The Bruins continue to dig into their organizational depth on the back end as the dog days of the regular season approach.
After placing Torey Krug (upper body) on injured reserve last week, the Bruins have placed Charlie McAvoy (lower body) on injured reserve as well on Monday morning as a result of a pair of big hits absorbed in last week’s costly win over the Washington Capitals.
Bruce Cassidy had previously said that neither of the two defensemen was in concussion protocol, and Krug was able to skate on his own ahead of Sunday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena.
With defenseman Connor Clifton also going down with an upper body injury in Sunday night’s win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Bruins have been forced to pull shutdown D-man Jeremy Lauzon up from Providence on an emergency basis.
The 22-year-old Lauzon has one goal and 10 points in 35 games for Providence this season, and the 6-foot-1, 205-pound D-man should bring a physical presence to the back end that’s been lacking at times beyond Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo.
Lauzon skated in 16 games for Boston last season and more than held his own in the defensive zone, but also clearly had some work to do when it came to breaking pucks out of the zone and functioning a little more highly offensively.
The fact both Krug and McAvoy are on injured reserve underscores just how much damage the Capitals did to the Bruins last week when they began running players once they fell behind 4-0 in the first period.
It also underscores the importance of the Bruins responding to those incidents early and often, as they didn’t in the game against the Capitals, if they’re looking to protect their own players and keep them healthy over the long haul.
Instead, the Bruins are now forced to put a pair of players that were in the AHL a week ago — Lauzon and Steve Kampfer — into the lineup as they go through a fairly busy portion of their regular season schedule headed into January.
They are also missing their two best puck-movers in Krug and McAvoy, and that’s going to put a strain on their ability to easily generate offense and counteract the heavy fore-check pressure opponents are throwing at them these days.