With as many young players as the Bruins have, it wouldn’t be a surprise if any of them are still figuring out NHL life or adjusting to it.
21-year-old defenseman Charlie McAvoy, for all his talents, is apparently not exempt.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy addressed reports of McAvoy’s incidents of being late to team meetings and the team bus with surprise on Monday morning.
“I don’t know if he’s ever been late to our stuff,” said Cassidy. “I asked (Zdeno Chara) about that. Sometimes they have organized workouts on the road if we have a day off, so maybe he came in late to one of those…. I don’t know of Charlie ever being late on my watch here.”
There had been rumblings about McAvoy being habitually late to team buses and events at times this season before reports over the weekend.
McAvoy’s missed plenty of action this season with the concussion and now a lower-body injury, but when he’s been in the lineup he’s played well and has been a key part of the Bruins defense-to-offense.
Despite the injuries, McAvoy is still seventh on the team with 10 assists and his 11 points are ninth in just 17 games so far this season.
Cassidy said at times, like with some other young players, he’s had to talk to McAvoy about ramping it up in practice, but said none of that even happened this season.
“The only beef I’ve had with him is starting practice a little bit quicker,” said Cassidy. “I thought he, like a lot of younger guys, they’re used to practicing an hour and a half. But now it’s like, we’re out here for 35 minutes, let’s get going right away.”
Reports emerged over the weekend of his tardiness, but it appears if it was ever an issue, the team has it under control. If anything, there’s surprise over the idea of it being an issue.
“I’m not even sure where that comes from,” said Cassidy. “I don’t see it.”
Who wouldn’t want to play with Bruins leading scorer David Pastrnak? Apparently, the list of centers who’d like to play with the 22-year-old is plenty long, starting with David Krejci.
“He would like the play with Pasta,” said Cassidy. “That’s, absolutely he would. So would (Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson), so would Noel (Acciari). All kidding aside, of course he’d love to have Pasta. And he may get him at some point.”
Pastrnak and Krejci seemed to click when they were on a line together during portions of Patrice Bergeron‘s 16-game absence.
Out since December 27 with a lower-body injury, McAvoy skated before practice but did not participate with the team.
He won’t play tomorrow but should join the team in morning skate and would be a possibility to play on Thursday against the Capitals or Saturday in Toronto.
“He was out there skating today, he felt good,” said Cassidy. “…. I would think if Charlie comes in tomorrow and there’s no setbacks, he can come practice with us.”