With John Moore back in the lineup, Boston’s blue line is set for some reshuffling

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It hasn’t been an easy couple of months for John Moore, to say the least. Undergoing the first major surgery of his hockey career in the aftermath of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s been a long road to recovery for the 29-year-old defenseman.

After going under the knife on June 26 to repair a torn shoulder and broken humerus, Moore was handed a 4-to-6 month recovery timeline, one that stretched much longer than the veteran would have liked. 

Forced to miss all of training camp and the first two months of the regular season while making incremental progress day-by-day, Moore isn’t taking his expected return on Thursday night for granted, to say the least.

"It was a long recovery,” Moore told reporters on Tuesday. “You learn a lot about yourself, you learn a lot about who's in your foxhole. I'm really happy that there's a shining light at the end of the tunnel for me. … It’s a really special group in here and they really do a really good job of pulling you in and making you feel like you’re a part of it, even when your contribution is drinking a Gatorade in the weight room.”

After missing the first 28 games of the 2019-20 campaign, Moore is slated to return to the lineup on Thursday against the Blackhawks, giving Boston another option on the blue line and a regular PK contributor.

With Kevan Miller still not on the ice after another set-back in his recovery from knee surgery, this current crop of skaters should make up Boston’s D corps for the foreseeable future — barring any other injuries. 

So, with Moore back in the fold, how do the pieces now fall into place?