Boston Bruins: Two players back in and one player out

Boston Bruins, Nick Ritchie #21 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Nick Ritchie #21 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

In what is a seemingly common theme for the Boston Bruins, they welcomed two players back to practice only to lose another.

The Boston Bruins were no doubt delighted to welcome defenseman Charlie McAvoy back into the fold for their team practice, but would’ve been less pleased about the departure of forward, Nick Ritchie.

Nick Ritchie only arrived shortly prior to the season being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus it’s vital, much like fellow late arrival Ondrej Kase, that he gets as much ice-time with his new(ish) teammates.

Joakim Nordstrom also was back on the ice having previously missed half the Boston Bruins’ most recent practices. He will no doubt be raring to go in his role on the fourth line.

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Of course, these players being ‘unfit to play’ does present with it certain oppurtunities for others to step up and stake a claim at a roster spot for themselves.

Anders Bjork had already seemingly secured his spot prior to the season pause, but has training camp has all but guaranteed it.

Jack Studnicka stands to have a lot to gain with the ongoing absence of David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase; he slotted in on David Krejci‘s wing this practice session and didn’t look wholly out-of-place.

The shuffling of the lines saw Karson Kuhlman and Sean Kuraly paired with Charlie Coyle; whereas one of the spots in that line has typically been given over to Nick Ritchie.

Likewise on defense, Urho Vaakanainen‘s time partnering Zdeno Chara was short-lived with the return of McAvoy to the Boston Bruins’ top defensive pairing.

Nick Ritchie’s absence doesn’t exactly upset fans in the same way that Pastrnak or McAvoy’s absences, but it’s still a case of the team not being at full-strength and players not all getting the same level of on-ice conditioning in before game-time.

With the team moving to Toronto in the upcoming days, the Boston Bruins have to be keeping their fingers crossed that they can welcome back their full cohort. Heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs missing your leading goalscorer among others, is far from ideal.

dark. Next. Ondrej Kase has an uphill battle on his hands

If the trend of two returning and one departing continues, the Boston Bruins should eventually have a full squad. Kind of. Will it be too late though?