WASHINGTON — Here to face the Capitals again Thursday night, the Bruins were given a day for R&R following their 4-2 win Tuesday in Philadelphia, and the club offered no update on what made Charlie McAvoy an abrupt scratch prior to the faceoff with the Flyers.
McAvoy, their leading scorer on the backline, logged a robust 24:02 (team high), in Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Broad Streeters at the Garden. Coach Bruce Cassidy, in his late-Tuesday morning media scrum, didn’t hint that McAvoy would be scratched, noting only that Kevan Miller would be subbing in for Steve Kampfer.
But come game time, McAvoy was hors de combat and Kampfer was in for his 10th relief appearance of the season — matching his total games played last season with the Black and Gold.
McAvoy’s status per Cassidy: “Day-to-day…upper-body.”
McAvoy, 23, suffered no apparent injury Monday night, but NESN cameras showed him with various facial nicks as he made his way off the ice that night. Such nicks alone generally don’t keep anyone sidelined, not even the organ player on the ninth floor, but they sometimes can be the telltale marks of a heavier blow to the head or shoulder.
Cassidy is expected to provide an update here late Thursday morning regarding McAvoy, who tops the backliners for offensive production (4-18—22 in 35 games) and leads all skaters in average time on ice with 24:23.
If McAvoy were to be sidelined for any substantial time, it would increase the pressure on Don Sweeney to find blueline help ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline on Monday.
Devils deal Palmieri, Zajac to Isles
Kyle Palmieri, of the Smithtown, N.Y., Palmieris, headed home Wednesday evening, when the veteran Devils right winger was shipped to the Islanders with fellow NJ forward Travis Zajac of the Winnipeg, Manitoba, Zajacs.
Smithtown is about a 30 minute drive from the Isles home (Nassau Coliseum) in Uniondale.
The Devils retained 50 percent of the salary of both forwards, and in return received another pair of forwards, AJ Greer and Mason Jobst, as well as the Fish Sticks’ first-round pick in the 2021 draft (currently slated for July).
Greer, 24, who played two seasons at Boston University at the right end of Comm. Ave, was originally a Colorado draft pick. Other than 37 NHL games, the 6-foot-3-inch left winger has spent all of his pro career in the AHL.
Jobst, 27, a 2019 graduate from The Ohio State University, has never played in the NHL. He is in his second season at AHL Bridgeport.
The Bruins were among the 8-10 teams rumored to be sniffing around Palmieri, who was once a first-round pick of the Ducks. He is not big (5-11, 185 pounds), but has abundant moxie, and usually delivers around 50 points a year. The Bruins could have used his spunk.
Zajac, 35, is good for abut 40 points a season, and is a reliable faceoff guy. Combined, the average cap hit for both Palmieri and Zajac is just north of $5 million, but again, half of that remains on the Devils books. Both ex-Devils will be unrestrictred free agents this summer.
No telling who will be in net here for the Bruins vs the Caps. It’s likely Dan Vladar, provided veteran stopper Tuukka Rask has yet to recover from what is believed to be a lower back strain. If Rask is a go, Vladar is the probably backup, and Jeremy Swayman, stellar in his NHL debut in Philly, will return to the taxi squad or rejoin the Providence WannaBs. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, veteran backup Jaro Halak remained the lone Bruins player on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.