BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Stanley Cup playoff education of Bruins' 19-year-old rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy continues, and today it included being featured in a top pairing with 40-year-old Zdeno Chara at practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday morning.
It certainly appears that the 2016 first-round pick could make his NHL debut on Wednesday night in Game 1 against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre, a big spot for the Black and Gold.
Certainly it will be a challenge to go up against Ottawa’s best offensive players, but skating with Chara also gives McAvoy the best kind of veteran protection he could ask for if there are any inevitable rookie mistakes made by the teenager in the D-zone. The highly-skilled McAvoy was also playing at one of the points on the top power play unit at practice and looks like he’s going to be featured quite a bit in his first go-round.
Top-four defensemen Brandon Carlo (upper body) and Torey Krug (lower body) continue to be absent from practice, and on Tuesday, David Krejci (undisclosed) and Dominic Moore (undisclosed) were missing up front along with Noel Acciari (upper body), who skated on his own prior to practice. Krejci left practice early on Monday morning and Bruce Cassidy said following the session that it was a maintenance issue.
Anton Khudobin was once again missing from practice on Tuesday with Zane McIntyre once again filling in as the emergency backup goaltender.
Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings against the Senators for Game 1 based on Tuesday’s practice:
C. Miller-K. Miller