SAN JOSE - When the Bruins jetted off on their road trip out West, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci stayed back in Boston to continue working on their respective recoveries.
From the reports Head Coach Claude Julien is getting in California, they have been skating all week and appear to still be on track.
"They’re both skating and I think Zee’s doing well, and Krech is doing well also," Julien said on Thursday morning, as his club was preparing to face the Sharks later that night at the SAP Center in San Jose.
"So that’s basically what I’m being told. Nobody’s told me they’re going to be back for this time or that time, but they’ve been skating all week back home. So, encouraging that they haven’t taken a step back."
Chara has now been out of the lineup for six weeks - and 17 games (18 after Thursday night) - after suffering the PCL tear in his left knee on October 23. His original timetable was estimated to be four to six weeks.
When the Bruins return home from the West Coast, they don't play again until December 11 against Chicago at TD Garden. Chara will have been skating for two and a half weeks by then, if all continues to go well.
Meanwhile, Krejci will miss his seventh straight game on Thursday night with his undisclosed injury. He's missed 12 of the Bruins' last 14 games and 15 overall on the season.
Krejci's return is more challenging than Chara's to predict.
If he continues to skate and keep progressing, that's a great sign for the up-and-down situation he's dealt with this season, and a great sign for the Bruins' offense.
Earlier this week, before Monday's practice in Anaheim, Julien hadn't automatically ruled out the possibility of Krejci joining the team out West if he became ready. "If he’s ready, we’ll take him," the bench boss had said with a smile.
It's not likely that Krejci would join the Bruins for their last stop in Arizona, but it's still a positive sign that something like that wouldn't be immediately thrown off the table.
Also on the injury front, defenseman Adam McQuaid is the third Bruin who remains sidelined with Chara and Krejci. His return is a ways off, though.
McQuaid's only two and a half weeks into his estimated six to eight weeks of recovery. The blueliner broke his thumb blocking a shot in the Bruins' November 18 game against St. Louis.