By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins have played the last 11 games without the services of both Charlie McAvoy (concussion-like symptoms) and Kevan Miller (hand). Urho Vaakanainen has been on the shelf with a concussion since Oct. 23.
Brandon Carlo is slated to miss his third straight game with what's been termed an upper-body injury.
And Zdeno Chara has already taken a flight back to Boston after an ugly collision with the Avalanche's Carl Soderberg in Wednesday's 6-3 loss in Colorado.
It would almost be impossible for the Bruins to suffer another injury to an NHL-quality player on their backend.
But somehow, someway, John Moore has officially joined that list and will miss Friday's game in Dallas.
“Lower-body, he’s day-to-day," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Moore following a morning skate in Dallas. "Little bit of aggravation, and it just wasn’t very good yesterday, little better today. He’s questionable for tomorrow."
This would explain the rather bizarre usage of the 27-year-old Moore on Wednesday, as he logged the fewest shifts and second-lowest time on ice upon Chara's departure, and finished the night with 20:06 of time on ice by the night's end.
Moore was also the last remaining Boston defenseman to have played in every game this season.
And with Moore joining the list of banged-up d-men, the Bruins are left with a defense corps that looks like something out of a split squad training camp scrimmage. On their top pairing, Jeremy Lauzon will skate with Matt Grzelcyk (who will play his off side). The second pairing will feature Torey Krug skating with Connor Clifton (making his NHL debut), and the third pairing will feature Steven Kampfer to the right of 2015 first-round draft pick Jakub Zboril, also making his NHL debut tonight.
Given what the Bruins are up against, this one could get ugly.
The Stars enter play with a 6-3-1 record at home this season, have outscored opponents 36-28 in their building, and their power play boasts the league's seventh-best home percentage, at 28.6 percent.
Without an alternative, though, Cassidy has embraced the idea of his young defenders seizing the moment and embracing the opportunity given to them by way of an injury bug Cassidy admits he's never seen happen at once like this.
“It’s a lot of first-timers at once, and that’s what it is," Cassidy offered. "If they wanna play here, it’s a great opportunity to show what they can do right now. That’s the way I look at it. It was their dream to get here.
"Well, here you are. Have at it.”
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.