Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 02: Jake DeBrusk #74 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

  • Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk suffered multiple injuries in the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park, the Bruins confirmed in a release Thursday morning. 

    In addition to the obvious left leg injury DeBrusk is dealing with after he was spotted with a walking boot following Monday’s win over the Penguins, the 26-year-old DeBrusk is also hampered by a hand injury, according to the team. 

    It’s all enough for Don Sweeney and the Bruins to tag DeBrusk with an expected recovery timeline of four weeks, and place the top-line winger on the long-term injured reserve.

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  • The obvious positive within the timeline announced is that four weeks is better than six to eight weeks, which is the typical expected recovery timeline of a broken fibula, which many have reported (myself included) DeBrusk suffered in Monday’s victory. A four-week timeline would seemingly indicate that DeBrusk and the Bruins ‘lucked out’ with any sort of broken bone. 

    And when it comes to DeBrusk, the shorter the absence, the better for the Bruins, as DeBrusk has been one of the better Black and Gold skaters this season. His 16 goals rank second among all Bruins, while his 30 points are tied for the third-most on the team. 

    DeBrusk has also regained his clutch scoring gene, with 12 game-winning goals since the start of last year, which ranks as the ninth-most in all of hockey.

  • With DeBrusk out, the Bruins will roll with a top-six forward grouping that features David Pastrnak to the right of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Boston’s top line, while Taylor Hall and Pavel Zacha will skate on David Krejci’s wings on the second line. 

    The trickle-down effect of that grouping will leave Jim Montgomery with a third line that’s projected to go ‘heavy’ with Charlie Coyle between Nick Foligno and Trent Frederic.

  • Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period of the 2023 Winter Classic ice hockey game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 2, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period of the 2023 Winter Classic ice hockey game at Fenway Park. (Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

  • The problem for the Bruins, however, is that with DeBrusk and his $4 million cap hit placed on long-term injured reserve, the Bruins are no longer able to accrue deadline cap space because they are in LTIR.

    Even with DeBrusk out of action, it’s fair to wonder if this ramps up the Bruins’ attempts to move someone like Craig Smith ($3.1 million, place on waivers last month) or Mike Reilly ($3 million, currently in the AHL) to get out of the LTIR and accrue more deadline space for a potential big move at the 2023 trade deadline.

    The Bruins begin a three-game California swing Thursday night in Los Angeles.

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