How does Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk plan to spend the team’s upcoming nine-day layoff?
“Chillin’ like a villain, my friend,’’ he said Monday.
DeBrusk will be among the contingent of players escaping Boston’s frostiness in favor of Puerto Rico’s sunshine and balmy temperatures. Joining him will be teammates Anders Bjork, Matt Grzelcyk, Sean Kuraly, and Charlie McAvoy.
The Bruins host the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday night, and won’t play again until Jan. 31 thanks to their “bye week’’ — a mandated five-day break — and the NHL’s All-Star Weekend. The extended stretch, which the league and the NHL Players Association first implemented in the 2016-17 season, gives players an opportunity to recharge — often in destinations a flight away.
Last year, Grzelcyk and Kuraly, among others, visited the Bahamas. Kuraly was disappointed by the “iffy’’ weather, though, so he vouched for the crew to venture a bit farther south in hopes of warmer conditions this time around. Aruba and Turks and Caicos were also in the mix.
“Hopefully, we see some sun,’’ said DeBrusk. “I’m a little pale.’’
Other Bruins in search of some extra Vitamin D include left wing Brad Marchand, who will be in Turks and Caicos with his family; defenseman John Moore, who will be in Hollywood, Fla., with his wife and two toddler daughters; and defenseman Brandon Carlo, who, at the request of his girlfriend, will be checking out Disney World for the first time.
“We’re going to go hang out with Mickey and Minnie and all those characters,’’ Carlo said. “It’ll be fun. I’m not really good at sitting on the beach for longer than a day, so that’s nice for me to be up and active.’’
Not all players will be heading south, however. With family still residing in Sillery, Quebec, forward Patrice Bergeron, his wife Stephanie, and their three children will be up there, subject to below-freezing temperatures most likely lower than those in Boston.
There was a chance that Bergeron would spend the weekend in St. Louis, as he was once again named to the All-Star “Last Men In’’ ballot, but fans ultimately voted for Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner to represent the Atlantic Division.
Forward David Pastrnak and coach Bruce Cassidy will be the only Bruins making the trip to the Enterprise Center. Goaltender Tuukka Rask also earned a spot on the roster, though he opted not to participate, then subsequently
suffered a concussion last Tuesday.
Regardless of where on the map they are, the Bruins recognize the value in taking some time off. Players will be sure to get in their workouts — shout-out to hotel and resort gyms — but rest is atop their minds, too.
“You have to stay in shape, obviously, but rest is something you need right now with the long year we had last year and the start right now,’’ said Bergeron.
“I think we need it more than ever,’’ added Marchand. “We’re not going to completely let loose, but we need that time away, the time to recover, relax, get our mind away from the game. I’m looking forward to it.’’
Krejci still iffy
Center David Krejci is a possibility for Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights, Cassidy said. Krejci, who hasn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury against Columbus last Tuesday, skated in a red noncontact jersey at practice. “He didn’t participate in the physical part of the practice,’’ Cassidy said. “We definitely had a harder-than-normal day. Him not being able to do that makes it more likely he wouldn’t play.’’ Krejci will give it a go during Tuesday’s morning skate before the team makes a decision . . . Rask also was spotted on the ice before practice, but Cassidy does not expect him to be ready Tuesday. “I’ve got to double-check on that, but that’s just my guess because of the nature of the injury,’’ Cassidy said. Rask was placed on injured reserve last Thursday . . . Defenseman Kevan Miller skated for 15 minutes Sunday, a positive development in his effort to return to the ice. “There’s step one,’’ Cassidy said. Miller, who has not played since fracturing his kneecap in April 2019, was at the practice facility Tuesday morning for off-ice workouts. Cassidy said he will find out Wednesday whether Miller will start skating every other day.