BRIGHTON, Mass – Injuries are a part of every NHL regular season and the Bruins are all too aware of that at this early in the year.

The bad news is that Charlie McAvoy, David Backes and Urho Vaakanainen are all out and off the ice with upper-body injuries that sound very much like concussion-type issues and Kevan Miller will miss at least the next three weeks with a hand injury after getting hit by a puck.

“[Backes] is feeling better, but it’s an upper body and he’s still out,” said Bruce Cassidy. “He didn’t skate today and didn’t yesterday, so obviously that’s the next progression for him getting back out onto the ice. I don’t have a definitive timeline for him or for Charlie. [McAvoy] is here today and feeling better, but they’re both upper body and we’ll continue to monitor them. Hopefully, soon they’re feeling good enough to get on the ice and we’ll see how it goes.

“[Kevan Miller] is four weeks from the injury, so it’s three weeks now that he’ll get re-evaluated. We’ll miss him for at least the next three weeks and hopefully, when he’s re-evaluated it’s a quick turnaround.”

Miller is skating on his own ahead of the regular team practice with a cast and isn’t bringing a stick out with him on the ice. 

The good news, though, is that puck-moving D-man Torey Krug is back on the ice skating with the team and nearing a return from his left foot injury.


Krug has missed all nine games the Bruins have played this season after he suffered a left-foot injury toward the end of the preseason. The diminutive Krug was already returning from a fractured left ankle that knocked him out of last spring’s playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, so one could understand his hesitancy at putting a timetable on his return.

“It’s better than skating on your own, so it’s good to get back with the group. Hopefully, now we start to ramp things up,” said Krug, who will likely have a better idea on a return after a Friday practice that should come with contact and more game situations than a morning skate. “I need to play games. That’s the only way to get into game shape. You can ride the bike all day long and skate up and down the ice, but there’s nothing like playing in a game, battling in the corners and [engaging] in the physical aspect of it.

“It’s a tough part of the situation that I’m in. I’ve played one preseason game since the first week of May. But you’ve got to put your head down, go to work and just feel as good as you can.”

Clearly, his return to the practice ice was a major positive, however, and now it begins to come down to how quickly he can jump into game action at a high pace with physical contact. Cassidy hadn’t even fully ruled out a return for Krug on Saturday night against the Canadiens, but both the player and the team should have a better idea after he goes through a full team practice on Friday with body contact and much more game situations than your typical game-day morning skate.   

As it is right now, the Bruins have extra D-man Steve Kampfer in their lineup and have called up 21-year-old rookie D-man Jeremy Lauzon to make his NHL debut for a Boston roster that’s been depleted the past week.

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