TAMPA — The only thing left for the Bruins to play for is second place in the Atlantic Division. All is trending upward for the Black and Gold hosting the Maple Leafs in Round 1 in roughly two weeks time. But getting a clean bill of health before that isn’t a bad thing either.
And they took a step in that direction on Sunday — less than 24 hours after clinching their third straight postseason appearance in Sunrise — when Marcus Johanson (lung contusion) and Torey Krug (concussion) joined their fellow teammates for practice at Ice Sports Forum.
Certainly an encouraging day for Bruce Cassidy’s bunch, who won’t have Sean Kuraly (fractured right hand) for the next four weeks. Yet, they obviously aren’t out of the woods yet.
Krug, for one, practiced in a gold no-contact sweater on Sunday. The former Michigan State Spartan will miss his sixth straight game on Monday night.
Johansson, on the other end, looked comfortable taking contact throughout the nearly 40-minute on-ice session at the Bolts’ practice facility. The veteran will likely skate with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci on the second line assuming he’s good to go for the 7:30 p.m. puck drop.
“He’ll probably be a game-time decision for tomorrow,” Cassiday said about Johansson. “We’ll see how he feels in the morning.”
Johansson should feel just fine by game time if Sunday was anything to go by. Well, at least he’ll feel better than he did when Michal Ferland delivered a bone-jarring hit during the Bruins-Hurricanes tilt back on March 5.
The former Devils and Capitals forward played in four games since coming over to Boston. Monday marks the one-month anniversary of Johansson’s arrival on Deadline Day.
Yet the Swede doesn’t see an issue getting reacclimated to his new climate upon his return.
“I don’t think [it’s an issue],” Johansson said. “I think you watch every game and you know the systems, and you know everything. So I don’t think that that will be an issue. I’m just happy to be out there with the guys and getting back into the groove of things.”
The Bruins, themselves, are in quite the groove as they carry a four-game win streak in a potential second-round preview with Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kurcherov and company. Getting at least one of their injured players back can only help even against a Bolts squad that has nothing to play for upon clinching the best record in the league.
Kevan Miller and Matt Grzelcyk — both nursing upper-body ailments — skated with team trainer Kim Brandvold following practice. Neither will lace up the skates on Monday.
Walpole’s own Chris Wagner took a maintenance day on Sunday. Cassidy expects him to suit up in his usual bottom-six role at Amalie Arena.
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