According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, the Bruins were without defensemen Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk at Friday’s practice, further compounding Boston’s injury woes.
Boychuk has been out of the Bruins lineup since absorbing a mammoth hit from Ottawa’s Chris Neil on Saturday. The 28-year-old was diagnosed with a concussion and is listed as day-to-day — as for when he’ll return to the lineup, Boychuk said he’d prefer to take some hits before playing, but could be cleared for game action without participating in a full practice.
Ference suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime win over New Jersey. Shockingly, the organization was tight-lipped about the nature of his ailment, though it’s believed Ference suffered the injury after taking a big hit from Devils forward Alexei Ponikarovsky.
In light of these two developments, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli’s trade deadline acquisitions of defensemen Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon look like savvy pickups.
“What I’ve seen over my time in hockey is defensemen can drop like flies. They really can,’’ Chiarelli told The Globe. “You can never have enough defensemen. We felt we wanted to have eight NHL defensemen in the mix. That was the blueprint I was working on.’’
Zanon made his Bruins debut on Thursday against New Jersey and is expected to remain in the lineup on Saturday against the Islanders. If Ference is unavailable, Mottau would draw back in.