By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The injury-bug that’s knocked the Bruins’ Ondrej Kase and Matt Grzelcyk out of action made its way to Jake DeBrusk on Tuesday night, as the B’s found themselves down DeBrusk following the first period of their 3-2 overtime win over the Penguins.
“Lower-body [injury],” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game when asked for an update on DeBrusk. “I’ll call him day-to-day because I don’t know anything else.”
It’s unclear just how DeBrusk, who has spent the last four games as Boston’s top-line right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, was injured. DeBrusk did take a hip check from Penguins captain Sidney Crosby early in the first period, and that’d certainly make sense with the “lower body” aspect of his ailment, but he did finish that shift and log another two before the period’s end.
With DeBrusk out, the Bruins leaned heavily on Craig Smith as DeBrusk’s replacement on the first line, and Smith recorded both the game-winning goal and a season-high 17:37 of time on ice. Anders Bjork also benefitted from DeBrusk’s departure, and set a season-high in both hits (three) and action, with 14:36 of ice-time.
And if DeBrusk is unable to go for Thursday’s rematch, the Bruins’ options are certainly there, but seemingly vary based on the severity of DeBrusk’s injury.
With Kase still out (there’s still no timetable on his return) and David Pastrnak looking unlikely for Thursday, a short-term fix would likely lead the Bruins to make a call to their taxi squad, where left-shot forwards Greg McKegg and Par Lindholm are currently skating. Cassidy jumped out ahead and noted that neither player would be considered an option to play right wing, however, which would seemingly open the door for some internal maneuvering.
“It might mean moving Anders back over there or it might mean Charlie Coyle [moves to right wing] and we move someone else into the middle,” Cassidy offered. “That’s just off the top of my head.”
The Bruins could also make a call to the options belong their taxi squad options if necessary.
“We could make another roster move,” said Cassidy. “[Karson] Kuhlman was here and has played here in the past, is a right winger. [Zach] Senyshyn has played in the past and I guess could be option if you’re looking at strictly a right wing.”
DeBrusk has one assist and nine shots on goal through the first six games of the 2021 season.