Fresh off downing the Buffalo Sabres for their fourth straight victory, the Boston Bruins eagerly returned to Warrior Ice Arena for practice Monday morning.
It didn’t take long for more good news to come Boston’s way.
Charlie McAvoy skated on his own for a brief stint before the Bruins took to the ice. He is one of Boston’s most talented defensemen but has suited up in just 17 games this season — including the last five with a lower-body injury. Though he’s still a little ways away from returning to the lineup, McAvoy’s first skate since Dec. 23 is a step forward for the Bruins and the former Boston University standout.
The 2016 first round pick exited the Brighton ice surface before the full team practice on Monday. But he’s progressing well and could rejoin his teammates as early as Tuesday according to Bruce Cassidy.
“He was out there skating today, felt good. He’ll get with the trainers tomorrow morning and we’ll see if they’re going to move him into our group,” the third-year Boston bench boss said about McAvoy’s timeline. “We’ll see how he responds in the morning, that’ll be the next step. I would think that if Charlie comes tomorrow morning and they’re no setbacks that he’ll come practice with us. He won’t play tomorrow [against Minnesota.]”
McAvoy’s return comes hours after a report from The Boston Globe of the youngster being called out by his teammates for being tardy to a few team functions — namely a special teams meeting and a team bus following a game.
But the issue is apparently minor enough where the Bruins are keeping the situation in-house.
“I think a lot of young kids go through that. It kind of surprised me this morning, because Charlie, like in team functions – I don’t ever know if he’s ever been late to our stuff,” Cassidy added. “I asked Zee [Zdeno Chara] about that. Sometimes they have organized workouts on the road if they have the day off. So maybe he came in late to one of those once? I don’t know. I don’t know of Charlie ever being late on my watch.”
Tardy or not, McAvoy’s return to the lineup seems imminent at this point. His addition will certainly give Boston another boost as it continues its climb up the Atlantic Division standings.
The Bruins will look to make it five consecutive wins — for the first time this season — as they host the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night at TD Garden in the first meeting between the two sides in 2018-19.
Matt is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in sports journalism and a minor in business. He currently reports on the Boston Bruins and writes featured stories and game recaps for both Bruins Daily and Boston.com
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