By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins will be without Karson Kuhlman for at least four weeks, general manager Don Sweeney confirmed Tuesday night.
“Karson Kuhlman suffered a hairline non-displaced fracture of his right tibia in the team’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, October 19,” Sweeney said in a release. “He will be re-evaluated in approximately four weeks.”
Injured on a shot off the foot in the first period of last Saturday’s overtime loss to the Maple Leafs, Kuhlman missed Tuesday’s head-to-head with the Maple Leafs, and was spotted in the press box on crutches and in a walking boot.
With Kuhlman out, the Bruins rolled a second line featuring Brett Ritchie to the right of Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle, David Backes skated to the right of a third line with Par Lindholm and Danton Heinen, and Anders Bjork drew into the NHL lineup for the first time this year as the team’s fourth-line left wing.
Speaking with reporters after Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Toronto, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t commit to a set lineup with Kuhlman out, but did discuss his options.
“We don’t play until Saturday, right, so we have some time to look at it,” Cassidy offered after the victory. “[Joakim] Nordstrom’s very close, kind of slots — we put Bjork in his spot tonight, but that’s kind of Nordy’s spot, he helps that line a lot. So we’ll see where Bjork fits best. I don’t think he hurt himself at all tonight. With Kuhlman out, you lose a bit of that motor, a younger guy, get on pucks, and that’s where Bjork was good tonight. That’s what we’re looking for. Can he sustain it, can he be strong on it? And he was. He didn’t hurt us defensively, so that’s a good thing and that bodes well for him, and we’ll see if we find a spot for him on Saturday. But it’s looking that way.”
Boston’s second-line right wing out of training camp, Kuhlman had been snake-bitten with the best of them prior to the injury, with zero goals and zero points despite 13 shots on goal in his eight-game run out of the gate.