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Kevan Miller cleared to play, David Krejci getting closer, Brad Marchand ‘probable’ 11.17.14 at 10:40 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand missed Monday’s practice, while both David Krejci and Kevan Miller took the ice at Ristuccia Arena. After the practice, Julien said that Miller has been cleared to play.

Marchand did not play the final 13:45 of Saturday’s game and also missed the last 6:23 of Wednesday’s game. Following Saturday’s win over the Hurricanes, Claude Julien said that Marchand was “not injured, per se.”

After the practice, Julien said that Marchand was “probable” for Tuesday’s game against the Blues. He added that the injury from which Marchand was suffering occurred in Saturday’s game.

With Marchand absent, Matt Fraser took his place on Patrice Bergeron‘s line.

Krejci, who began skating Friday as he works his way back from a lower-body injury, did line drills with his usual linemates in Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Chris Kelly, who has played in Krejci’s place during his absence, returned to Carl Soderberg’s line.

Krejci missed the first three games of the season, returned to play nine, missed two more before returning for one game and missing the last four games. He did not appear to be limited in Monday’s practice.

Julien said that he has yet to be notified that Krejci has been cleared to play. Asked whether the team wanted to be more cautious with Krejci this time than last time, Julien denied any previous impatience on the Bruins’ part.

“Well he was 100 percent last time,” Julien said, “and somehow by the end of the game he didn’€™t feel good again, so we have to take that into consideration as well.”

The forward lines in practice were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Gagne – Campbell – Paille

Miller hasn’t played since Oct. 18 due to a dislocated shoulder suffered in a fight on Oct. 18. He had taken what the team called “light contact” leading up to Monday’s practice, but participated regularly Monday. Julien said that with Miller cleared to play, the only remaining hurdle is for the team to decide whether he has had enough practice time.

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Claude Julien: Brad Marchand ‘not injured, per se’ 11.15.14 at 4:25 pm ET
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Claude Julien said after Saturday’€™s win over the Hurricanes that Brad Marchand is “not injured, per se,”€ which is a tough way to say that someone isn’t injured.

Marchand did not play the final 13:45 of Saturday’€™s game. That came two games after Marchand missed the last 6:23 of Wednesday’€™s loss to the Maple Leafs.

‘€œHe’€™s not injured, per se, but he wasn’€™t 100 percent,’€ Julien said Saturday. ‘€œIt was a safe route to take, I guess.’€

The Bruins are either being cautious or trying to hide the situation the best they can. Remember, Julien called David Krejci‘€™s preseason injury “very, very minor ” at the time it was suffered.€ Krejci went on to miss the next three games with what was believed to be a hip injury. The team has still not revealed why Krejci has not played the last four games.

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5 things we learned as Bruins beat another bad team at home 11.15.14 at 3:29 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask got the start and the win Saturday. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask got the start and the win Saturday. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Playing bad teams at home really seems to work for the Bruins.

After a treacherous two-game Canadian road trip that saw the Bruins’€™ get outscored, 11-2, the lowly Hurricanes looked like a worthy opponent for the B’€™s, but they escaped with a 2-1 win (box) and improved their record for the first time since they were last at home, which was also when they were playing bad teams.

The Hurricanes outshot the Bruins by wide margins in both the first and third periods and would have easily put more than one goal past Tuukka Rask had they finished any of what were multiple gimmes during a 1:44 5-on-3 in the first period. You get breaks like that when you play struggling teams, but by no means were the Bruins dominant.

That’€™s the Bruins in a nutshell right now. They can get these wins, but they aren’€™t dominant. The B’€™s are now 7-3-0 without Zdeno Chara.

Here are four other things we learned Saturday:


Matt Bartkowski made his return to the lineup after sitting the previous seven games as a result of his early-season struggles. He played in place of Zach Trotman, who was a healthy scratch.

That wasn’€™t the only change to the Bruins’€™ back end, as Claude Julien broke up Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton on the top pairing. The pairings were as follows:

Seidenberg – McQuaid
Morrow – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Krug

Bartkowski had a generally good game, with a particularly lengthy first-period shift in the offensive zone among the positives. A turnover in the second period led to a scoring chance for Jeff Skinner, but Saturday was overall an improvement on the mistake-heavy showings Bartkowski had before he was taken out of the lineup.


