|11.17.10 at 1:44 pm ET|
NEW YORK —[UPDATED, 6:50 pm] Claude Julien and his coaching staff took the day to think about it, and ultimately decided to hold off on rushing Johnny Boychuk (forearm) back to the lineup on Wednesday night in York.
Earlier in the day, Julien described Boychuk as being a game-time decision after the 26-year-old blueliner participated in the morning skate at Madison Square Garden, going through all the motions without any pain.
Boychuk has been sporting a playing cast on his left forearm, something he’ll continue to use as he eases his way back into the lineup. He saw that as a possibility on Wednesday.
“If they want me to go,” Boychuk said, “I’m ready to go.”
Julien was a little more careful with his words, noting that the idea of having to sit one of his healthy and productive defensemen isn’t so appetizing, especially if Boychuk isn’t totally ready.
“In order for him to be able to get back in, he’s got to be able to help us,” Julien said. “He’s got to be closer to 100 percent than not, because we’re going to be taking out a player who’s healthy and 100 percent. You’ve got to make that decision, and we’re going to give ourselves the opportunity to think about it more today. I know his situation is that he may not be 100 percent.
“We’ve got back-to-back games, so we may put him in,” Julien added. “‘¦We’ve got to make the right decision, not just for the team, but for him as well.”
The Bruins play the Panthers on Thursday at the Garden. Should Boychuk dress back in Boston, it is assumed that Adam McQuaid, or perhaps Matt Hunwick, would be a healthy scratch.
In six games this season, Boychuk has three points, all assists, and a plus-three rating.
THOMAS OFF FIRST
Tim Thomas was the first Bruins’ goaltender off the ice on Wednesday, an indication he will start vs. Henrik Lundqvist. The 36-year-old Bruins’ netminder did not play in the last meeting between the two teams, a 3-2 Rangers’ victory in which Tuukka Rask took the loss.
Thomas is coming off a shutout of the Devils on Monday and is now 9-1-0 on the season with a 1.32 goals against average and .960 save percentage. Should he blank the Rangers, he’d post back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season and tie his career high with five.
|11.17.10 at 1:12 pm ET|
NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
“When you’re in a position to impact a guy’s life in some way by disciplinary action or heavy fines, which they now have in the NHL, you can’t form those opinions at least in terms of expressing it in a way that goes public,” Milbury said. “The e-mail thing was just simple, logistical ‘ you can’t be that stupid in order to do it. The actual content of it was worse. I think he made a mistake. I don’t think it impacted any judgments that I know of.
“Colie is a terrific guy, he tries to be fair, but he stepped in it. Whether there will be any repercussions or not, I don’t know. The league certainly has a lot of confidence in him, and they should. He does work hard at it.”
Milbury said people should listen to Campbell’s explanation, as he is a trustworthy person. “I think if he felt he was really over-the-top wrong, that he was doing something that was terrible, he would admit it,” Milbury said. “Because I think he’s man enough to do that.”
Added Milbury: “I like him because he’s a down-to-earth, honest guy. I think he screwed up. Did he screw up so badly that he needs to be let go? I can understand the case for it. I can. But when a guy makes a mistake after that length of time doing what I think is a pretty good job in a really difficult situation, I don’t think you have to get rid of him.”
Milbury said Campbell needs to get in touch with Savard, if he hasn’t already.
“If I’m Marc Savard, I’m waiting for a phone call from Colin Campbell apologizing,” Milbury said. “If that hasn’t happened, that’s mistake No. 3. And that, to me, is enough to say, ‘OK, he doesn’t get it or he thinks he’s above it.’ Absolutely, in my mind, that phone call should have been made already. And if it hasn’t been made, it should be made right after he listens to this show [chuckle]. Because it’s needed, it’s necessary and it’s appropriate.”
|11.17.10 at 2:14 am ET|
NEW YORK — Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers got the better of the Bruins back on Oct. 23 in Boston with a 3-2 win (a one-goal game between these teams? What else is new?), so the B’s will be seeking revenge when they play in New York on Wednesday. The Bruins are coming off a 3-0 victory over the Devils on Monday in which Tim Thomas picked up his fourth shutout of the season.
