As the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs approaches, the Boston Bruins have found themselves facing injuries that may effect their defensive core, and might also cause problems in goal.
Boston Bruins Facing Injuries Heading Into First Round
In the last two games of the season, the Bruins have had to deal with injuries to two of their top three defensemen. Torey Krug suffered an apparent lower-body injury a few minutes into the first period of the Bruins Thursday meeting with Ottawa, landing awkwardly against the boards. He was seen after the game using crutches, but the exact details of his injury was not disclosed.
Rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo, who was behind only captain Zdeno Chara in ice time, was boarded during the Bruins’ regular season finale against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. No penalty was assessed to Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, despite the extent of Carlo’s injury. General manager Don Sweeney announced that Krug is “unlikely” to play in game one, and Carlo will definitely miss the first game, possibly more, depending on his injury status. Charlie McAvoy, who signed with Boston at the end of March, has had his contract upgraded and will be eligible to play in the first round.
There are also questions about the health of goaltender Anton Khudobin, who was forced to leave the Capitals game with illness after the first two periods. Zane McIntyre was called up from the Providence Bruins of the AHL on an emergency basis, calling into question whether Khudobin will be healthy for the beginning of the series. A flu virus has been going around among Boston athletes, particularly the Boston Red Sox, so there is some suspicion that it may have carried over. Starting goaltender Tuukka Rask has proven more than capable of holding the team on his back in difficult games, but there is always the chance that things could go wrong and he will need a backup.
Despite these setbacks, there are reasons to believe that they will not effect the team in the long term. For a more thorough analysis of Boston’s first round match-up with the Ottawa Senators, check out Last Word on Hockey’s series preview.