Bruins

With Torey Krug sidelined with an upper-body injury, how will Bruins’ power play, blue line adjust?

(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Bruins have been no stranger to the injury bug this season, with the likes of Jake DeBrusk, David Backes, Brett Ritchie, Kevan Miller and John Moore still currently on the shelf due to a myriad of injuries. 

The results, especially as of late, have left a lot to be desired, but the Bruins have lucked out in some regards — with the key cogs that have primarily driven their offense able to avoid any time off the ice. 

Well, until Sunday night. 

On top of Boston’s disappointing shootout loss to the Flyers, the B’s exited the TD Garden ice without their power-play quarterback in Torey Krug, who left the contest with under two minutes remaining in regulation and did not return at all during the five-minute session of 3v3 overtime. 

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Bruce Cassidy didn’t have much information postgame other than the fact that Krug was dealing with an upper-body injury, but added on Monday that at the very least, the 28-year-old skater will miss Tuesday’s home matchup against the Panthers.

“We’ll re-evaluate as the week goes on,” Cassidy said. “So we’re not taking him out of the equation this weekend. He was here. But again, until I get more — I’ve got nothing for ya.”

Even if it’s just for a few games, it’s a brutal hit for the slumping Bruins, who need to right the ship in short order before taking on the Maple Leafs and Capitals later this week.  

With Krug out, the Bruins recalled Urho Vaakanainen from Providence, with the 20-year-old blueliner expected to fight for a starting spot with Steven Kampfer on Tuesday night. 

After a strong training-camp showing last season, the Finnish skater has had a bit of a rougher go of it in 2019, as Vaakanainen has often has hit some bumps in the road when it comes to his development due to the North American style of hockey. 

“I think early on he was getting stuck wide,” Cassidy said of Vaakanainen. “I don’t know if that’s a European-sized rink issue or the way they played over there, but that was an issue early on. Some goals again, he was getting beat to the middle … We’ve got to make sure that’s buttoned up. But moving the puck better, just more engaged in the game.”

For the time being, either Vaakanainen and Kampfer will be asked to log 5v5 minutes on Boston's third D pairing with Connor Clifton, while Matt Grzelcyk was slotted up to Krug's usual spot next to Brandon Carlo during Monday's skate.

But with Krug sidelined, what will the Bruins do to account for his absence on the man advantage?