By: Ryan Ellis | Follow Ryan on Twitter @_RyEllis_
It would appear that some health is on the way for the Boston Bruins forward group. Curtis Lazar was spotted on the ice at Warrior Ice Arena in a regular practice sweater. Lazar cemented himself as a fourth-line staple last season after being brought over as a part of the deadline deal with the Buffalo Sabres. He has yet to see any regular-season action, as Lazar went down with an upper-body injury before the opening night bout vs. the Dallas Stars. Lazar’s absence has allowed Karson Kuhlman to stand in as the B’s fourth-line right-wing.
The Bruins have had to continue to tap into the well of reserves in the early going. With Nick Foligno on the IR, Craig Smith, and depth forward Anton Blidh all missing Sunday’s matinee at home against the San Jose Sharks, forwards Jack Studnicka and Oskar Steen were called up from Providence to stop the proverbial bleeding.
Studnicka and Steen handled themselves just fine with the big club. Steen even registered an assist on what appeared to be a dump in that bounced perfectly on Jake DeBrusk’s stick for a goal. In today’s practice, Steen and Studnicka were skating with the same lines we saw them on during Sunday’s game.
The Bruins will face two unbeaten teams in the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes (including back-to-back games on the road.) Bruce Cassidy noted after today’s practice that Lazar should be ready by Thursday’s game at Carolina at the latest. According to Lazar, his injury was bad enough that it nearly cost him his season.
Thankfully, he avoided that route and is returning at a critical time where right shot forward depth is at a premium. Lazar’s return could not have come at a better time considering the news of Craig Smith not traveling with the team on this quick road trip.