WHERE IT’S AT
— The Bruins are an impressive 6-1-0 on the road this season, with their lone loss as the away team coming at the hands of the Capitals on Nov. 5. It was a contest in which they came back from a 3-0 deficit in the third period but fell, 5-3.
— The Bruins aren’t the only team that has struggled to dominate at home. The Rangers are 4-5-1 at Madison Square Garden, and have gone 2-2-0 in their last four home games.
— Nine goaltenders have multiple shutouts this season, and two of them could play on Wednesday. Lundqvist has two shutouts in 13 starts this season, while Thomas (first off the ice at the B’s skate midday Wednesday) leads all netminders with four.
— Nathan Horton has four points in his last three road games. His second-period tally against the Devils on Monday was the 150th of his career.
STORYLINES GOING IN
— Claude Julien indicted on Monday night that Johnny Boychuk could be in the lineup on Wednesday. Boychuk has been out since Oct. 23, a game against the Rangers in which a slash from New York forward Brandon Dubinsky fractured his forearm.
Should Boychuk return, the biggest question is which defenseman will be a healthy scratch. Adam McQuaid has done very well with the opportunity given to him, and he could stick in the lineup as a result. It seems either McQuaid or Matt Hunwick will be the odd man out.
— Marian Gaborik wasn’t in the Rangers lineup when they faced the Bruins at TD Garden last month, but he has since returned from a shoulder injury and has clearly made an impact. He’s had four points in his three games since coming back, with all of them coming on Sunday against the Oilers. In that game, Gaborik picked up a hat trick and an assist. He’s a plus-5 on the season.
— Julien will be coaching in his 500th career NHL game on Wednesday. It will be his 262nd game with the Bruins.
“Those things are so far away from my mind, that I don’t even know [when they come],” Julien told reporters with a laugh on Tuesday. ” ‘¦ I don’t pay much attention to that. I’m just happy to be here.”
|11.15.10 at 11:40 pm ET|
Tim Thomas was happy to admit that his fourth shutout of the season was a collective effort. Thanks to the blocked shots of Dennis Seidenberg and captain Zdeno Chara effectively rubbing out Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Elias, Thomas faced just 28 shots and stopped them all in a 3-0 win over the Devils Monday night at TD Garden.
But that wasn’t the biggest story. The Bruins managed to put three pucks behind future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, one more than they scored during an unlikely three-game home ice losing skid.
“There was definitely a little urgency but it was a controlled urgency,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t a panicked urgency. It was more like, ‘Hey, it’s time to start righting the ship and tonight’s a good place to start.'”
The Bruins were just 2-4-1 on home ice this season.
“I personally approached it as a must-win and I think the team did too,” Thomas said. “We need to get back on track; we need to show some urgency. We faced a team that’s been playing better but has struggled this year, and we needed to come out with the win so that we could start building and getting back to the game that we were playing when we were having success.”
Thomas did face pressure at times, like late in the second period when the Devils fired the last six shots of the period.
“Yeah, that and the first couple minutes of the game there,” Thomas said. “Elias was very, very patient. You know, there was some times where we really controlled the play for long periods of time and there were other times where they made a push and I just had to be on my toes and the team had to be on their toes for the rebounds.”
The way it played out, Thomas weathered the storm at the start, and had pretty much clear sailing the rest of the way.
“I don’t know, well, you could look at it either way. Yeah, it could be tough, or looking back, it actually could help get me into the game,” Thomas said. “And it happened so quick that I didn’t have time to think about it. I didn’t have time to think, ‘Is this really happening in the first minute of the game?’ It was just like, ‘I got to find some way to stop this thing.’
“It’s a similar feeling to how I felt against Washington, probably early this year was the closest that I kind of felt like that. I just felt like they weren’t going to find a way to score.”
As the minutes wound down, he could sense he was closing in on his 21st career shutout, just 91 shy of his counterpart Monday night.
