BRIGHTON, Mass. -- Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed 20 games with a concussion, and he’s starting to make up for lost time.
He doesn’t have a point yet in the four games since returning in Tampa Bay last week, but he’s been his usual workhorse self while posting a plus-5 overall with four shots on net in those four games since coming back from injury. Even better, he’s averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time per game in that time and clearly given the Bruins a boost in the puck-moving department while scoring 3.5 goals per game after struggling to scrape together goals earlier in that stretch.
“I feel good. I think I came back with a little bit of rust, but since then I think I’ve come back and kind of taken off. I think I’m playing well in my own zone and trying to contribute when I can,” said McAvoy, who has a goal and six points along with a plus-6 in 11 games this season. “Fortunately our offense has been playing fairly well those left few games, so we didn’t really need to do much on the back end.
“It’s about being efficient and being smart, and not trying to look for anything more than the next right play has allowed me to feel like I haven’t missed a beat.”
MORE BRUINS COVERAGE
McAvoy has even taken a bad hit, the blind side shot that got Zach Hyman suspended for two games, and a high stick to the face, and kept right on playing his game. It’s those kinds of experiences that are giving McAvoy his confidence back, and show that he’s truly over the scary first-time experience with the concussion.
“Zero, which is what we were looking for,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked if there was any hesitation in McAvoy’s game. “We were hoping he’d come back assertive and just play hockey. I think he’s been real good in that respect. The first night there was rust from not playing in terms of handling the puck and making the plays on time. He’d quickly got out of that.
“He obviously took a big hit from Hyman that was suspend-able, and he bounced back from that. I think he’s recovered really well.”
Now, the next step for McAvoy is to go beyond the good first pass and the kick-start to the transition game and put up some points on the back end. The Bruins sorely missed that in the 20 games while the 20-year-old was out of the lineup, and it’s only a matter of time before that returns for McAvoy too.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.