|01.21.16 at 12:45 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask is expected to start against the Canucks Thursday at TD Garden, but the team still has some things to clear up regarding the rest of its lineup.
[UPDATE 2:30 p.m.] Both David Krejci and Landon Ferraro took part in an optional morning skate Thursday. Krejci, who has missed the last 10 games with an upper-body injury, was activated from injured reserve Thursday afternoon.
While Ferraro’s absence from Tuesday’s game due to a lower body made it plausible that the team might place him on IR to make room for Krejci, the Bruins instead sent Frank Vatrano to Providence, a sign that Ferraro is closer to returning.
While Vatrano is a better player than some of Boston’s active forwards (Zac Rinaldo, Tyler Randell), it actually made sense for the Bruins to eventually have him back in Providence. Vatrano has played 30 games for the Bruins this season, putting him 10 away from a season accrued towards eventually unrestricted free agency. Perhaps the team is interested in avoiding that for the rookie.
Ferraro’s availability is unknown for Thursday. The Bruins currently have 14 forwards on their active roster and are at the 23-player max.
|01.21.16 at 10:24 am ET|
According to sources, Loui Eriksson seeks a contract with an average annual value between the high $5 million range and the high $6 million range, depending on term, while the Bruins will explore trading him if they feel they won’t be able to sign him.
The B’s don’t feel they have to sign the free-agent-to-be before Feb. 29’s trade deadline, but if they feel there isn’t enough common ground to revisit later on, they will shop the 30-year-old right wing.
Eriksson enters Thursday’s game second on the Bruins with 38 points this season.
For more on Eriksson and his future, click here to read Wednesday’s story with comments from Eriksson.
|01.20.16 at 1:47 pm ET|
Based on Wednesday’s practice, the Bruins can probably expect the return of David Krejci in either Thursday’s game against the Canucks or Saturday’s meeting with the Blue Jackets.
Krejci was one of four forwards skating on Boston’s second line, joining Ryan Spooner, Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey. Perhaps most telling was the fact that he returned to his spot on Boston’s top power play unit on the point with Torey Krug.
The Bruins will need to make a roster move in order to activate Krejci from injured reserve, as the team is currently at the 23-man roster limit. One possible move would be to put Landon Ferraro, whom the team says is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, on injured reserve. Because Ferraro last played on Saturday, the team could put him on IR retroactive to Sunday and he would only have to miss the next two games before being eligible to return on Monday against the Flyers.
With Krejci back in practice, the forward lines looked as follows:
Colin Miller skated on the point of Boston’s second power play unit, suggesting he could possibly return Thursday after being a healthy scratch in Boston’s last two games.
|01.19.16 at 10:14 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron made an important point in his career count for a lot more Tuesday.
It wouldn’t have been fitting if Bergeron passed Cam Neely on the Bruins’ all-time points list with something like a secondary assist on an empty net goal. That he did so with a game-winning goal in an important game against the Canadiens seemed to suit the situation much better.
Bergeron scored at 16:49 of the second period Tuesday to break the 1-1 tie and set up the B’s for an eventual 4-1 victory against the reeling Habs. The goal was the 591st point of Bergeron’s career, surpassing Neely’s 590 and giving Bergeron sole possession of ninth on the Bruins’ all-time list.
The win was the Bruins’ third straight as they head back to Boston for home games against the Canucks on Thursday and the Blue Jackets Saturday. The Habs, meanwhile, could be nearing the end of Michel Therrien’s tenure as head coach given that Montreal has just nine points over its last 21 games dating back to Dec. 3.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
RASK LOVES MONTREAL
Tuukka Rask may very well hate playing against the Canadiens just because he hates losing. The notion that he plays poorly against them, however, is overstated. Now, it appears Rask and the Bruins’ luck has turned this season in the last place they’d expect: Montreal.
While Rask allowed eight goals over two home games against the Canadiens this season (three on Oct. 10 at TD Garden, five in the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium), he allowed just one goal in each of his two games at Bell Centre this season, both of which were Bruins victories. With 38 saves on Tuesday, Rask managed to stop 70 of the 72 shots he faced in Montreal this season.
