In addition to the three players removed from the NHL’s COVID list Wednesday, the Bruins could get an additional boost with another four players removed from the injury report and in action for Thursday’s meeting with the Islanders.
“[Jarred] Tinordi, [Trent] Frederic, and [Zach] Senyshyn will all go out for morning skate [on Thursday],” B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy said following a rare Wednesday night practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “They felt good today, [Tuukka] Rask included, and they will get through morning skate. We’ll make a decision [and it] will be basically their call after they discuss it with the medical [team].”
Senyshyn has missed the last four games due to an upper-body injury sustained in a Mar. 11 win over the Rangers, Tinordi missed last Thursday’s meeting in Buffalo after absorbing a heavy hit from the Penguins’ Brandon Tanev last Tuesday, and Frederic left Thursday’s win over the Sabres early after a blocked shot left him in some significant discomfort.
Frederic spent Wednesday’s practice on the left wing of the Black and Gold’s fourth line, Senyshyn split time with Karson Kuhlman as the right wing of a third line with Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle, and Tinordi was back on the left side of Boston’s third pairing opposite Steven Kampfer.
Rask, meanwhile, has been out of action since limping off the ice in the final moments of a Mar. 7 loss to the Devils.
All four players participated in Wednesday’s practice in full, and with regular sweaters, and their statuses seem more based on their own pain tolerance and comfort level than anything else, according to Cassidy.
“All of those guys technically are not held back through like a medical diagnosis,” said Cassidy. “It’s, you know, are they ready and do they feel good? It could be tomorrow, could be Saturday, but they’re all very close and could all play tomorrow.”
The same cannot be said for Brandon Carlo or Jeremy Lauzon, however, as Cassidy isn’t ready to throw either top-four defender back into his lineup just yet. For Carlo, who has been on the shelf with an upper-body injury since a Tom Wilson blow to the head on Mar. 5, that comes back to the fact that he’s still skating in a non-contact sweater. And for Lauzon, who has missed the last 12 games due to a fractured hand suffered in the team’s Lake Tahoe win over the Flyers, the Bruins want to see how he responds to a few more sessions before throwing him into the fire of the stretch run.
“For [Lauzon], it might be how is his strength in his battles? Puck-handling is going to take a little bit because he missed some time, wasn’t able to hold a stick, but is he able to at least battle to acceptable level?” Cassidy said. “That will probably be a determining factor for him. So, again, till he gets through another practice or two, it’s probably speculation.”
The Bruins enter Thursday’s contest with an 0-3-1 record against the Islanders this season.