Dennis Seidenberg missed the majority of Tuesday night's game against the New York Rangers; after one shift, he left the game and didn't return due to injury. Later in the game, Matt Bartkowski appeared to suffer an injury, and although he finished the game, he seemed to be struggling through pain.
Adam McQuaid is "day-to-day" with his lower body injury, but let's assume that he isn't ready to go by Thursday, and that Seidenberg misses at least Thursday as well. That means that at least one defenseman needs to be called up form Providence.
Now it's my favorite and most futile game to play: call up speculation!!!!
Here are the Bruins options on defense currently in Providence:
That seems like a short list, which it is.
- Ben Youds is not on an NHL contract, so not eligible to be called up.
- Zach Trotman has not played since October 27 due to a hand injury. As of last weekend, his hand was no longer in a cast, but I'm not sure of his status. Either way, he hasn't played in a while. If you recall, he played with Zdeno Chara in training camp for a little while, but was sent back to Providence for further development in his second pro year.
- Joe Morrow left Sunday's game after crashing hard into the net. He clearly suffered a bad left arm/shoulder injury, and has been listed as "day-to-day" with an upper body injury. Which is a shame, because he was really heating up.
So what of the defensemen that are available? Mike Moore is the only player from the list of five available defensemen that has NHL experience. In the 2010-11 season, he played six games with the San Jose Sharks, and had one goal. He is the current P-Bruins captain (not that it is relevant, just sayin'.)
The obvious choice seems to be Kevan Miller. He was the last player cut from camp. He went with the team to the Vermont for the annual pre-season team-building exercises. He was then sent down to Providence, but he was included in the Vermont trip presumably to benefit from said team-building experiences. That leaves the impression he is the top on the list of defensive callups.
Miller is in his third pro season after signing with the Bruins out of the University of Vermont and getting a one-year extension over the summer. With last year's top playing defensemen like Bartkowski and Torey Krug gone, Miller has become the top defenseman for Providence. However, Providence has struggled all season with defense in general, and no individual defenseman on the team is exempt from the problems the team is facing in their own end.
Miller gave up a bad breakaway on Sunday in the overtime loss to the Portland Pirates. After the team was reminded repeatedly about the Pirates tendency to spring for breakaways in tied games, Miller still made the mistake of giving one up in overtime. He took a penalty on the ensuing breakaway, and the Pirates won the game on the power play with Miller in the box.
David Warsofsky made the team out of training camp when the lockout ended last season, but didn't play in a single game before being sent back down to Providence. This season, he's been slowly working at getting his shots from the point to the net, and while he has a ridiculously high shot tally, he has no goals, but he does have six assists in 15 games. His +/- isn't terrible, either; before last weekend, it was the best in the league.
Warsofsky and Miller are presumably the top two candidates. Casto and Cross are in and out of the lineup as healthy scratches, still working to develop their games.
I would list the likelihood of callups in the order of Miller, Warsofsky, then perhaps Moore. They may not call anyone up, but regardless, I'm very curious to see what happens if a callup is indeed required.