little harder once the playoffs start, if he is healthy enough to play.
For teams locked into a playoff spot, avoiding injury while staying sharp over the last dozen games is imperative. The playoffs are a grind even for the most talented rosters in the league, and the Eastern Conference is shaping up to be especially tough.
Forbort will be missed on the PK, but he’s a 3rd-pairing d-man on a regular basis, especially after Orlov showed up, so this shouldn’t be the end of the world. Boston still has Mike Reilly buried in the AHL so he can help out if needed.