(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery described Charlie McAvoy and Pavel Zacha’s upper body injuries as day-to-day at yesterday’s morning skate. However, two critical components of Boston’s roster are slotted to miss more time than expected. On Thursday afternoon, the Bruins announced both McAvoy and Zacha were placed on injury reserve, calling up Patrick Brown and Parker Wotherspoon from Providence in yet another call for help from their minor league affiliate.

McAvoy and Zacha are now ineligible to play in a game in the next seven days, holding them out of three contests against the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and Minnesota Wild before clearing injured reserve. The pair can be elevated to appear in a game on December 22nd for a matchup with the Winnipeg Jets. Thursday’s announcement is not great news for the Bruins, who visibly missed an offensive jolt in last night’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

McAvoy (17 points) and Zacha (19 points) are two primary contributors to a recently struggling Bruins offense. After calling up Jesper Boqvist yesterday, the Bruins are testing their depth again as December progresses. This time, Brown and Wotherspoon get the call to assist Boston’s injury problems.

Brown is no stranger to the Bruins roster this winter. He’s appeared in eight games for the Black and Gold this season, picking up one assist. While he’s not guaranteed to see any playing time, he could very well be inserted into an everchanging fourth line with John Beecher and Oskar Steen, among others. Brown has suited up for six games in Providence this season, where he notched two points. The 31-year-old undrafted center has bounced around the NHL, playing nine seasons for five teams before the Bruins signed him as a free agent on July 1st, 2023.

Wotherspoon, a 2015 fourth-round draft pick, has spent most of his career in the AHL before being signed by the Bruins on July 1st, 2023. He’s appeared in three games this season with Boston, where he picked up an assist in a 5-4 win over the Red Wings on November 4th. In Providence, he’s skated in 19 games, recording one goal and four assists. The 26-year-old blueliner is still yearning for a consistent NHL role, which may be his chance to catch the attention of the Bruins with McAoy sidelined.

However, the real opportunity lies for particular players who are already on the Bruins roster, such as youngsters Mason Lohrei and Matt Poitras, who will hope to step up in an increased role in their respective positions. In last night’s loss to New Jersey, Lohrei’s 17:05 of ice time was impressive. He showcased his poise with the puck, anchoring a defensive unit against a talented Devils roster. Poitras also increased his minutes last night, logging 14:22 of playing time. The rookie was even promoted to a first-line role between Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak late in the contest. The Bruins hit the ice tomorrow night against the Islanders, where a handful of rookies will yearn to put their best foot forward on an injured Bruins roster.