The Bruins enjoyed the first of a few hard-earned days off today, with time to kill prior to the start of their second-round series against either the New York Islanders or the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With the players off, you know what that means: trot out the executives!
General manager Don Sweeney had a media availability today, offering updates on a number of different Bruins players.
Guys on the shelf for the Bruins include Jeremy Lauzon, Kevan Miller, Jakub Zboril, Ondrej Kase, and Steven Kampfer; there are varying prognoses for each of them.
For Lauzon and Zboril, the news is good.
“Our hope is that they’ll both be available for the next series,” said Sweeney. “We’ll probably have a better understanding Wednesday.”
Lauzon appeared to suffer a hand or arm injury when blocking a shot in Game 1; Connor Clifton stepped into the lineup in his place, and doesn’t appear to be ready to relinquish his grip on a roster spot.
Zboril is likely the 8th defenseman at this point, behind Clifton/Zboril and Jarred Tinordi; he has only played in two games since April 20.
For Miller, things are a bit more up in the air.
“Latest update [is that he’s] doing okay, still early in the recovery phase,” said Sweeney. “We’ll probably know as the week goes along how he progresses.”
Given the fact that it seems clear Miller suffered some kind of concussion in Game 4, it’s hard to believe he’ll be rushed back to full participation once practice resumes on Wednesday.
Sweeney also confirmed what most of us suspected about Ondrej Kase: he won’t be back this season.
“Ondrej has shut it down,” he said. “[He] will not be part of availability for us going forward in the playoffs.”
Not surprising, as throwing Kase into the mix in the second round of the playoffs was never going to be a good idea; still, it’s a tough break for Kase, who has never really been able to find his footing as a Bruin.
Kase will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins approach him: do you buy into his potential and sign him to a new deal, or cut bait and walk away?
Overall, these roster updates were mostly good news for the Bruins, aside from the expected Kase news.
The big question: if everyone’s healthy on defense, do you take Clifton out of the lineup?
He played excellent hockey after drawing back in, and it’s hard to see a reason why he’d be taken out.
Nice problem to have, I guess.