|Dennis Seidenberg ‘getting close’ to returning to Bruins’ lineup||11.11.15 at 3:23 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — While the Bruins shared some bad injury news regarding their forwards, they seem pretty close to getting some help on defense.
Dennis Seidenberg, who missed all of training camp after having back surgery on Sept. 24, is closing in on a return. Nearly seven weeks into an anticipated eight-week recovery (Thursday will mark seven weeks), Seidenberg is taking contact and participating in battle drills with teammates.
“It’s getting close. Closer,” Seidenberg said after taking part in 3-on-3 battle drills in Wednesday’s practice. “It’s tough to say, but I’m feeling better on the ice. I’m feeling strong in the battles. It’s about being more comfortable skating, and that’s getting better.”
Seidenberg has insisted that pain is not an issue, nor is his back. He says that he’s comfortable taking contact but is still monitoring how his lower-body strength is coming along since being back on the ice.
“The physical part is not the thing I have to worry about. It’s all about the lower leg and the strength and being able to sustain whatever challenge I have out there,” he said. “That’s the main thing I have to look at.”
Claude Julien said that Seidenberg is ‘being evaluated every day because he is getting closer’ to returning to Boston’s lineup. It seems unlikely he would play on Thursday against the Avalanche, but it’s safe to say the team expects him to play at some point during the team’s upcoming homestand.
While the Bruins will welcome Seidenberg’s return if and when it comes, they’re also managing their expectations in the early going. Seidenberg struggled last season in his first campaign back from a torn ACL, and though he came into informal practices in the summer eager to bounce back, the fact that he hasn’t seen game action for roughly seven months suggests it could take time for him to hit his stride.
“When a guy hasn’t had a training camp and hasn’t had a game this year, you can’t expect him to come back and all of a sudden be firing on all cylinders,” Julien said. “When he does come back, we realize that we may have to monitor his ice time and who he plays against, and so on and so forth. Those are things that we’re prepared for the minute he’s good to go.”
|Alexander Khokhlachev out 4-6 weeks after finger surgery||11.11.15 at 1:04 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — David Pastrnak isn’t the only young Bruins forward who has received bad injury news this week, as B’s general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday said that Providence forward Alexander Khokhlachev will miss approximately four to six weeks with a finger injury.
After jumping out to lead the AHL in points through 10 games, Khokhlachev was called up for a two-game stint with the B’s last week. He suffered his injury in his first game back with Providence on Saturday, requiring surgery.
“He went up to Utica and fell on his hand, and he had a fracture, a small crack in his little finger, so he had surgery to put a pin in and stabilize that,” Sweeney said. “His timeframe — everybody’s different, but it’s probably four to six.”
This marks an undoubtedly frustrating development for a player who has been open with his frustrations with his role in the Bruins organization. Khokhlachev, 22, vented in the preseason about the Bruins not giving him the chance to be an NHL player. With this injury, he’ll have to wait even longer.
Khokhlachev, a second-round pick of the Bruins in the 2011 draft, is in the final year of his entry-level contract. He has led Providence in points in each of the last two seasons.
|David Pastrnak has non-displaced fracture in foot||11.11.15 at 11:37 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Don Sweeney provided an update on right winger David Pastrnak on Wednesday, revealing that the second-year pro has a small non-displaced fracture in his left foot.
Pastrnak, who suffered the injury when he was hit in the foot by a shot on Oct. 27 against the Coyotes, played two games with what the team initially thought was a bruised foot before he missed the next four games.
“With David’s case, things changed a little bit,” Sweeney said. “The initial X-rays we had were normal. We waited for swelling to go down [and] the symptoms were still persisting, so we went to have a more definitive CT scan and it did reveal a small non-displaced crack in an awkward location, so we have to give him some time. The course of action doesn’t change for him except he just needs [some] more rest.”
The injury has left Pastrnak wearing a boot. Sweeney said that there is no timetable for his return, but that the team doesn’t expect surgery to be required.
Torey Krug also missed practice on Wednesday, marking the third straight day he’s been off the ice. The Bruins have called each of Krug’s absences this week maintenance days.
Wednesday’s practice also saw Dennis Seidenberg participate in three-on-three battle drills, with Seidenberg saying after practice that he had taken contact previously in his recovery. Thursday will mark seven weeks since the surgery, which initially was expected to keep the veteran defenseman out for eight weeks.
The lines in practice were as follows:
|David Pastrnak, Torey Krug miss Bruins practice||11.10.15 at 12:22 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — David Pastrnak and Torey Krug were both missing from the ice as the Bruins returned to practice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.
