BOSTON – Charlie McAvoy wasn’t practicing on Monday morning at TD Garden, but he was present for Bruins team picture day ahead of the skating session in their home barn. McAvoy was wearing a left knee brace and shower slippers as he walked onto the ice and took his position for the photo with his teammates, and continues to look as if he'll be out for at least for the short term.
The 20-year-old rookie has been ruled out for the game Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden. He’s being evaluated on Monday in order to, in the words of Bruce Cassidy, see “how extensive [McAvoy’s] injury will be.” McAvoy was injured on the first shift of the B's Saturday victory over the Montreal Canadiens in what appeared to be a non-contact injury with his left leg. Within minutes, the Bruins had ruled the young D-man out from returning to the game.
That’s normally not a good sign, but the Bruins are clearly hoping for the best.
“There’s nothing new to report,” said Cassidy. “He’ll be evaluated [Monday] afternoon. He will not play tomorrow [vs. Detroit] and we’ll go from there.
“You don’t want to go through your whole lineup and start losing good players every night, but teams go through certain stretches [with injuries] and we’re no different right now with [Patrice] Bergeron and McAvoy. If Tuukka [Rask, who also missed practice Monday] is extended, then that’s three important positions and three key guys. But we feel like we have the depth as long as we get [those injured players] back in a reasonable amount of time. On the back end with Charlie, this is new. We missed him for a block earlier this year and we survived it. But we’ll see what happens going forward with him and how extensive his injury will be. Until we know that, it’s hard to get anxious. But we also know that we have [Matt] Grzelcyk and [Adam] McQuaid that sat out last game, and are very capable defensemen.”
Meanwhile, on the ice at practice, Brandon Carlo had stepped up to fill in for the injured McAvoy alongside Zdeno Chara and reunite last season’s shutdown tandem that had enjoyed so much success together. Rask's lower-body injury was termed “very minor” by Cassidy before he missed the Montreal game and it’s looking as if Boston’s top goaltender will again be sitting Tuesday against Detroit.
So, for those scoring at home, the Bruins will be without Patrice Bergeron, McAvoy and likely Rask as well when they suit up against a Red Wings team that’s played them very tightly this season. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on practice Monday: