BRIGHTON, Mass – It looks as if Charlie McAvoy will make his return to the Bruins lineup on Saturday night against the Maple Leafs.
The 21-year-old defenseman has missed the past seven games with a foot infection that flared up over the three-day Christmas break, but Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said McAvoy was “trending that way” toward playing against Toronto in a big divisional showdown.
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He’ll have to get through morning skate in Toronto, but it certainly looks like he’s ready to go now that he’s done with his treatment of antibiotics and back up to full practice speed. He hasn't played since a Dec. 23 loss in Carolina.
“It’s trending that way. We’ll officially announce it tomorrow after getting through pregame skate. Then, the obvious question is who comes out? But until he’s officially in I don’t want to go down that road,” said Cassidy. “He goes in on the right side, and it probably comes down to Grizz and Moore on the left side. Then we can balance it with three left [shots] and three right [shots]. It’s certainly looking like [McAvoy] will get in.”
McAvoy took turns with Zdeno Chara as his defense partner at practice on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena, and Cassidy indicated it would probably be Matt Grzelcyk or John Moore getting the scratch if he does indeed push back into the lineup. Certainly, the Bruins will welcome back McAvoy’s puck-moving skills and playmaking on offense as he was just rounding into top form before the blocked shot in Montreal split open his foot, and started the ball rolling on the infection.
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Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings against the Maple Leafs based on Friday practice:
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