It took more than half the season given some of the obstacles that faced him in the season’s first half, but second year D-man Charlie McAvoy is starting to look like the player Boston expected him to be to start this year.
That is welcome news for a Bruins team that’s seeing 41-year-old captain Zdeno Chara beginning to look his age and other defensemen like Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk understandably battling their own limitations on the ice. This weekend McAvoy showed his offensive talents in Saturday’s high-scoring win over the Los Angeles Kings and then got a little physical and defensive in Sunday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche.
It showed in a small spurt exactly what the 21-year-old McAvoy is capable of and also signaled that he’s finally starting to find his full game after injuries seriously messed with the first half of his season.
“He’s missed some time with different injuries. Maybe he’s starting to feel like now he’s into form, right? It’s not that easy in this league to miss five weeks or four weeks or whatever the case was each time and then all of a sudden get back and revved up to full speed. The expectations are high for Charlie. He’s had a good start here,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Part of that we try to temper with him without talking him down and not reaching his potential, but he has to understand it’s a tough league and play the game in front of him.
“I think he’s starting to now play that, and then when the opportunities are there, he looks like to me that he’s taking advantage of the situation. He’s not forcing anything, so that’s a sign that a guy’s in a zone when you have the puck a lot, you’re making plays, yet you’re not forcing stuff and seem to be making a lot of the right decisions. He’s in a groove right now.”