“The last several minutes you start to put some emphasis because you don’t want to work that hard and not get it,” Thomas said. “I used to not care about shutouts and I still don’t for the most part, but that was 21 and 25 is a milestone that few people reach in the NHL.”
|11.15.10 at 10:25 pm ET|
Claude Julien said Monday night that Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci will accompany the Bruins as they travel to New York to face the Rangers on Wednesday night. Krejci, working his way back from a concussion suffered Nov. 6, continues to skate with the team while Boychuk, who suffered a fractured forearm on Oct. 23 against the Rangers, could return to game action.
“Boychuk is day-to-day now,” Julien said. “Depending on how his wrist is or is arm is, there’s always a possibility we could see him in Wednesday’s game.”
Julien expressed uncertainty on the subject of whether Marco Sturm (knee) or Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome) will travel with the team. Both have been skating as they look to return from their respective injuries.
|11.15.10 at 9:24 pm ET|
Tim Thomas picked up his fourth shutout of the season as the 36-year-old blanked the Devils in front of a sold out crowd at TD Garden on Monday night, leading the Bruins to a 3-0 win. Thomas stopped all 28 of the shots he saw, as he improved to 9-1-0 on the season.
Michael Ryder, Nathan Horton and Blake Wheeler scored for the Bruins in the first, second, and third periods, respectively. Horton leads the team with eight goals, while Ryder picked up his fifth goal and Wheeler scored his third.
The Bruins will travel to New York to face the Rangers on Wednesday in Claude Julien’s 500th game as a coach.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– All three of the Bruins’ scorers had either a bit of intrigue or relief accompany their goals Horton had cooled off a bit at home, so getting on the board at the Garden is huge for the Bruins as they aim to get some offense going in front of the home crowd this year.
Ryder, meanwhile, continues to make it harder for the Bruins to send him to Providence when Marco Sturm and Marc Savard return from long term injury reserve. Ryder has a $4 million cap hit, but he’s third on the team in goals and is on pace to surpass his 18-goal total of a year ago.
Wheeler, who like teammate Mark Stuart donated $5,000 worth of tickets to local military troops, was due for a goal. He both created plays on Saturday night and had them fall apart, getting the wrath of the fans when he knocked one in the Senators’ net hit his glove.
– The woes continue for the $100 million man, Ilya Kovalchuk, and the Devils. The Bruins held the sniper to just two shots on goal, and Kovalchuk finished the night a minus-one. Through 17 games, Kovalchuk has nine goals and is a minus-nine.
– On November 15, Tim Thomas is just one shutout away from tying his career-high of five, a feat he has been accomplish in the last two seasons.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Tyler Seguin has just one point in his last seven games. The Bruins don’t need him to be the star he’s expected to become right away, but with Krejci out there was certainly opportunity for him to showcase his talents and get a little more playing time. He continues to hover in the 12:00-13:00 range as far as ice time goes, and with Ryder no longer on his line, he may have a harder time keeping the point total up. Patience is the key, and this scribe isn’t ready to go back on his 23-goal prediction for Seguin in his rookie year.
– Ryder’s seen a bit of a spike in penalty minutes these last couple of games. He entered the Senators game on Saturday with just two on the season and, after going off for a dive on Saturday, was called for tripping at 1:35 of the third. He did, of course draw a Mattias Tedenby double-minor in the second period, negating the four minutes he’s compiled over the last two games.
|11.15.10 at 8:46 pm ET|
Apologies for some technical difficulties making this a couple of minutes late…
The Bruins added to their lead in the second period, and it sure was a welcomed sight.
The Bruins had just two goals over their previous three home games at the Garden, and Nathan Horton, the team’s top scorer, had zero points in his last four home games. That changed when he beat Martin Brodeur with a wrister 43 seconds into the second period. Horton has just one shot on goal in the game, but he’s made it count.
Through two periods, Tim Thomas has saved all 14 shots he’s seen. The Bruins are outshooting the Devils, 17-14.