|11.10.14 at 11:07 pm ET|
The Bruins are slowly but surely getting healthier on defense, as Torey Krug returned to the lineup Monday and is starting to forget all about his broken pinky finger.
While a pinky injury might sound like a minor injury, it’s actually quite the obstacle to overcome. Without the full use of the pinky, as Zdeno Chara explained months ago, one can’t grip things. Without being able to grip things, one can’t take a slap shot. Without a slap shot, an NHL defenseman – especially one of the better offensive ones – isn’t quite himself.
So while Krug took his usual spot at the point of the Bruins’ top power play unit, it wasn’t a night full of blasts to the net just yet. He took five shots on the night, only one of which was a slap shot. The lone shot he landed on net was a wrist shot.
Krug had two full practices with the B’s before returning to game action. He admitted that as he worked his way back from the injury, trying to shoot presented issues for him.
“I definitely had some challenges with shooting at first and the vibrations of the stick,” Krug said, “but everything’s good now.”
The injury was suffered on Oct. 28 on a slash from Zach Parise. Krug logged 21:16 of ice time on Monday night, saying that the toughest challenge he faced was not thinking about the injury.
“I think the last thing is just making sure I’m not thinking about it,” he said. “There were times in practice where I’m protecting myself and making sure it doesn’t get hit or something like that. You get into live game action and you can’t really think about that because otherwise the puck’s going to end up in your net.”
Julien said that Krug looked like someone who was playing in his first game back from an injury, but that he liked his game Monday night.
“He’s been out for a while, and I think he had one or maybe two practices with us and that’s it,” Julien said. “But he came in and did his job. Obviously he’s not at 100 percent with his situation, but he seems to be handling the puck well. Again, maybe he didn’t get that many shots on net tonight, but still I thought he was a good player.”
|11.10.14 at 9:29 pm ET|
One goal can make a game. Seth Griffith’s second-period goal did just that.
With the Bruins and Devils tied at two goals apiece late in the second period, the Bruins rookie scored what is likely the most impressive goal he’ll score in his career when, after blocking a shot, he battled for a puck through Bryce Salvador and got tangled up with Marek Zidlicky as he raced to the net. After getting spun around, he backhanded the puck through his legs and those of Cory Schneider to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead.
Reilly Smith would score soon after, giving the Bruins two goals in the final two minutes of the second period and sending them on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Devils (Check out the game boxscore).
Griffith, who was playing in his 12th NHL game after getting called up for top-six duty last month, is becoming no stranger to sensational goals. After flying through the air Bobby Orr-style on his Oct. 28 goal against the Wild, Griffith is setting the bar pretty high for himself going forward in his young NHL career.
Here are four other things we learned Monday night:
Torey Krug returned to the lineup after a four-game absence caused by a broken pinky finger suffered on Oct. 28.
Krug skated on the team’s third defensive pairing with Zach Trotman, taking the place of the injured David Warsofsky, who is out 2-4 weeks with a groin strain. The second-year defenseman also returned to his usual spot on the point of Boston’s first power play unit.
Matt Bartkowski served as a healthy scratch for the fifth consecutive game.
|11.10.14 at 12:32 pm ET|
Chelmford’s Jack Eichel is expected to be a top-two pick in the coming NHL draft. As he dominates his freshman year at Boston University, the accolades and comparisons are pouring in rapidly.
In a recent appearance on Middays with MFB, Pierre McGuire compared the 6-foot-2 Eichel to Jaromir Jagr given his strength and ability to hold onto the puck. So, with the Devils in town, it seemed worth it to get Jagr’s thoughts on the young scorer.
In true Jagr fashion, the 42-year-old admitted to having no clue who Eichel was, but seemed pretty excited anyway.
“He’s like a Czech kid?” Jagr asked.
“He’s going to be drafted this year?”
Sure is. Then Jagr smiled.
“Hopefully I’m going to have a chance to stay here one more year in the NHL so I can have a chance to see him,” he said.
Maybe, just maybe, it would be like Jaromir Jagr against Jaromir Jagr.
Of course, if Eichel was exactly like Jagr, that matchup would be a scoreless game in which the two took turns keeping the puck in the corner. That still sounds like something worth watching.
|11.10.14 at 11:26 am ET|
Bruins center David Krejci will not play Monday against the Devils, Claude Julien said after the team’s optional morning skate. It will be Krejci’s third absence in the last four games as he continues to battle a hip injury suffered in the preseason finale. Krejci also missed the first three games of the season.
