By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Still without the services of top-line winger David Pastrnak and with Marcus Johansson out of action due to a lung contusion, the Bruins saw their top-six forward group officially sliced in half on Thursday, as Jake DeBrusk was ruled out with a lower-body injury.
It was a seemingly massive blow, as the 22-year-old wing had been playing the best hockey of his pro career of late, with eight goals and 15 points in his last 10 games played.
But DeBrusk's Thursday absence is not cause for concern, according to B's coach Bruce Cassidy.
"He tried to skate yesterday and kind of had a tough time," Cassidy offered after a 4-3 victory over the Panthers. "This morning, we didn’t go on the ice — only a couple guys went on — so we were going to see today when he got to the rink how he was. It hadn’t progressed very well, so we weren’t going to push it."
???? @JoeyMacHockey reporting the #NHLBruins could be without Jake DeBrusk tonight - here is video of DeBrusk at Wednesday's practice - you could see something was nagging him #WBZ pic.twitter.com/7ZeDQkrCxO
— Joe Giza (@JoeGiza) March 7, 2019
And though he's been wrong before when giving timelines, Cassidy, who has done a masterful job of keeping the Bruins competitive (and victorious) no matter their injury situation this season, knows that DeBrusk will be OK.
"I’ve said this before this year, I don’t think it’s anything major," Cassidy said. "I don’t, and that’s our official reports from the doctors. This isn’t me just making crap up."
The sooner the better, all things considered, as DeBrusk's absence forced the Bruins to roll with a second line featuring Peter Cehlarik and Karson Kuhlman as David Krejci's wingers. And while the trio wasn't necessarily terrible in their outing, it just wasn't the same threat -- in terms of wing-chances and overall comfort -- as the DeBrusk-Krejci duo has been of late.
And sooner sounds likely, too.
"It may be a couple days," Cassidy said of a potential timeline back to action for No. 74. "He might be ready Saturday, it might be a week, but I don’t believe it’s anything noteworthy that’s going to keep him out for an extended period of time."
The Bruins are back at it Saturday night against the league-worst Ottawa Senators.