The Boston Bruins simply refuse to get healthy.
Down five defensemen, with winger Ondrej Kase missing for the last two months and still without a timeline, Sean Kuraly added to the COVID list, and as Tuukka Rask remains out of action due to an undisclosed injury, Boston’s 4-1 win over the Sabres on Thursday came with another loss from their on-ice roster.
The latest victim: Trent Frederic.
“He blocked a shot, lower body, late in the first and wasn’t feeling right,” B’s coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win. “The X-ray was negative, so that’s a positive. But I think that’s one we’re going to have to list as day-to-day for now, see how it goes.
“If it doesn’t get better the next couple of days and then you go to the next step, which is probably an MRI in Boston to see if there’s further damage than just maybe some some sort of bruise.”
And if this ‘day-to-day’ designation leads to a missed game, it’s unclear where the Bruins would go when it comes to his potential replacement. Anders Bjork may seem like the most natural fit given his experience as Boston’s fourth-line left wing (Frederic’s role at the time of his injury), but there’s also Chris Wagner and Jack Studnicka. Greg McKegg, who scored a goal as a Kuraly fill-in on Thursday, could also be an option for the Bruins. And Kuraly himself may be an option if his positive COVID test was indeed the B’s third false positive in the last two weeks.
One of the Black and Gold’s top surprises this season, Frederic is one of just five Boston skaters to appear in all 28 games this season, and has found offensive footing in recent weeks, with all four of his 2021 goals scored in the last 13 games.
The 6-foot-2 Frederic also leads the Bruins in penalties drawn (14), and ranks fourth among all B’s thumpers in hits (40).