Bruins Battling Bangs and Bugs

The list of ailing players for the Boston Bruins continues to grow as the Bruins are battling bangs and bugs.

When the Bruins hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden on Saturday, before heading out on a four-city road trip, the injury list was short at the beginning of the evening as Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk were listed as day-to-day, and sat out the game.

However, after what can only be described as a hockey game gone out of control, by the end of the evening the Bruins would be down Loui Ericksson (concussion), Chris Kelly (broken ankle) and

Shawn Thornton
Thornton awaits hearing on Friday (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Shawn Thornton (suspended, awaiting in-person hearing on Friday, December 13).

Call-ups from the Providence Bruins were made and forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser found themselves heading to Toronto to play with the Bruins against the Maple Leafs just one day later (and with little sleep on their parts).

However that was far from the end of the injuries. During Sunday’s game a clean hit on Dougie Hamilton resulted in his experiencing a lower-body injury for which he was sent back to Boston for examination.

And with just a three minutes left in the third, it looked like the Bruins would lose yet another defenseman when Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf boarded Kevan Miller, who had earlier that game scored his first NHL goal, and Miller was slow to get up, shaking his head as though he had had his bell rung.

The Bruins traveled to Calgary and it was made known that at least four of the players were suffering from the flu, and had in fact played against the Leafs while having the flu. And it was clear as they played the Calgary Flames that high energy was something that was simply not an option on the Bruins bench, though they eventually pulled out a win, in large part because of the impressive goal tending of Tuukka Rask.

Today the fourth line winger Daniel Paille was sent back to Boston to undergo additional evaluation in regard to an upper-body injury that he apparently got as a result of play against the Leafs on Sunday.  This resulted in yet another call up from Providence, and Nick Johnson joined the team to play against the Flames.

Now in Edmonton, the team got a chance to catch up with former team mate Andrew Ference, who is now captain of the Edmonton Oilers, whom the Bruins will play on Thursday night. At the morning’s skate, Tuukka Rask was a noticeable no-show. Per the Bruins’ Twitter account it appears that the Rask isn’t just about catching pucks – he has also caught the flu that the team has been sharing..

Fortunately for their ailing and depleted defensive lines, Boychuk was back in against Calgary and McQuaid appears to be making progress – skating by himself today.

It is times like this where the Bruins find themselves blessed with riches, in that they have such depth in their AHL affiliate that they have been able to substitute players and still continue to pull out wins, even if they could more accurately be described as “steals.”