|09.29.10 at 1:00 am ET|
According published reports, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Tuesday with reporters that center Marc Savard will not accompany the team on its trip to Belfast on Wednesday night. Savard has missed all of training camp with post-concussion symptom syndromes. Peter Chiarelli has indicated that he could potentially fly to Prague to watch his teammates open the regular season against the Coyotes on Oct. 9 and 10.
UPDATE [Wednesday]: Chiarelli said that Savard is on a seven or eight-day program for his conditioning as he works his way back to potentially pass an impact test. Savard failed the test on September 17, the day the team opened training camp.
|09.29.10 at 12:44 am ET|
With the Bruins gearing up for their preseason-concluding and season-opening trip to Europe, the anticipation throughout the locker room is rather apparent. Though some may know the respective areas of Belfast and the Czech Republic better than others, all seem to be genuinely excited for the trip.
Count Dennis Seidenberg among those players, but factor in that when he speaks of heading overseas to open the regular season, he speaks from experience. Last season, he, Gregory Campbell, Nathan Horton, and the rest of the Panthers made the trek to Finland for a couple of preseason games and two regular season matchups with the Blackhawks, the latter a series in which the Panthers split with the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
As much as Seidenberg, a native of Germany, enjoyed the trip, he found the travel of the preseason to be a bit much, and it would be hard to blame him based on the team’s preseason schedule: at Novia Scotia, at Ottawa, at Montreal, at Edmonton, at Calgary, at Dallas, home at Florida, and finally to Finland. Given that the Bruins’ travel this preseason has consisted of Montreal, New York, and DC as its road games, Seidenberg isn’t concerned the side effects that accompany a hectic schedule will be factor this time around.
“This year we definitely didn’t have all the traveling we had with the Panthers. We had a couple of road games, but they were pretty close, so traveling wasn’t a problem at all,” Seidenberg said. “I think we’ll get in there a little more rested, a little better prepared and it should be a good experience for everybody.”
The Panthers took the first game in a shootout. That was the good. The bad was the lesson that a hockey player’s schedule and jet lag don’t exactly fit together well. The Panthers played all four of their European games in the span of six days, while the Bruins arrive Thursday morning and will play their four games over an eight-day span (Oct. 2-10).
“The tough part was the time change, because every day around noon or three or four, you just wanted to go to sleep and sleep for the rest of the night,” Seidenberg said. “You just can’t do that. It takes a few days to get used to it, but that’s why we’re going over there a little earlier.”
Belfast is five hours ahead of EST, while Prague is six hours ahead. Seidenberg added that dealing with each countries quirks — whether they be food or anything else — does make the experience “a little bit different” but that “you get used to it pretty quick.”
Though nobody on the squad is actually from Prague and David Krejci hasn’t been there in several years, Seidenberg is among the players expecting family at the games. Hailing from Villingen-Schwenningen, West Germany, Seidenberg’s family will make the six-hour drive to Prague. The team’s final preseason game will be played in Liberec, which is about an hour north of Prague. With Villingen-Schenningen near the Swiss border and Liberec right around the Poland border, Seidenberg doesn’t expect his family to make that trip.
|09.28.10 at 5:23 pm ET|
Claude Julien said on Tuesday that Tim Thomas, recovering from offseason hip surgery, could see game action on Wednesday at TD Garden against the Capitals. It will be the team’s final North American preseason game before the Bruins (and the Big Bad Blog — keep it tuned) head to Belfast and Prague, where they will play two exhibitions and open the regular season with two tilts with the Coyotes.
“There’s a good possibility that we’ll see him play tomorrow,” Julien said. “You know, again, I say good possibility. It depends on how today goes and then there’s tomorrow. If everything goes well, I think we’d like to see him in out lineup.”
Tuukka Rask and Nolan Schaefer are the goalies on the roster for Tuesday night’s game in Washington. Here’s the video of Thomas speaking after taking the ice:
|09.28.10 at 1:13 pm ET|
The Bruins have certainly reached a point where the cuts are getting tougher to make, and Claude Julien admitted as much on Tuesday. About an hour later, the team announced that Ryan Spooner would be sent back to juniors and that Jamie Arniel was headed for Providence.
Spooner, the 45th overall pick in June’s draft, had been extremely impressive in camp, earning high praise from coaches and veteran players alike. He will return to the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, a team for which he has scored 49 goals over the last two seasons.
|09.28.10 at 12:57 pm ET|
Here’s some video of Blake Wheeler talking about the possibility of playing center, a position he hasn’t played since college. With Marc Savard out and David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron centering the top two lines respectively, Claude Julien has suggested playing Wheeler as a pivot.
|09.28.10 at 12:07 pm ET|
The Bruins announced their roster for Tuesday night’s preseason game in Washington, recalling Jeff LoVecchio from Providence and making Jeremy Reich and Wyatt Smith available to play in the process.
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Nolan Schaefer
Tim Thomas skated with the second group on Tuesday, with coach Claude Julien saying there is a chance he could play in Wednesday’s game against the Capitals at TD Garden. Thomas, who had offseason hip surgery, has been brought along with caution in the preseason and has yet to see game action. He and the team are aiming for him to be ready for the season when it opens Oct. 9 in Prague.
|09.27.10 at 4:51 pm ET|
Speaking in Thursday’s conference call with the media, Bruins coach Claude Julien spoke about the current hole at center for the team’s third line. With Marc Savard out with post-concussion syndrome symptoms, it is expected that David Krejci will become the first line’s pivot, with Patrice Bergeron centering the second line.
“We’ve got a couple of different options here,” Julien said. “I think one of the things we want to see is that maybe Tyler Seguin needs to be looked at as a center as well. We can’t put him out of the equation. He’s a natural centerman and was drafted as that. He’s one of the guys we can look at.”
Julien also mentioned former first-rounders Zach Hamill and Joe Colborne, as well as Ryan Spooner, all of whom remain in camp with the team.
“To be honest with you, I’d still like to see Tyler Seguin [at center] again, seeing now that he’s got a few games under his belt. He handles it in the middle. I’d still like to see Blake Wheeler play center as well at some point and see if he can recapture his comfort zone that he had when he played that position when he was in school.”
The coach added that one thing that goes into the decision-making process will be the impact playing one guy at center will have on the rest of the roster.
“If we put one guy [at center], that means we may need another winger, so that may open up a spot for another winger. It really leaves the battle wide open.”
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