Jimmy Hayes suffers injury in Florida win, 'questionable' for Blackhawks game

Jimmy Hayes suffers injury in Florida win, 'questionable' for Blackhawks game

BOSTON – The Bruins head to Chicago for the Sunday start of a pivotal four game stretch that will determine whether or not they get into the playoffs, and it looks like they’ll be doing it without Jimmy Hayes. 

The big Bruins winger went down with a lower body injury in the first period of Boston’s 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden, and is “questionable” for Sunday afternoon’s tilt against the Blackhawks at the United Center. Given that he couldn’t return to Saturday’s game after going out two shifts into the contest, it’s difficult to see him being able to suit up in Chicago. 

With that in mind, the Bruins will be calling up reinforcements from Providence with Tim Schaller (lower body) and Frank Vatrano (upper body) both injured and out this weekend as well. 

“It looks that way. Jimmy [Hayes] has a lower body injury. I don’t know the extent of where he will be [Sunday] but right now he’s questionable day-to-day I’d put it at, and we’ll see after we get a further medical report,” said Bruce Cassidy. “So, we’ll be looking at someone for sure. I can’t tell you who it will be. We’ll have those discussions right now.”

The struggling Hayes doesn’t have a point in 14 games and hasn’t scored a goal since December on top of a monumentally sluggish start to the season, so his 6-foot-5 absence from the B’s lineup wouldn’t exactly be a crushing blow for the Black and Gold. There’s nothing confirmed about a P-Bruins replacement for Hayes, but Sean Kuraly is a healthy scratch for Providence on Saturday night in the kind of move that could mean he’s likely to be the guy getting called up to the NHL again. 

Krug steps up as Bruins stars go down

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Krug steps up as Bruins stars go down

The Bruins have managed to take three of a possible six points since Zdeno Chara went down in the third period of last week's comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes, and they've done it completely without their top pairing since Charlie McAvoy has also been out all this time.

There are a number of factors behind the ability to withstand the injuries, of course, and the entire defense corps was stellar at both ends in the shutout win over Tampa Bay last weekend.


But it's Torey Krug who's really stepped up his game. He had three assists and 15 shots on net in those three games, and was immense in the win over the Lightning.

Krug has surpassed the 50-point plateau for the second straight season, a major accomplishment for a defenseman who prides himself on his puck-moving and power-play work.

"You know, he has [stepped up]," coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krug, adding: "Torey is always going to get his numbers, but he's really added to it 5-on-5 . . . [It] was comforting to see that [without Chara and McAvoy] we shut out one of the best teams [in the NHL], at home, that was rested. You've got to take something out of that. It was one of 82 [games], but that was a real positive for our guys."

For Krug, the challenge of stepping up and being a leader in the team's time of need is the kind of thing he takes pride in responding to with an elevated level of play.

"I'm in the business of winning hockey games and helping my team win," said Krug. "It falls on my shoulders to produce some offense from the back end. And [when] we're missing a couple of guys from the back end that do that push the pace, then you've got to step up and make some plays. When you play with a lot of great players then you'll get your points, and you just need to worry about the defensive zone first.

"We're confident in everybody in this room. A lot of people think that the guys on our back end can't get the job done, so for us to step up [is a good thing]."


The biggest sign of Krug's increased responsibility? He topped 26 minutes of ice time in two of the three games since Chara was injured. Only once before, when he was on the ice for 27-plus minutes against the Rangers in early November, has he played more than that.

The loss of Chara and McAvoy has forced Krug to go above and beyond his normal range of duties and he's stepped up and embraced it. That's what good players on good teams do, and it's something Krug has consistently done in the big moments since arriving in Boston five years ago.


Erik Karlsson and wife Melinda mourn death of their son

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Erik Karlsson and wife Melinda mourn death of their son

The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday that team captain Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda lost their son one month before his due date.


"The collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community rest with Erik and Melinda Karlsson following the loss of their son.

We ask that you respect the family's wishes for privacy during the grieving process."

The couple announced via Instagram in November that they were expecting, and the CBC reports the baby was due in April.

Sens head coach Guy Boucher spoke about the tragedy after Ottawa's game vs the Panthers on Tuesday (1:36 mark in video below).

Karlsson, a rumored Bruins target before the trade deadline, received heartfelt condolences from the hockey world on Twitter:

Our thoughts too go out to Erik and Melinda during this incredibly difficult time.