(Photo Credit: Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis and Linktree

The holiday keeps getting more and more difficult for the Boston Bruins. The team was able to right the ship following a three-game skid in late November, but since the calendar turned over to December, the injury bug has begun to bite.

According to Connor Ryan of Boston.com, Pavel Zacha and Charlie McAvoy will miss Wednesday night’s game in New Jersey. Ryan says that Zacha and McAvoy are both considered day-to-day and have not been ruled out for Friday’s tilt against the New York Islanders.

In response to Zacha’s injury, the Boston Bruins announced via social media that Jesper Boqvist has been recalled from Providence. The former New Jersey Devil has five goals, nine assists, 14 points in 24 games for the Providence Bruins, and three points in his last three games.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery has spent most of this season mixing and matching line combinations to try and maximize his team’s offensive, and he’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to replacing Zacha in the lineup. Charlie Coyle will most likely elevate into the first-line center role, and Johnny Beecher seems firmly entrenched on the fourth line, so what will Montgomery do with his second and third lines? Montgomery has no shortage of candidates to fill Zacha’s spot, but one can’t help but wonder how this weekend’s drama will impact the coach’s decision.

One obvious candidate to step up in the lineup is rookie sensation Matt Poitras. Boston’s top prospect was a bit of an enigma last game, as he assisted on the team’s winning goal halfway through the second period, then inexplicably didn’t take a shift in the third period. The situation puzzled writers and fans alike, especially after Jim Montgomery’s postgame press conference, where he stated (via MassLive’s Lauren Campbell), “We are paid to win hockey games. And I’m gonna go with the guys that I think are gonna win us hockey games.”

With Montgomery unlikely to trust Poitras in an increased role, our attention should turn to Morgan Geekie. Geekie was brought in this offseason from Seattle and spent the majority of training camp practicing as a center. He returned from an upper-body injury on November 24th and has slowly been rounding back into form. He assisted on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the game against the Coyotes and was 5th on the team in total time on ice with 14:24. Factor in the line rushes from today’s practice, and it seems all but certain Boston will Geekie a shot on their first line:

McAvoy’s absence will most likely lead to more ice time for defenseman Mason Lohrei. The former Ohio State Buckeye filled in on the bottom pairing with veteran Kevin Shattenkirk against Arizona after the announcement that Derek Forbort was placed on LTIR. With two of the expected starting six defensemen out of the lineup, fans can expect to see Ian Mitchell slot in as well.

Fans should stay tuned for the report following the team’s morning skate on Friday to glean more about Zacha and McAvoy’s injury situations. If neither player skates Friday, their next opportunity to skate would be Saturday night against the New York Rangers.