Brandon Carlo Ready for First Playoff Run
Photo Credit: CBS Boston
Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo just completed his third season in the National Hockey League.
The Colorado native missed the past two postseason runs due to timely injuries. During the 2016-2017 season finale against the Washington Capitals, Carlo suffered a concussion after being hit by Alex Ovechkin.
Last season, the blue-liner sustained a fractured left ankle during game No. 77 while falling along the boards against the Florida Panthers.
This postseason will be different, as the 22-year-old will be dressing for his first NHL playoff game Thursday night for Game 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“[I] haven’t got a grasp on it—my mindset yet that I’m gonna be playing in the playoffs,” Carlo said. “It’s fun. It feels like it’s still in the season. Been able to skate out there with the guys and what not. Overall, [I’m] getting a lot of excitement.”
This season, head coach Bruce Cassidy has relied heavily on Carlo. Cassidy hopes that Carlo will continue to defend well and skate reliable minutes during the postseason.
“That’s what we missed last year at times against Toronto,” Cassidy said. “You have that big body that can defend well and skate…the ability to play 20-22 minutes, reliable minutes, is probably the biggest thing that you miss at that time of year, especially when you get into extended games, overtimes. He’s a guy that can handle that.”
While excited to finally get a taste of playoff hockey, Carlo looks to continue to play consistently and not overwhelm himself.
“I had a pretty solid year and stayed consistent throughout that,” the defenseman said. “I want to continue that play coming into the playoffs and do my job — everything that I can to help the team in the ways that I can. I think I understand the player that I am now more so at this point now. I just want to bring that to the game and contribute.”