DeBrusk was on pace for 36 goals during the 2022-23 season.

Boston Bruins' Jake DeBrusk plays against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period of the NHL Winter Classic hockey game, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, at Fenway Park in Boston.
Jake DeBrusk still managed to score both of Boston’s goals during the 2023 Winter Classic. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Bruins’ comeback victory over the Penguins in the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park, coach Jim Montgomery heaped plenty of praise on Jake DeBrusk.

Such adulation was to be expected, considering that the Bruins winger sparked Boston’s rally with a pair of third-period tallies on Monday night.

But beyond DeBrusk’s nose for the net and his tangible production against Pittsburgh, Montgomery commended the 26-year-old winger for his ability to gut through painful shifts and battle against adversity.

“He’s a lot tougher than people think,” Montgomery said of DeBrusk. “And he’s more committed than people are aware of.”

Given the reported damage that DeBrusk sustained during Monday’s victory, Montgomery’s comments sure seem to be validated.

DeBrusk might have finished the game, but the B’s top-six forward reportedly suffered a fractured fibula during the win, per Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff. While the extent of the fracture is still not known, the injury is expected to sideline DeBrusk for at least the next few weeks, if not longer.

DeBrusk did not travel with the Bruins during their current swing out to the West Coast, with David Pastrnak filling in for DeBrusk on Boston’s top line next to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand during Wednesday’s practice.

DeBrusk was felled in the third period of Monday’s game when a Matt Grzelcyk shot clanged off of his leg — dropping him to the frozen sheet at Fenway.

But after getting back up on his skates, DeBrusk jammed home a puck into the Penguins’ net for his first of two scores in the period just seconds later, ultimately logging 17:31 of ice time in the win.

DeBrusk was spotted with a walking boot on his left leg during his postgame media availability at Fenway. 

“I did not know that he was actually hurt at all,” Montgomery said of DeBrusk Wednesday following Boston’s practice out in California. “I saw him wince when he took the shot, but then he scored right after. So, no, I used him in the last minute of the play —I was trying to get him his hat-trick goal for the empty net. So I did not have any issues or think that there was anything wrong, possibly, with him.”

The Bruins have been buoyed all season due to an abundance of secondary scoring, but losing DeBrusk for a significant stretch of time still stands as a major setback in Boston’s top-six unit.

A perfect compliment next to Bergeron and Marchand thanks to his straight-line speed and forechecking ability, DeBrusk was in the midst of a career season for Boston — with the winger on pace for 36 goals this year following his two-tally showing at the Winter Classic.


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