Bruins must make playoff push without Brandon Carlo

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Even when it seems like the Boston Bruins are getting healthy at the right time, they still have to shake off some serious injury woes.

The Bruins announced that defenseman Brandon Carlo is expected to miss three-to-four months recovering from a left ankle fracture, ruling him out for the playoffs. Carlo, 21, is expected to undergo surgery later this week.

Carlo suffered that pretty grisly-looking injury during this week’s 5-1 win against the Florida Panthers, as you can see in the video above this post’s headline.

With zero goals and six assists in 76 games this season, the Bruins won’t be missing Carlo’s offense. Instead, he’s the sort of player the team would lean on in key defensive situations during what they’re hoping will be a long postseason push.

[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on the networks of NBC]

Carlo averages 2:46 penalty kill time on ice per game, second on the Bruins behind Zdeno Chara‘s fairly ridiculous 3:41 average. Overall, Carlo averaged 19:14 TOI per night.

The good news is that Charlie McAvoy is back in the mix for the Bruins defense, possibly in time to shake off the rust. Still, it feels like one step forward, two steps back when it comes to this team actually being at full-strength.

At least they’re used to it?

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.