CALGARY, Alberta — The Bruins were missing four players at practice today after arriving in Calgary from Toronto, as the flu bug struck the team. Coach Claude Julien sent home Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, Gregory Campbell, and Chad Johnson after they arrived with the team at the Saddledome.
One player who was back on the ice was Johnny Boychuk, the first time the defenseman had been at practice since the scary collision that led to him being removed on a stretcher last Thursday.
Asked how he felt, Boychuk said, “I didn’t feel awesome. Haven’t skated in, what, five days. At least I got out there and moved around and got back on the ice.”
Boychuk said there is still stiffness from the back spasms he suffered after being boarded by Max Pacioretty of the Canadiens.
The Bruins have no margin for error with their defensemen after sending Dougie Hamilton (lower-body injury) back to Boston after Sunday’s game. They do not have an extra defenseman in Calgary, and have not called anyone up.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to [Boychuk] yet, but he felt really good the other day,” Julien said. “He was ready to go at it. The reason we haven’t called a defenseman up is because there’s a real strong anticipation that he’ll be ready to go tomorrow. As you know, it wasn’t an injury per se, more than it was spasms. So once that goes away, he’s ready to go.”