Bergeron was on the ice for Tlusty’€™s goal, which made it eight even strength goals against for which he’€™s been on the ice the last four games.

The results for Bergeron and his line changed later in the period, however, as Brad Marchand‘€™s work with the puck and ensuing pass set up a Bergeron goal with 50 seconds left in the period. The goal was the first for Bergeron’€™s line since Reilly Smith’€™s goal late in the third period of Monday’€™s win against the Devils.

Bergeron also made a nice heads-up play in the offensive zone in the third period, picking off a Justin Faulk pass to set up a Seth Griffith scoring chance.

Marchand did not play the final 13:45 of the game. That’s something to watch, as he also did not play the final 6:23 of Wednesday’s game in Toronto.


Daniel Paille turned the puck over in the neutral zone to lead to a lengthy Hurricanes possession on which Jiri Tlusty scored just over seven minutes into the first period. He was given just one more shift the rest of the period and did not play the final 10:27 of the first period.

Paille didn’€™t take contact with anyone or appear to be in pain on his nine-second shift, which came on the penalty kill. He didn’€™t look like a guy who was injured, and even if he was, the Bruins probably won’€™t say anything about it.

Claude Julien threw some different looks out there for his forward lines as the period went on, giving Milan Lucic two shifts with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. The lines were reverted back to normal for the second period.

Paille still has no goals this season. He thought he scored when he wheeled around and in the high slot and whipped the puck through traffic and in, but the goal was waved off due to Gregory Campbell standing in the crease.

The line of Campbell between Paille and Gagne still has just one goal this season, a Campbell game-winner on Oct. 21 against the Sharks,


Say what you will about Tuukka Rask not starting in Montreal ‘€” personally, I thought the Bruins’€™ plan to go Rask in Toronto and Niklas Svedberg was the right plan going into it, with spectacularly poor results ‘€” but Rask had a nice bounce-back performance Saturday against the Hurricanes.

Of course, a lot of goaltenders have good games against the Hurricanes, who entered Saturday 26th in the league in goals scored per game, but the Bruins will take it nonetheless.

One of Rask’€™s bigger saves came about eight minutes into the third period, when he left a rebound out front for Victor Rask but was able to recover and stop Carolina’€™s second-chance opportunity.

5 things we learned as Bruins crushed by Canadiens for second straight blowout loss 11.13.14 at 10:07 pm ET
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Max Pacioretty scored twice against Niklas Svedberg Thursday. (Getty Images)

Max Pacioretty scored twice against Niklas Svedberg Thursday. (Getty Images)

MONTREAL — The two-game Canadian road trip the Bruins had this week was an opportunity for them to show they can win games that aren’€™t at home and against bad teams. Instead they looked more like the struggling team they were early on in the season, just without Zdeno Chara and David Krejci.

Claude Julien‘€™s decision to start Niklas Svedberg over Tuukka Rask looked good early on, as the Bruins held a 1-0 lead after a first period that saw Svedberg deny Max Pacioretty on the doorstep, but things gradually fell apart for the Bruins for a second straight night. With Thursday’€™s 5-1 loss to the Habs (box) in their final trip to the Bell Centre this regular season, the Bruins fell to 0-2-0 this season against their biggest rivals. They also lost both games of the Toronto-Montreal trip by an aggregate score of 11-2.

Entering Thursday, Svedberg had only started against two teams this season: the Sabres twice and the Islanders once. The Islanders are nothing to sneeze at, but the Sabres entered Thursday last in the NHL with eight points. The Habs proved to be a much different animal, as Max Pacioretty scored a pair of goals as part of a run of four consecutive goals for the Habs beginning in the second period.

Because it’€™s Montreal and we technically didn’€™t learn why Alexander Khokhlachev was recalled (see below), this will be a six things we learned. Here are the other five:


In Toronto, we pointed out that Patrice Bergeron had been on the ice for four five-on-five goals against in a two-game stretch. Make it seven in three games, as Bergeron’€™s line and the Dougie Hamilton – Dennis Seidenberg pairing allowed two second-period goals Thursday and allowed another in the third.