PASTRNAK SCORES IN RETURN
David Pastrnak wasn’t given the most glamorous opportunity in his return from an upper-body injury, but he made the most of it.
Pastrnak skated on Boston’s fourth line with Zac Rinaldo and Max Talbot, taking just five shifts over the first two periods and not taking the ice in the third period until there was 8:02 to play.
His lack of ice time did not prevent him from making an impact, however, as he fired a shot on a second-period shift that went off a Montreal defender and was corralled by Bergeron, leading to a Boston goal. After a lengthy wait for his first shift of the third, Pastrnak scored to give him his second multi-point game of the season. Incidentally, both of Pastrnak’s multi-point games this season have come against the Canadiens.
KREJCI REMAINS OUT, FERRARO DAY-TO-DAY
David Krejci missed his 10th straight game with an upper-body injury, but the fact that he even traveled for a one-game road trip suggests he is indeed close to returning to game action. It goes without saying that the Bruins could use him sooner rather than later, but the team should be happy if he returns during the team’s two-game road trip.
Pastrnak replaced Landon Ferraro, whom the team said is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Colin Miller was scratched for the second straight game.
With the lineup changes, Boston’s lineup was as follows:
BRUINS SURVIVE MORE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
A recent story has repeated itself of late for the Bruins: The team outplays their opponent early on (good news), but comes away with very little to show for it (that’s bad) and is eventually burned.
Such could have been the case again on Tuesday, as the B’s had far more scoring opportunities over the first period-plus, but they had only Talbot’s first-period goal to show for it. When the Habs pushed back as the second period progressed, Boston’s lack of scoring made the deficit easy to recover from. They did so when Mark Barberio tied the game nearly halfway through the second.
Unlike games past, when the Bruins squandered chances earlier and lost as a result (it happened in New York and Philadelphia last week), the Bruins survived just like they did Saturday against the Leafs.
|01.18.16 at 10:43 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena saw a familiar face return, as injured center David Krejci practiced with Bruins teammates for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Dec. 27.
Krejci was wearing a green jersey, which is often worn in practice by players who are either injured or not on a line. Also in green was David Pastrnak, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.
Both Krejci and Pastrnak will travel to Montreal for Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens.
With Krejci and Pastrnak on the ice, Boston’s practice lines on Monday looked like this:
Krejci said he has been skating since last week. He took limited contact in Monday’s practice and said that he has felt better with each passing day but is not yet comfortable enough to play.
“I need to feel 100 percent skating and 100 percent shooting,” Krejci said. “I’m getting there, but it was a good today.”
The Bruins have gone 4-4-1 without Krejci. Given that he was having the best regular season of his career (33 points in 35 games), they could certainly use him as they try to claim one of the top three spots in the crowded Atlantic Division.
“I’d like to play as soon as possible, but this kind of injury, at this point in time it’s kind of day-to-day,” Krejci said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow — hopefully better — but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow in warmups.”
In other injury news, Adam McQuaid has yet to take the ice as he remains out with an injury suffered on a Jan. 5 hit from Capitals forward Zach Sill.
|01.17.16 at 1:34 am ET|
The Bruins might be developing some killer instinct.
On Saturday night – and for the fifth straight game – Boston entered the final period of play with the scoreboard showing a close contest.
And for the second straight night – after having been sent home the loser in three previous sessions in Ottawa, New York, and Philadelphia – the Bruins emerged victorious in regulation time.
Brad Marchand‘s goal with just 47-seconds remaining snapped a 2-2 deadlock with Toronto, sending the Bruins to a 3-2 win at TD Garden. The night before, in Buffalo, a 1-1 tie entering period three ended up in the B’s favor 4-1 after a final 20-minute surge.
“That’s what we kind of lacked in the last few games that we lost, [where] we got back on our heels and we didn’t make plays,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice Saturday to gave his squad 1-0 and 2-1 leads. “We got scared of making a mistake, and when you do that you’re thinking actually you’re not trusting your instincts. We got back to being on our toes for the whole game and it showed. It was a tough game to win, but still we found a way.”
|01.16.16 at 11:59 pm ET|
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