Type to search

  • Matthew Poitras staying, Charlie McAvoy banned and callups await

    Tim Rosenthal October 31, 2023

    The Boston Bruins returned to Brighton on Tuesday for an optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena. But the news items from the 24 hours hardly resembled the on-ice workload for the day.

    Jim Montgomery began the day with a bang, confirming that Matthew Poitras will remain in Boston after the 2022 second-round selection played in his ninth career game during Boston’s gutsy overtime win over the Florida Panthers.

    “He’s sticking around,” Montgomery told reporters. “He earned it. I think we’re comfortable with him.”

    And frankly, the Bruins need Poitras’ skillset and potential.

    The now former Guelph centerman established a comfort level in the middle of Boston’s lineup since training camp. His nine-game audition resulted in three goals, two assists, a stretch of ups and downs and some early memorable moments, including notching the tying and go-ahead markers in Anaheim and adding another tally against Connor Bedard and the Blackhawks to cap off Boston’s four-game road trip.

    Surely, Poitras will encounter more roadblocks similar to the first one he faced in San Jose a couple of weeks ago. He could also use improvements at the dot, sporting just a 42 percent success rate on faceoffs.

    Yet, Poitras hasn’t shied away from driving to the front of the net despite his 5-foot-11 frame. Between his poise and his playmaking traits, Poitras earned his role with the big club.

    “There’s still no guarantees here the rest of the year,” Montgomery said. “But we feel the way that he’s progressed that for the time being, he’s going to be a Bruin. He’s helping us win hockey games.”

    With the back end encountering some turmoil of late, the Bruins may need to ask more out of Poitras entering his 10th game of his career.

    McAvoy will sit for four games.

    Dimmer news awaited the Bruins after the NHL Player Safety Department confirmed that Charlie McAvoy would have a phone hearing on Tuesday.

    McAvoy earned a match penalty after delivering an elbow to the head of Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson midway through the third period of a 2-2 game. The Bruins killed off Florida’s five-minute opportunity with the man advantage, persevering with four defensemen through the rest of the third period and overtime.

    Ekman-Larsson did not return to Monday’s contest. And hours after the hearing, the league handed McAvoy a four-game ban.

    McAvoy only had one previous encounter with Player Safety in his career. 

    The Long Island product earned a one-game suspension during the 2019 Eastern Conference Final against Carolina following his hit to the head of former Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson in Game 6 of Boston’s second-round series with Columbus.

    Ironically, McAvoy’s first game back from suspension will likely come against Anderson’s current team, the Montreal Canadiens, a week from Saturday. Until then, Boston’s back end will face a tough four-game slate without McAvoy, beginning with Thursday’s matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Lohrei leads list of potential callups

    Grzelcyk’s injury alone would’ve prompted a reinforcement from Providence. But without their top pair, the Baby B’s will likely promote a few of their blue-liners to the big club.

    Following an impressive preseason, Mason Lohrei, one of Boston’s top prospects, remains a prime candidate to make his first trip up I-95. The Bruins wanted Lohrei to continue his development in Providence in a top-pairing role, and the former Ohio State Buckeye picked up where he left off, logging over 20 minutes a night and serving as the quarterback on the top power-play unit.

    Lohrei notched a pair of assists in Providence’s weekend series with Springfield to extend his point streak to three straight games. He notched a quartet of helpers through seven games during the first month of his de facto rookie season at the AHL level.

    “Good, I think he had a really good weekend,” Montgomery said to the press of Lohrei. “We’re excited about the player because of what he did in camp.”

    Lohrei spent part of his camp skating with McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. Assuming they keep Lohrei with Carlo, the Bruins will face another dilemma within their other defensive pairings.

    Another trio of candidates, including Jakub Zboril, Ian Mitchell and Parker Wotherspoon, all have NHL experience. Mitchell appeared in two games before the Bruins placed him on waivers for purposes of an AHL assignment.

    Given that Mitchell is the lone right-shot blue-liner of the three, the Bruins would likely slot the 24-year-old with either Hampus Lindholm or Derek Forbort while McAvoy serves his ban.

    Facebook Comments
    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


    You Might also Like

    Leave a Comment