Things are beginning to get a little uncomfortable on the backend for the Boston Bruins.
Already without Kevan Miller and John Moore to begin their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins lost both Torey Krug and Connor Clifton in Saturday’s Game 2 victory, slicing their already-thin defense corps yet again.
It’s left the Bruins in a bind that’s come with Jakub Zboril recalled from Providence and on a flight to Toronto with the rest of the Black and Gold’s NHL group as a precautionary measure for Monday’s Game 3.
“Zboril came up, will travel [to Toronto],” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed Sunday. “Until we get on the ice tomorrow morning for pregame skate and see these defensemen, we have to take precautionary measures.”
It’s scary if only because Zboril has appeared in just two NHL games to date. A first-round pick by the Bruins back in 2015, the 22-year-old Zboril was anything but spectacular in that two-game cameo back in November, too, looking a little bit shocked by the pace and moment in front of him, and with under 11 minutes of deployment in each showing.
The Czech-born defender had four goals and 19 points in 56 AHL games this season.
Behind Steven Kampfer on the team’s depth chart, Zboril is by all means a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ option for the Bruins if they are down multiple defensemen for Game 3. The good news is that the Bruins may not even need Zboril, though, as first-year talent Urho Vaakanainen, who has been dealing with an illness, was in Providence’s lineup Sunday.
But before you prep for Vaakanainen time, it’s worth mentioning that the Finnish defenseman has not appeared in an NHL contest since December, and that he’s played just twice in the last month due to various injuries. Jeremy Lauzon, who played in Boston’s regular season finale, has also been dealing with an injury, and missed the entire weekend slate for the P-Bruins.
The Bruins also appear to still have some sort of hope that Moore, who has been out of commission since Mar. 25 but was once again on the ice at Warrior Ice Arena on Sunday, could maybe rejoin the team should push come to shove.
“Until they’re with the team, it’s hard to say they’ll go into the lineup,” Cassidy said of Moore (and bottom-sixer Sean Kuraly). “That’s typically the protocol in-season. I don’t think we’ll see them tomorrow night in Toronto.”
The Bruins and Maple Leafs are currently tied 1-1 in their seven-game series.