Torey Krug (finger) is a possibility to return Monday night. He took part in the morning skate, with Julien saying he would be a game-time decision. Krug has missed the last four games since suffering his injury on Oct. 28.
Kevan Miller (dislocated shoulder) also took part in the morning skate, which was attended by all healthy players but Krejci and Loui Eriksson. Julien offered no update on Miller’s status and added that Zdeno Chara has not started skating in his recovery from a torn PCL.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|11.09.14 at 6:26 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed in a statement Sunday that David Warsofsky is out 2-4 weeks with a groin strain. The Boston Herald was the first to report the injury.
Warsofsky was called up late last month after Torey Krug suffered a broken finger. He played in four games, notching an assist in Thursday’s win over the Oilers for his only point of the season thus far. He was injured in the same game.
Krug could return to the lineup as soon as Monday. If he does not, Matt Bartkowski is expected to return after being scratched the last four games.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|11.09.14 at 1:14 pm ET|
The Bruins can only hope they’ll go the rest of the season without being as banged up on defense as they are right now, but you have to think that they’ll need Matt Bartkowski at some point.
That time could come as early as Monday. Torey Krug is a possibility to return from a broken finger, but if he does not, the loss of David Warsofsky would require Bartkowski to return to the lineup after serving the last four games as a healthy scratch.
Unlike the rest of the absences among Boston’s blueliners, Bartkowski’s is due to performance. At the time that Krug went down with his injury, the Bruins called up Warsofsky and Joe Morrow from Providence; Warsofsky was brought up to spell Krug, while Morrow was recalled to replace a struggling Bartkowski.
After serving as a regular on Boston’s second pairing down the stretch last season, Bartkowski has taken a big step backwards, committing multiple on-ice errors that led directly to opposing goals. He was benched for much of the third period after being on the ice for his second goal against of the game against the Wild and has not played since.
At that point, Bartkowski admitted that he was struggling with confidence. If and when he gets back in the lineup, the B’s will hope that both his confidence and decision-making have improved.
“I don’t know if it’s just last year; we just know he’s good enough when he’s on top of his game to be a good player for us,” Claude Julien said. “He dug himself a hole and now he’s got to dig himself out of it. It starts in practice.”
Morrow has been fine in his first four NHL games thus far and hasn’t made a case to be taken out of the lineup. That will happen when other players such as Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller return from their injuries, but it doesn’t seem Bartkowski would be able to wrest the job from Morrow for now.
It will take Krug remaining out for Bartkowski to get back in. If he does, Claude Julien hopes that Bartkowski has spent his time in the press box well.
“There’s two ways to look at it,” Julien said. “You can go there and mope and not make yourself better or you can go do what Matt Fraser did: watch and learn and then when you get your chance, take advantage of it. It doesn’t matter. A player should always want to play. He should be anxious to get the call, and when you’re called upon you should be ready to go.
“You only get so many chances, right? If you keep failing, you keep going back in the press box. It’s all about attitude. These guys are professionals. They’re paid to do this job and they’ve got to do it professional way.”
|11.09.14 at 12:26 pm ET|
Bruins center David Krejci is considered day-to-day, while Torey Krug is a possibility to return to the lineup for Monday’s game against the Devils.
Krejci was again missing from Bruins practice Sunday after also missing Friday’s skate. Krejci returned from what is believed to be a hip injury Thursday against the Oilers but said he would continue to battle his ailment. He did not practice Friday.
“He’s day-to-day; we’ll leave it at that,” Claude Julien said after Sunday’s practice. “He’s still going through the same thing.”
Krejci has missed five games this season due to the injury, which was suffered in the preseason finale. The 28-year-old center missed the first three games of the season, returned to play the next nine and then was kept out of two games earlier this month.
With Krejci out, the Bruins’ forward lines were as follows:
Lucic – Kelly – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne
Julien said that the team would make a decision on Monday as to whether Krug plays. Krug suffered a broken finger on Oct. 28 against the Wild. Krug began practicing with the team on Friday.
“I feel good,” Krug said. “I still obviously don’t know when I’m going to be back in the lineup. That’s up to the medical staff and coaches as well. I feel more comfortable. Every time I’m out on the ice, I feel better about it, so that’s good so far.”
Julien didn’t have much of an update on David Warsofsky, saying only that the player was examined Saturday. Steve Harris of the Boston Herald has reported that Warsofsky is out for 2-3 weeks with a pulled groin.
If Krug is not abel to return to the lineup Monday, Matt Bartkowski will play after serving the last four games as a healthy scratch.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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