Boston Bruins Defenseman Charlie McAvoy’s Lineup Spot Not Solidified as NHL Debut Approaches
When Charlie McAvoy takes to the ice for his first NHL shift Wednesday, he’ll do so alongside Kevan Miller. Though he’ll be starting alongside Miller, he may not finish there, however. Boston Bruins’ interim head coach Bruce Cassidy made that known ahead of his team’s first game against the Ottawa Senators. As the game goes on, the team will focus on matchups against the Senators. Though McAvoy may be playing in his first NHL game Wednesday, he still has the highest ceiling of any Bruins defender that will dress Wednesday.
Throughout his first few practices, McAvoy saw himself practicing on various pairings. Whether it was alongside John-Michael Liles, Zdeno Chara or now Kevan Miller, the Bruin are preparing for everything. The team will be without 20-year-old Brandon Carlo for the first game of the playoffs and are expected to be without Torey Krug for the entire first round. With the need for a solid two-way defenseman at an all-time high, McAvoy was signed to play a specific role. He’ll need to learn quickly, but that isn’t unheard of for the Bruins – especially in the playoffs.
Torey Krug’s Impact
Many will remember Torey Krug‘s debut in the NHL. His first set of games came in the second round of the 2013 playoffs against the New York Rangers. Krug stepped up big for the Bruins, scoring four goals in his first five games.
Krug has since developed into a legitimate top-four option for the Bruins over the years. His offensive output is still elite, though his goal scoring has dropped. Playing a more well-rounded game, however, has worked well for Krug who now sits as a solidified piece in the Bruins defense.
McAvoy won’t be expected to play the same way Krug does. He likely won’t score four goals in his first five games. He’ll make mistakes. But between those mistakes, he’s also likely to flash brilliant intelligence, smooth skating, elite-level vision and slick hands. Stepping up in big games is nothing new for McAvoy who has shined with the Boston University Terrier and the United States National team at the World Junior championships.
Until he takes the ice for the first time, nobody will no how well McAvoy’s game will translate to the NHL game. Still, the prospects are bright for what the 19-year-old can do. With a very capable two-way game and a clutch trait being displayed at every level he’s played at, McAvoy will look to produce as advertised as early as he can.
Wherever McAvoy lines up in the Bruins’ lineup Wednesday, he’s expected to simply play his game. Making a debut during the postseason is never easy. Still, McAvoy’s ceiling is so high that he’s being given the opportunity. It’s playoff time in Boston, and McAvoy will get a chance to experience in first hand.