WILMINGTON — The lines are beginning to take shape in the wake of the Chuck Kobasew  trade to the Minnesota Wild  on Tuesday morning, and it appears that coach Claude Julien  will be taking advantage of Johnny Boychuk’s versatility for the time being.
Rookie Brad Marchand  has stepped in for Kobasew and is skating the left wing alongside Patrice Bergeron  and — surprise, surprise — Michael Ryder . Vladimir Sobotka is filling in for the injured Milan Lucic , and is skating the left wing along with David Krejci  and Blake Wheeler . Boychuk, who has played forward as well as defenseman during his pro career, is filling in for Shawn Thornton  and skating the wing along with Steve Begin and Byron Bitz.
Thornton missed his second straight day of practice and is “banged up” according to Julien, but it didn’t seem like the B’s head coach was all that concerned about his brawler missing Wednesday’s game against the Nashville Predators .
“It’s maintenance. I think he’s day to day. He’s banged up a little bit and it was advised to us to give him another day,” said Julien. “With the number of players we’re just looking to put four lines together. One day it’s Hunwick, one day it’s Boychuk. The next day it may be somebody else. It’s never a bad thing anyway to do those things, so in a pinch it gives him a chance to practice at those positions.”
A situation like this shows why the B’s have so much value placed in both Boychuk and Matt Hunwick. Both defensemen have also shown a demonstrated ability to play the forward position, and give Julien all sorts of options when injuries can and do arise.
Thornton is missing from the second consecutive of practice after Julien said that it was a maintenance day for the forward Monday.
So the lines look like this:
Vladimir Sobotka — David Krejci — Blake Wheeler
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Michael Ryder
Byron Bitz — Steve Begin — Johnny Boychuk
—Andrew Ference  also left the practice ice after an hour when he apparently took either a stick or puck to the face, and didn’t return to the Tuesday morning session.