McAvoy injury keeps the Bruins from being full strength tonight


BRIGHTON, Mass. – True to the perpetual state of the Bruins over the first half of the season, the B’s will be missing somebody with injury even when they welcome back nearly a full lineup for the first time in months. 

Charlie McAvoy (lower body) didn’t skate Thursday morning at Warrior Ice Arena and will subsequently be out for the game against the New Jersey Devils tonight at TD Garden.

Bruce Cassidy didn’t rule out a Saturday return against the Buffalo Sabres for his newly turned 21-year-old (Dec. 21) defenseman, but apparently, a blocked shot from the loss to Carolina on Sunday is taking some time to heal.

“He had a blocked shot in the last game, so there’s still a lingering effect from that,” Cassidy said. McAvoy missed 20 games earlier this season with a concussion. “It’s a lower body [for McAvoy]. He shouldn’t be too long. He’s out tonight, day-to-day and Saturday, I guess we’ll see. He’ll miss one or two games anyway.

“It’s funny that we talked about it on Christmas Eve, and finally having our full lineup this season. Then Charlie gets a little minor setback, so here we are. Let’s enjoy it for about eight hours. But it’s trending that way right now. Let’s see how Jake [DeBrusk] responds coming off a concussion. I think [Zdeno Chara] is excited to play. So we’ll see what we’ve got a little bit more. I think we’re all kind of trying to figure where we are with our full lineup.”  

Perhaps the injury explains a little about McAvoy’s pretty awful performance in the loss to Carolina right ahead of the holiday break. He was a minus-4 and played a big part in three consecutive goals the Hurricanes scored in the second period to eventually turn the tide. 

Prior to the bow-wow game vs. the Canes, McAvoy had actually been really good in three consecutive wins. Clearly, the B’s are hoping that their young D-man snaps right back into that good stretch now that he’ll be rejoining a lineup that’s welcoming back Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller along with the regular group of D-men.

When McAvoy is ready to return, it will create a tough decision for the Bruins coaching staff as somebody will have to sit with Torey Krug, John Moore, Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk all having played pretty well when Chara and Miller were on the shelf.   

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