Boston Bruins head coach announced today that Curtis Lazar will likely return to the lineup in tomorrow’s contest against the Florida Panthers. He also noted that if he doesn’t against Florida, he will play against the Carolina Hurricanes this Thursday. Therefore, the Bruins will be getting back the versatile bottom-six forward very soon.
Yet, Lazar’s injury could have been a lot worse. The 26-year-old confirmed to the media that he was very close to needing elbow surgery. He also stated that if he had done so, it would have kept him out of action until around the start of the playoffs. Therefore, his originally somewhat quiet upper-body injury was actually far more serious than fans were aware of.
Had Lazar been out for that long, it would have been a serious blow for the Bruins. Although he is not one of the Bruins’ stars, he is an important mainstay of their bottom-six and can kill penalties. He is also an integral piece because of the fact that he can play both center and on the wing. Thus, when other players get injured, he will be able to switch around the lineup if needed. Also, with the Bruins having plenty of new faces to their forward group this season, the possibility of him being swapped for chemistry reasons is there, too.
When Lazar was out for Boston, it’s important to note that Karson Kuhlman did his job well. He scored a goal in four games and simply played with a high degree of effort. However, even with this, having Lazar back is an upgrade the Bruins definitely need. If Lazar ended up being out for that long, the Bruins honestly may have even had to acquire a new right winger via trade or even free agency.
Lazar’s been a good addition for the Bruins since they acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres last season. In 17 regular season games as a Bruin, Lazar has two goals and four points. He also played ten games with the Bruins during the postseason and had an assist. It will be fun to see what he’s capable of doing in his first full season with the club.
With Boston already losing multiple forwards this season to injuries, it’s nice to hear that one is coming back far earlier than he could have. Bruin fans should show their appreciation when he returns to the Garden.