The Cautious Case of Jake DeBrusk: Missing in Monday's Game
Boston, Massachusetts - On Sunday, the Boston Bruins lost to the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-2 after Tuukka Rask gave up the winning goal in some of the final minutes of regulation. Failing to take advantage of a matchup with a team that has dominated the Atlantic Division all season, the Bruins instead turned their sights to their arch rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, who had recently surpassed Boston in the standings. With a win, though, Boston would rise above Montreal again and subsequently secure their return to the fourth spot in the division.
They did just that as Jaroslav Halak stopped twenty-two shots to enable the Bruins to blank the Canadiens with a 4-0 victory, giving Boston a brighter outlook as they reach the mid-December mark. Over the course of these two games, Steven Kampfer and Colby Cave netted their first goals of the season, as Torey Krug, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Joakim Nordstrom also added scores.
But despite the fact that the Bruins continue to grow nearer to full strength, it's hard to ignore the absence of Jake DeBrusk on the active roster. Injured at different points of the season, DeBrusk currently faces his longest absence since being diagnosed with a concussion five days ago. His injury seems to be one of the strongest reasons why the Bruins have yet to find their true footing in a crowded NHL landscape this season. And yet, it would make absolutely no sense for the Bruins to try to rush him back.
Obviously, not every concussion is going to be the end of a career, but I can't help but think of the ways Marc Savard and Nathan Horton, rising stars for the Bruins, were never the same after they suffered their respective concussions. And even though the NHL is smarter with concussion protocols than, say, the NFL is, it would still be wise for them to be extra cautious. The current reports are that DeBrusk is trending in the right direction, but Boston refuses to set a timetable. Concussions are obviously very serious injuries and it's refreshing to know that DeBrusk, at just twenty-two years old, is being cared for properly.