Pastrnak has missed the last four games with a bruised foot. With Pastrnak still out, Frank Vatrano skated on David Krejci‘s line with Loui Eriksson. Claude Julien said after the practice that Krug was given a maintenance day, but that Pastrnak’s status remains up in the air.
“He’s still not ready to go, obviously,” Julien said. “I don’t know. I haven’t heard much from our training staff, but they told me he’s not available, so it doesn’t look good I guess as we speak because of that. I was expecting him to be back today. We’ll see what comes out of that.”
All other players were on the ice Tuesday. The forward lines were as follows:
The Bruins are in the middle of a three-day stretch of no game action. They had Monday off and will practice again on Wednesday before hosting the Avalanche in the first game of a five-game homestand.
|Bruins send Max Talbot back to Providence||11.09.15 at 7:38 pm ET|
The Bruins sent Max Talbot to Providence on Monday evening, marking the second time this season they’ve assigned the veteran forward to the AHL.
The demotion comes after last week’s recall, which saw Talbot play three games for the B’s following Chris Kelly‘s regular-season-ending femur fracture. Talbot skated on Boston’s fourth line and killed penalties, never reaching 10 minutes of ice time in a game.
Prior to Talbot’s recall, he had played three games for Providence and recorded four assists. He was waived prior to the start of the season, which allowed the B’s to send to him to Providence on Oct. 27.
The demotion of Talbot presents good news for Frank Vatrano, who appears to be safe on Boston’s roster for the time being. The East Longmeadow native was recalled on Friday to play in place of David Pastrnak, who has missed the last four games with a bruised foot. Vatrano scored in his NHL debut Saturday night against the Canadiens.
|5 things we learned as Bruins blow lead and lose to Canadiens||11.07.15 at 10:03 pm ET|
The Canadiens led for only 1:08 on Saturday night. That worked out just fine for them, as it was the final 1:08 of the game.
After David Krejci was called for his third minor penalty of the night, David Desharnais beat Jonas Gustavsson on the power play and Max Pacioretty scored an empty-netter to give the Habs a 4-2 victory over the Bruins at Bell Centre.
Krejci’s third penalty, a cross-check on Tomas Plekanec with just over two minutes to play in regulation with the game tied, was extremely ill-advised. Given how poorly Boston’s penalty kill has performed (two of Montreal’s goals came on the man advantage), it was hardly a surprise to see the penalty cost Boston the game.
The Bruins took leads into the second and third periods thanks to goals from Loui Eriksson and Frank Vatrano, making the fact that they came out of the contest with no points all the more painful. The Bruins have now dropped three straight games in regulation and are 6-6-1 on the season.
The B’s will play again Sunday when they face the Islanders at Barclays Center.
Here are five things we learned Saturday:
VATRANO SCORES IN DEBUT
When the Bruins signed Vatrano out of UMass Amherst in March, his shot and willingness to shoot were believed to be his biggest strengths. Those shifts were confirmed in his first NHL games Saturday night.
Called up on Friday after leading the AHL with 10 goals, Vatrano landed two shots on Mike Condon in his first of the game. That proved to be merely a warmup however, as he scored his first career goal in the second period.
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 8, 2015
To make the moment even cooler for the East Longmeadow native, Vatrano’s father and uncle managed to make the quick trip after Vatrano’s promotion to see the goal.
‘ Stephanie (@myregularface) November 8, 2015
CANADIENS GIVE AWAY FIRST
In case you were unaware, the Bruins tend to struggle against the Canadiens. Though the Habs were without Carey Price, who is out with a lower-body injury, the B’s still needed any help they could get. As it turned out, the Habs were willing to accommodate them there.
Montreal took three penalties in the first period, the first of which led to a Loui Eriksson goal 1:50 into the game. With the Habs shorthanded due to a too many men on the ice bench minor, Ryan Spooner fed Patrice Bergeron, whose shot was tipped by Loui Eriksson in front.
JULIEN WINS KEY CHALLENGE
The Habs appeared to tie the game early in the third period when Tomas Plekanec jumped on a rebound with a mess of bodies in front of the net and fired it in. Jonas Gustavsson was visibly angry with the play and Claude Julien promptly challenged the play citing goaltender interference.
Replays showed that Gustavsson had a point; Brendan Gallagher came over the top of the Boston goalie, meaning the small Habs winger was essentially on top of Gustavsson and prevented him from moving in an attempt to stop Plekanec’s shot. The call on the ice was reversed to keep the score 2-1.
