Hamilton and Kelly get the all-clear, both will make trip to Philly
Dougie Hamilton and Chris Kelly have been cleared for contact after recovering from their respective injuries, and both have a chance of skating versus the Flyers on Saturday afternoon.
Hamilton is coming back from a concussion, while Kelly is getting back on the practice ice after his recovery from a broken ankle suffered in December.
Coach Claude Julien did admit that it is an outside chance that both will play in tomorrow's game, but noted that it is a step in the right direction for getting the two back on the ice:
Usually when they're cleared for contact, then it becomes a matter of us figuring out if they're ready to play, or if they need a little bit more practice time...I think, if anything, Dougie, as far as game-shape, is probably closer because he's only missed maybe a week. But [Kelly] has been out for six weeks, so shape-wise, I think he's fine- it's going to be game-shape wise that's going to be a question mark here.
All in all, it seems that Hamilton has a much better chance of playing tomorrow over Kelly. We are probably looking at a Monday night return for Kelly, where the Bruins will take on the Islanders on Long Island.
The question in Kelly's imminent return points to the decision to make regarding Ryan Spooner. Spooner has skated in the third-line center position for much of the time Kelly has been absent, and he's done a tremendous job of filling in, posting 11 assists in 22 games and showcasing his tremendous speed and skill.
Yet the easy assumption will be that Spooner gets sent back down to Providence, allowing Kelly to slide back into his spot on the third line.
We'll see what Coach Julien is feeling come game-time tomorrow.