BOSTON (CBS) — As they battle through an unusual glut of injuries, the Bruins desperately need Brad Marchand back in the lineup. But it appears that the left winger could have a chance to return on Friday against the Maple Leafs.
The Bruins official Twitter account posted a photo on Friday morning of Marchand carrying his equipment through the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, where the B’s kick off a home-and-home against the Leafs on Friday night. Marchand has missed the last two games with a concussion that he suffered on Nov. 4 against the Capitals.
Marchand is officially a game-time decision for Friday’s tilt in Toronto along with fourth-line winger Noel Acciari, according to head coach Bruce Cassidy. The Bruins announced on Thursday night that they sent Austin Czarnik down to Providence, ostensibly to clear room for either him or Marchand.
UPDATE: Cassidy confirmed that Marchand and Acciari will be back in the lineup on Friday against the Leafs, re-assuming their respective first line and fourth line roles.
On the Leafs’ side, they will also have a significant absence on Friday as center Auston Matthews is out with an upper body injury.
The Bruins’ photo only confirms that Marchand made the trip to Toronto with the team, after previous reports suggested he would not travel. It’s unlikely he went all the way to Toronto if he didn’t plan on playing. But even if he isn’t ready to return on Friday, it’s an encouraging sign that he could be back for the second game of the home-and-home series at TD Garden on Saturday.
This is the second time that Marchand has missed time with a concussion, last suffering one in October 2015. He also passed through the NHL’s concussion protocol last September during the league’s World Cup of Hockey, when he was playing for Team Canada.
Marchand has scored eight goals and 14 points in 12 games so far in the 2017-18 season.