Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy needs to get a good practice under his belt if he’s to play to in Tuesday’s 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy explained Sunday.
“If he doesn’t practice [Monday], it doesn’t look good,” Cassidy said of McAvoy’s availability.
Injured on a blocked shot in last Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Hurricanes, McAvoy has missed the last two games to injury, and was placed on the injured reserved retroactive to last week. That made the New Year’s Day outdoor meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks a projected return date for the 21-year-old defender in what has been an injury-riddled campaign to date.
Active for the first seven games of the season, McAvoy would tell to the Bruins he didn’t feel well following an Oct. 18 loss to the Oilers and miss the following 20 games with a concussion. Returning to action on Dec. 6 against the Lightning, McAvoy would suit up for another 10 games, recording five assists before this most recent setback.
With McAvoy out, the Bruins have slotted Matt Grzelcyk to Zdeno Chara’s right on Boston’s top pairing.
Elsewhere on the roster, the Bruins believe Brad Marchand will be ready to go following a good practice on Sunday, while Cassidy has yet to name his starting goaltender for the matinee affair against the Blackhawks.
This will be the first time the Bruins partake in a Winter Classic as the road team. Overall, they are 1-1 in the NHL’s annual tradition, with a win over the Flyers at Fenway Park in 2010, and loss to the Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in 2016.