The Boston Bruins were expecting to be without their top two defenders for Tuesday night’s Game 5 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Hampus Lindholm is dealing with an injury sustained in Game 2, while Charlie McAvoy has been sidelined with COVID-19. In a surprise update, however, McAvoy was seen at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina ahead of Game 5, indicating that he’d managed to clear COVID protocols and would be able to suit up for the pivotal showdown, per Emily Kaplan of ESPN.
Saw Charlie McAvoy walk into PNC Arena in Raleigh, wearing an N95 mask – suggesting he cleared COVID protocols.
I was told Bruins ownership arranged a private jet for him to come to Raleigh, and he’s expected to take warmups.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) May 10, 2022
This is a major turnaround from previous reports from earlier Tuesday which indicated that McAvoy would be sidelined for the Bruins in Game 5. It seems he was able to test out of protocols and will now be available and ready to go for puck drop at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Kaplan reports that the Bruins actually flew McAvoy out to North Carolina via a private jet in order for him to get to Tuesday night’s game. Considering he’s the top defender on the Bruins’ roster, having him for a difficult road matchup with the Hurricanes will be crucial.
Via Elliotte Friedman, it would stand to reason that McAvoy could be cleared to play for Tuesday night’s game should he have entered protocols last Thursday.
Boston managed to win at home with both McAvoy and Lindholm sidelined in Game 4, but playing in Carolina will be a far more difficult atmosphere, and having McAvoy will certainly be a big boost towards the Bruins’ hopes of an upset.
The 24-year-old featured in 78 games this season for the Bruins, recording 10 goals and 46 assists. His 56 points nearly doubled his previous career-high, and he’s proving well worth the eight-year, $76 million deal he penned late in 2021.