Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said late Saturday night that he did not expect Nick Foligno, whose worknight ended midway through the first period in Tampa, to be healed up in time from his lower-body injury to face the Capitals Monday night. The club held an optional workout in Tampa Sunday prior to the flight north, and it remained unclear if Foligno went to DC or returned to Boston for further medical evaluation on the blow he suffered to his left leg. If Jake DeBrusk is clear to resume play after his COVID quarantine, noted Cassidy, he might be able to fill Foligno’s roster spot, possibly plug directly into left wing on the Charlie Coyle-Oskar Steen No. 3 combination.
Bruins and Penguins share wild-card lead
Following Saturday night’s action, the Penguins (.662) and Bruins (.613) were the leaders of the pack among the Eastern wild-card candidates. None of the other candidates was above .500. Now 18-11-2, the Bruins now have a season-best five more wins than losses for only the second time this season. The Penguins, 20-9-5, have only six more wins than losses.
Rask could re-sign Monday and play this week
Tuukka Rask, yet to play a tuneup game in the minors, could re-sign with the Bruins as early as Monday, and possibly start one of the upcoming home games vs. Montreal (Wed.) or Philly (Thurs) or Nashville (Saturday). The Bruins then would reassign rookie Jeremy Swayman to AHL Providence or keep him on the varsity’s taxi squad. “We have three home games next week, and I assume that’s still the timeline,” said Cassidy. “But [Rask] has not had any live action, and I assume that will be one point of discussion.” …Chairman of the Boards Patrice Bergeron came out of Saturday with a 63.8 percentage win rate at the faceoff dot thus far this season, best among the league’s workhorses. Next in line: Philly’s Claude Giroux and Toronto’s John Tavares, each at 61.3 … Charlie McAvoy, out the last two games with a lower body injury, and related unspecified swelling, is expected back in the lineup to face the Caps … Urho Vaakanaien became the 10th defenseman to dress this season for the Bruins. He logged an efficient 16:06 TOI, but likely would be bumped back to the taxi squad if McAvoy returns … As of Sunday morning, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin’s 24 goals ranked only second to Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (26). The 36-year-old A.O. is but a gray whisker off pace for what would be his ninth season of 50 or more goals. We marvel here, and rightly so, over the accomplishments of Bergeron, born 55 days ahead of Ovechkin, but no NHLer Ovie’s age ever has remained such a goal-scoring threat. Bobby Hull was still a 50-plus force at 36, and beyond, but those were his days with WHA Winnipeg. His last time potting 50 in the NHL came at age 33 with the ‘71-’72 Hawks, the season before he left for Winnipeg dough.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at email@example.com.