McAvoy out four weeks with a left MCL sprain

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McAvoy out four weeks with a left MCL sprain

BOSTON – The Bruins finally issued an update on 20-year-old Charlie McAvoy, and it's a case of both good news and bad news for the game-changing rookie D-man. The fortunate development is that McAvoy’s season isn’t done with a diagnosed left MCL sprain, and that he should be ready to return right around the time that the Stanley Cup playoffs begin in roughly five weeks.


The bad news is that the four week recovery time means the injury isn’t the mildest version possible of an MCL sprain, and any setbacks or slow recovery from the injury could potentially spill over into the first round of the postseason. That would be a difficult proposition for the Bruins, who have enjoyed a Calder Trophy-level season from their rookie D-man with seven goals, 32 points and a plus-26 in 59 games this season to go along with a workhorse-like 22:10 of ice time per game. As it’s stated in the Bruins press release, McAvoy’s left knee will be re-elvaluated in four weeks and his ability to jump in ahead of the postseason should be more clearly defined at that point. 

As it is right now, the Bruins are going through a hellish month of March without their best player in Patrice Bergeron, their best rookie in McAvoy and currently without their No. 1 goaltender in Tuukka Rask as he’s not starting for the second straight game with a “minor lower body injury.” Brandon Carlo will be stepping into McAvoy’s top pairing spot alongside Zdeno Chara during 5-on-5 play, but Bruce Cassidy indicated it’s going to take a village to replace the multi-dimensional young defenseman in the short term. 

“It’s like when we lost Bergeron, we have to do it by committee on the back end with Charlie’s workload,” said Cassidy. “Brandon [Carlo] is going to step and have the matchups right away…kind of like Riley Nash [in Bergeron’s spot] in 5-on-5 play. On the power play, Nick Holden when he was acquired had some of that on his resume. Maybe a little more falls on [Matt] Grzelcyk or a fourth forward.

“What we’re going to try and do is not ask one player to try and replace Charlie. It will be different guys. On the penalty kill we had other guys ahead of Charlie. He did a good job on it. Don’t get me wrong. But we have [Zee], Kevan [Miller], Carlo and Adam [McQuaid], so that part of it becomes a little easier to manage.”

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Detroit Red Wings based on Tuesday morning skate at TD Garden with Bergeron, McAvoy, Rask and Noel Acciari all out of the lineup:













Morning Skate: Bruins troll Felger for lack of confidence

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Morning Skate: Bruins troll Felger for lack of confidence

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the Bruins are going into troll mode.

*Here is the aforementioned “troll mode” for the Bruins now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth. They came out with a marketing campaign where they’re dragging FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Felger for his early season take that the Bruins season is over. He also ripped the young players at the beginning of the year as well, so they used the sound from “Felger and Mazz” with video clips of David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy dominating for the Black and Gold, and shots of the young players mean mugging at the camera. It definitely shows that the Bruins perhaps care a little too much about what the media thinks about them, but it’s also a fair bit of clap-back toward a take that was a little too harsh on the B’s early in the season.

*What a great piece on the Stoneman Douglas hockey team as they embark on a national hockey tournament after winning at the state level in the weeks after the Parkland shooting.

*Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says the Hawks aren’t shaken even as they’ll be missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time. What a disappointing season.

*Despite a great season, Taylor Hall may end up missing the playoffs with the New Jersey Devils amidst his Hart Trophy-type season.

*Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Auston Matthews is returning from injury ahead of the playoffs

*For something completely different: This new, updated version of the Karate Kid web series looks awesome with Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio.



Cassidy eyeing possible Bergeron return this weekend

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Cassidy eyeing possible Bergeron return this weekend

Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.

Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.

MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues​

The Bruins currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.

If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.