For as swell as it is that Bergeron’€™s line was producing more recently and that Hamilton has played big minutes and put up points (including a first-period power play goal Thursday), the Bruins aren’€™t happy when anyone gives up goals in bulk, let alone their best players.

The last time Bergeron had a minus-3 rating in a game prior to Thursday night was on Feb. 11, 2011. Bergeron has now been a minus player in seven of his 18 games this season; he was a minus player just 14 times all last season.


Thursday’€™s game was Milan Lucic‘€™s first game back at the Bell Centre since doing that thing he did with his hand last month. Rather than making another not-so-wise choice, however, Lucic was the guy drawing the dumb penalty Thursday night.

After placing a big open-ice hit on Jiri Sekac late in the second period, Lucic was approached by P.K. Subban. Lucic seemed interested in dropping the gloves, but Subban instead cross-checked him. Knowing Subban wasn’€™t going to fight him, Lucic didn’€™t retaliate and Subban was the only player given a penalty.

The Bruins didn’€™t score on the power play, but that was one of the minor, minor victories they could take from the night.


Dale Weise, who first made enemies with the Bruins as a Vancouver Canuck in the 2011-12 regular season and only heightened things last postseason, figured to remain a big part of the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry this season. That was put in doubt, however, when the man Milan Lucic not-so-affectionately referred to as a “œbaby” after Game 7 was made a healthy scratch by the Habs in the first meeting between the teams this season.

Weise was in the lineup Thursday, however, and he made quite the impact. First, Weise fought and defeated Gregory Campbell in the opening minutes of the game. In the second period, the veteran winger was tripped by Dennis Seidenberg while on a breakaway, resulting in a penalty shot on which he scored easily on a gaping five-hole exposed by Svedberg. He also picked up the primary assist on Max Pacioretty‘€™s second-period goal. He also took a goaltender interference penalty late in the game, which earned him a punch to the head from Adam McQuaid.

Speaking of five-hole goals for Weise, that’€™s a spot that’€™s been good to Weise in this building against the Bruins. Weise beat Rask on a breakaway in Game 3 of the second round last postseason.


The Bruins recalled Alexander Khokhlachev on an emergency basis Thursday, with Claude Julien saying prior to the game that the recall had nothing to do with David Krejci being out and that a different player would be a game-time decision against the Habs.

Khokhlachev didn’€™t take a single line rush in warmups and was made the healthy scratch. The good news for him: he gets the NHL pay. The bad news: The Moscow native’€™s parents, who now live in Toronto, made the trip to Montreal for the game.

Mark Divver of the Providence Journal tweeted earlier Thursday that Carl Soderberg was the player in question. Soderberg played through a wrist injury earlier in the season but did not miss any games.


Matt Fraser fought back in his days of junior hockey in the WHL and dropped the gloves twice last season, but he says he doesn’€™t consider himself a fighter. Instead, he considers himself a player who wants to show his team he’€™s willing to do anything.

That’€™s admirable, but maybe Fraser shouldn’€™t be so willing to fight for a little bit. The third-line left wing dropped the gloves in the second period and got clocked by Nathan Beaulieu amidst multiple punches he took from the Habs defenseman. Fraser didn’€™t look in great shape as he went straight to the training room rather the penalty box.

Perhaps surprisingly, Fraser returned to the game in the third period.

If Tuukka Rask plays, P.K. Subban says Canadiens must ‘make his life a living hell’ 11.13.14 at 11:52 am ET
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BROSSARD, Quebec — Tuukka Rask doesn’t win too often at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens know it, but they also know that history doesn’t matter in the present.

“They said the same thing about Henrik Lundqvist last year,” Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban said. “He seemed to play pretty well.”

Indeed, Lundqvist did.

After not winning in Montreal since 2009 and being sat in games at the Bell Centre since 2012, the Rangers’ netminder went into Montreal and allowed three goals over the first two games (both Rangers wins) of the Eastern Conference finals last year. New York would go on to win the series in six games.

Rask has a career record of 3-11-3 against the Habs in the regular season overall, and is 3-6-0 against them in Montreal (4-7-0 including playoffs). He also lost two of his three starts against them at the Bell Centre last postseason, though his one win was a shutout. The goaltender also blanked them in Montreal in the 2009-10 season. He’s actually been worse against the Habs at the Garden than he’s been at the Bell Centre.

