SUNRISE, FL – There hasn’t exactly been an overflow of information when it comes to Rick Nash, but the news from the last couple of days has been encouraging for the power forward currently on the shelf with an upper body injury.
Nash has skated each of the last couple of days in his first times on the ice since suffering an upper body injury in last month’s shutout win over Tampa Bay, and is making progress toward a possible return to the Black and Gold lineup. Most promising of all, Nash hasn’t been ruled out from potentially playing this weekend in Boston’s final couple of home games against Ottawa and Florida to close out the regular season.
“He skated [on Wednesday], so that’s good,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy of Nash, who has three goals and six points along with a minus-4 rating in 11 games with Boston this season. “He’s a day closer when you’re skating. Now that he’s skating, not speaking out of turn, there would be a chance [he could play this weekend]. I’m not saying he will or he won’t, but he’s obviously closer than he was three days ago when he wasn’t even skating.”
On Thursday night, Nash will miss his 10th straight game since suffering an upper body injury that’s purported to be a concussion, perhaps suffered when he was clobbered by Cedric Paquette in the third period of Bruins' win over Tampa Bay on March 17. Nash was a last minute scratch against the Blue Jackets a couple of days later, and hasn’t been seen since, leading some to speculate that the 33-year-old trade deadline prize might not play again for the B's.
It certainly feels and sounds like the big right winger is inching toward a possible return for the Black and Gold, and that the Bruins might be able to pencil him into their playoff lineup. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder would be a welcomed addition to a B’s forward group that’s currently overflowing with youth and skill, but could use a little more size, strength and goal-scoring experience -- qualities Nash would bring to the table.
In addition to the news about Nash, Cassidy confirmed that neither Sean Kuraly (upper body) or Riley Nash (upper body) are back to skating after getting knocked out of the lineup over the last couple of weeks.
“I think [Riley Nash] has got discomfort up there,” said Cassidy, of the B’s third line center who was struck in the side of the head with a puck last weekend. “Whether it’s more than that, I don’t know. But that’s where he’s at right now. Until he gets through that, he’s out.”
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