The play marked the first time Julien had won a challenge. He’s now 1-2 on the season on challenges.
TROTMAN PLAYS, MORROW SITS
After sitting in 11 straight games, Zach Trotman returned to Boston’s lineup, with Joe Morrow joining Tyler Randell in the press box as a healthy scratch.
Trotman, who was benched after the season-opener, skated mostly with Kevan Miller, giving Boston a pairing of two right-shot defensemen. That meant Kevan Miller saw plenty of time playing the left side.
While lefties can commonly play the right side, it’s very unusual for right-shot defensemen to play the left side. They rarely experience it growing up, as teams almost always have a surplus of lefties.
MILLER POINT STREAK HITS SIX GAMES
With the only credited assist on Vatrano’s goal, Colin Miller now has points in six straight games (one goal, five assists). Miller could have been a candidate to potentially come out of the lineup for Trotman to play, but there’s no way the team can sit him while he’s producing offensively.
David Krejci, meanwhile, has now gone four games without a point after registering points in the first nine games of the season. He should have been credited with a secondary assist on Vatrano’s goal, however, as he fed the puck to Miller before Miller dished to Vatrano.
|5 things we learned as Bruins fall to Capitals in first road loss of season||11.05.15 at 9:45 pm ET|
The Bruins finally got over the “scoring on Braden Holtby” hump. They’ll figure out the “beating the Capitals” thing some other time.
Though the B’s got a power play from Jimmy Hayes in the first period to finally score on the Washington goalie, Holtby got the last laugh by standing tall for the rest of the game as the Capitals took a 4-1 victory over the Bruins. With Boston having not scored on Holtby at all last season, Hayes’ goal ended Holtby’s shutout streak against the Bruins at 199:30.
The loss was the Bruins’ second straight as they head to face the Canadiens Saturday in Montreal. The Bruins are now 5-1-0 on the road, as Thursday marked the Bruins’ first loss away from TD Garden. The B’s overall record on the season now stands at 6-5-1.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
BAD BRAT TAKES OVER AS BAD PENALTIES PILE UP
The Bruins were already in a tight spot when an unnecessarily Jimmy Hayes slashing penalty put the league’s worst penalty kill on the ice in the second period. Tuukka Rask gave the B’s reason for optimism by making a pair of sensational saves of on T.J. Oshie, but any optimism failed to last thanks to a dumb move from Brad Marchand.
After Rask followed up a kick save on Oshie by gloving the rebound big, Marchand punched Oshie in the back of the head. Oshie and Marchand had been taking whacks at one another in front of the net prior to the play, but Marchand’s punch was clear as day and led to a roughing penalty to give Washington a 1:18 5-on-3. The Capitals wouldn’t need that much time, as John Carlson scored 28 seconds into the 5-on-3 to give Washington a 3-1 lead.
Those weren’t the only ill-advised penalties Boston took. The B’s were also whistled for too many men on the ice with 10.8 seconds remaining in the second period.
ONE MILLER STAYS HOT…
With an assist on Hayes’ first-period goal, Colin Miller extended his point streak to five games. Miller, who scored his first career goal in Tuesday’s loss to the Stars, has one goal and four assists over this five-game span. He had just one point, an assist, in his previous six games.
WHILE THE OTHER’S STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Kevan Miller has not had a strong go of it this season. He’s not in the lineup for anything he can do offensively, but his work in his own zone has left much to be desired.
Poor gap control has cost the Bruins multiple goals this season (including Tyler Seguin‘s first of three on Tuesday night), while Thursday night saw Miller give up the puck in the corner of the Boston zone on a Capitals possession that eventually led to Ovechkin’s goal.
Miller wasn’t the only Bruins defenseman who could have done more to prevent a goal against, as Joe Morrow let Brooks Laich slip behind him and screen Rask on what proved to be the game-winning goal at 4:10 of the second period.
Zach Trotman has sat for 11 straight games. Though the Bruins are probably more comfortable with Miller killing penalties, perhaps the Bruins could soon give Trotman a game and Miller a night in the press box.
TALBOT STEPS IN FOR KELLY
As expected, Max Talbot was in Boston’s lineup Thursday in place of Chris Kelly, who is done for at least the regular season. Talbot played left wing on the fourth line with Joonas Kemppainen and Tyler Randell. Zac Rinaldo joined Zach Trotman as a healthy scratch.
Randell dropped the gloves for the first time in a regular-season NHL game, defeating Michael Latta in a second-period bout.