It isn’t like Rask has been a disaster against the Canadiens, but then again, not beating the Canadiens qualifies as a disaster for the Bruins.

“I wouldn’t look too much into it,” Subban said. “When he comes to this building, whenever we play Boston, it seems that we do a good job of getting traffic in front of him and not make it easy on him. It’s not an easy building to play in, but to say that he can’t have a good game here — I mean, I think he’s one of the best goalies in the league. He’s proven that and he’s played well against us at time.

“To be honest with you, when you see some of the goals that we’ve scored, we’ve done a good job of creating traffic. It’s not easy stopping second and third shots. We’ve had a couple of breakaways against him — that’s a 50-50 chance — so I think if we’re not prepared to get traffic in front of him tonight and make his life a living hell, then I don’t think we’re doing ourselves justice.”

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Bruins recall Alexander Khokhlachev on emergency basis 11.13.14 at 9:22 am ET
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Alexander Khokhachev

Alexander Khokhachev

MONTREAL — The Bruins have called up center Alexander Khokhlachev on an emergency basis for Thursday night’€™s game against the Canadiens.

The Bruins do not have a morning skate Thursday, so it’€™s tough to predict where Khokhlachev would slot in the team’€™s lineup. Because he was recalled on an emergency basis, Khokhlachev will make the trip to Montreal as a result of a Bruins injury. Brad Marchand did not play the final 6:23 of Wednesday’s loss, while Mark Divver of the Providence Journal suggested Thursday that Carl Soderberg could have some sort of ailment. Soderberg had a wrist injury earlier in the season, but did not miss any games.

Khokhlachev is amidst an impressive stretch in Providence, so it’€™s possible the B’€™s could put him in Chris Kelly‘€™s place on Milan Lucic‘€™s line with Seth Griffith, and return Kelly to Carl Soderberg’€™s line. Claude Julien shook up Boston’€™s lines in the second period of Wednesday’€™s loss to the Maple Leafs, moving Matt Fraser from Soderberg’€™s line to the fourth line.

A second-round pick in the 2011 draft, Khokhlachev has five goals and six assists for Providence in 12 games this season. The Moscow native has centered a line with wingers Jordan Caron and David Pastrnak, with Anthony Camara playing left wing on the line the last four games while Caron nursed an upper-body injury.

Thursday will be Khokhlachev’€™s second career NHL game. He skated in last season’€™s regular-season finale against the Devils.

David Krejci did not travel with the B’€™s to Toronto or Montreal. He remains out due to a hip injury suffered in the final game of the preseason.

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5 things we learned as Maple Leafs made Bruins miss Zdeno Chara 11.12.14 at 10:32 pm ET
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Phil Kessel scored twice against the Bruins Wednesday. (Abelimages/Getty Images)

Phil Kessel scored twice against the Bruins Wednesday. (Abelimages/Getty Images)

TORONTO –€” The first eight games of the Zdeno Chara-less schedule looked like a group of largely winnable contests before they would have to face the Canadiens.

For as well as the Bruins survived that stretch, they ended it in disastrous fashion.

For all the bad moments have had this season — and they’€™ve had plenty between their early-season struggles and the injuries they’€™ve suffered –€” they hadn’€™t really gotten walloped by anyone, let alone a Maple Leafs opponent they had handled easily without Chara once already.

The Bruins’€™ 6-1 loss to the Maple Leafs (here is the box score) provided a reminder for anyone who had forgotten that, though Boston hasn’€™t played many good teams of late, things are a lot harder without No. 33 on the ice. Phil Kessel, a player who is usually silent against his former team because of Chara, enjoyed a two-goal night against Boston’€™s mortal blue line.

Tuukka Rask was yanked after giving up three goals early in the second period and four on the night. Even what looked like a well-targeted Bruins goal by Reilly Smith was negated in the second period by Carl Soderberg being in the crease.

Of course, it wasn’€™t just about Chara, Rask or Boston’€™s defense. This was one of those once-in-a-season colossal stinkers that a team can only hope will end up being their worst loss of the season with few other candidates.

Here are four other things we learned Wednesday night:

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Read More: Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara
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