Charlie McAvoy has had his share of scares this season. On Nov. 26, the rookie’s heart rate spiked. On March 3, his left knee buckled.
He hopes his run of bad luck is over.
“Went down and felt a little nervous,” McAvoy said on Thursday. “I never had any sort of knee problem. Little bit scared. Natural feelings whenever something feels off. Now I’m just fortunate it wasn’t anything more severe.”
McAvoy was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his left knee. He will be reevaluated in four weeks. Whether McAvoy will be ready for the playoffs is unknown.
“My goal’s to get back as soon as I can, as fast as possible,” McAvoy said. “That being said, not putting myself at risk to come back early to potentially hurt it again. That wouldn’t do well for me or the team. No one really wins if that’s the scenario. But we’re working really hard here. We have a good game plan as to the necessary steps to get back. I am confident that I’ll be back. My ultimate goal would be back for regular-season games so I can give myself an opportunity to get up to pace and find my game a bit before the playoffs. But whatever happens, there’ll be a reason behind it. Just stay positive.”
McAvoy will work out off the ice to stay fit. On Thursday, he was able to walk through the dressing room following his workout without any support for his knee. McAvoy watched the 3-2 win over the Flyers from the press box while wearing a brace.
Brandon Carlo will remain in McAvoy’s spot as Zdeno Chara’s right-hand man on the first pairing. Matt Grzelcyk manned McAvoy’s position on the point on the second power-play unit.
Last year, McAvoy appeared in four AHL games before injuries accelerated his NHL debut. With Carlo and Torey Krug unavailable, the Bruins put McAvoy in uniform for Game 1 of the playoffs against Ottawa.
“I lean on that a lot,” McAvoy said of his seamless NHL entry. “What an experience that was. It’s something I’m looking forward to since after the All-Star break here and that second half, thinking about the position we’re in. We’re playing for a lot. We’re playing for that 1-seed and try and sneak up on Tampa. I won’t be part of it for a little bit. But I have complete faith in guys to keep playing hockey. We’ve got a really deep team.
“I think we’ll be in a good position when it comes. When it does come, I can’t wait. It’s the funnest time of the year. It’s the best time of the year. The energy level is through the roof.”
David Backes is a member of the NHL’s competition committee. Such membership prompts Backes to watch the NHL Department of Player Safety’s explanatory videos following each suspension.
Backes does not believe he has much company. So in that way, he does not believe the videos are maximized as deterrents to change player behavior.
“As far as other players viewing the video and influencing them, I honestly don’t know how many guys do that,” Backes said. “I’m one that, being on the competition committee and helping change and amend — make the game faster, stronger, better, safer for everyone — I do watch a lot of them to see what’s being critiqued. But I don’t think that’s the majority of guys.”
Nick Holden was the healthy scratch against Philadelphia, not because he was undeserving of ice time. Holden has been dependable on both sides and on the No. 2 power-play unit.
By sitting Holden, Bruce Cassidy was able to get Adam McQuaid back in uniform after four straight scratches.
“We’re trying to keep everyone involved,” the Bruins coach said. “I liked Nick’s game the other night. He’s done a good job for us. Bigger team in Philadelphia, I think it’s a good matchup and Adam’s sat a few games, so he’ll go back in.”
McQuaid, who has a history of hard-luck injuries, left Thursday’s morning skate early after taking a deflected puck to the face off Backes’s stick.
“I think it was Backs who initiated it, so we might add two games to it,” Cassidy cracked of Backes’s suspension.
David Krejci is usually the No. 2 center. But with the game tied and the Bruins sniffing for the winner, Cassidy promoted Krejci to the first line between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak late in the third period. The move worked. Krejci was on the ice for Marchand’s winner . . . Danton Heinen started the game as the third-line left wing. In the second period, Heinen switched places with Jake DeBrusk. Heinen nearly set up Rick Nash for a goal by wheeling around the net, shielding the puck from Radko Gudas, and feeding a pass to his linemate. Nash could not bury his chance . . . The Bruins won only 22 of 60 faceoffs. TommyWingels went 1 for 8. “I think we’re getting beat up a little bit,” Cassidy said. “You don’t want to keep putting one guy out in your end the whole game. We’ve tried to avoid that with [Patrice Bergeron] as well.”
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