Prior to heading down to Long Island, the Bruins practiced at Warrior Arena this morning, their last full tune-up before Game 3.
The big question: what’s up with Craig Smith?
The initial returns were good: Smith was a full participant in this morning’s practice, wearing his regular jersey.
After practice, Bruce Cassidy sounded an optimistic note:
“He looks a lot better,” said Cassidy in response to a question from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. “He made it through the entire practice, did a little work early, so that’s a positive. Tomorrow morning, [we’ll] see if there’s any residual effect. If not, then I assume he’ll be in the lineup.”
Cassidy added that Kevan Miller isn’t ready and that Jakub Zboril is getting closer, should the team need another defenseman down the line.
On Tuukka Rask, Cassidy said that he’s “fine.”
“Tuukka’s been ready to go every playoff game, so there’s no issue there,” he added.
Cassidy also stomped out any speculation about Jeremy Lauzon’s place in the lineup after the turnover that ended Game 2, saying that Lauzon is a “confident kid” and that he, like the team, is on to Game 3.
“He’s going to be like everyone else on our team,” Cassidy said. “He’s going to make some good ones, and other ones that could have been better. We’ll keep encouraging him, working with him. He’s a great kid...he’ll be in there tomorrow night, and hopefully [he] helps us win.”
Cassidy also confirmed, in response to a question by Matt Porter of the Boston Globe, that Jake DeBrusk will not be the guy coming out if Smith is ready.
The likely candidate to come out would be Karson Kuhlman, but who knows? Maybe Cassidy goes wild.