|Bruins prepared to play without Zdeno Chara, however long that may be||12.12.11 at 7:54 pm ET|
The Bruins are going to be without Zdeno Chara — reportedly for at least a week — but the B’s captain isn’t ready to count himself out for even Wednesday’s game against the Senators.
“There is no time frame when I’m going to be back, but most likely I won’t be playing tomorrow,” Chara said Monday at Ristuccia Arena. “That’s as far as I can tell you right now, because honestly it’s at a stage where we can’t really talk about any further than 24 hours ahead.”
Chara injured his left leg in a collision with Antoine Vermette Saturday night in Columbus. The Boston Globe reported Sunday that he would miss at least this week, and could potentially held out until after Christmas.
The 6-foot-9 defenseman has not missed more than five games in a season since signing with the Bruins prior to the 2006-07 season. With that being said, he understands that injuries do occur, and that he hopes to return as quickly as he can.
“It’s just the nature of this sport. In any sport, you do get hurt. Injuries do happen, and there are some things as players that you can’t control,” he said. “They do really happen. As a player, really your job is to try to do your best with the treatments and rehab to get yourself back and on the ice with the team as fast as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do right now, but also at the same time, you don’t want to rush it. You want to be smart about it.”
With Chara out, the Bruins practiced Monday without drastically shaking up their defensive pairings. Claude Julien simply subbed in Steven Kampfer for Chara on his pairing with Johnny Boychuk and left the Dennis Seidenberg – Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid pairings alone.
It will be Kampfer’s first NHL game since Nov. 17, though he played two games for Providence when the B’s sent he and Jordan Caron for some game action earlier this month.
Assuming Chara does indeed miss the team’s games this week, Kampfer, who played in three straight games last month, will get the opportunity to do so again here. For a seventh defenseman, playing time and opportunities in the lineup may come sporadically, but a week’s worth of game action will give him time to get settled in and shake off any rust.
“I think you can always get a rhythm, even if you’re not playing,” Kampfer said. “You get in for one game, you’re practicing, you’re playing well and you’ve got the guys around you that are keeping you in a rhythm, so it’s definitely easier when you’ve got a team playing as well as we are.”
With Chara out, Seidenberg, who is averaging 24:12 of ice time per game (second only to Chara’s 24:28), could see an increased work load. He wouldn’t complain if that were the case, though the B’s probably don’t want to tire their second best defenseman.
“It’s up to the coaches,” Seidenberg. “We’ve been playing pretty even minutes these last few games. Guys have been playing pretty great as a group, and no matter who’s on the ice, [Doug Houda] feels comfortable putting them out there.”
With all the hoopla surrounding Chara’s injury, it’s clear that the best news is that it isn’t serious enough to keep him out for significant time. The B’s have good depth defensively, but removing arguably the best blueliner will certainly create a challenge for the B’s. It’s a challenge the other defensemen think they can handle.
“I think that some of the other forwards on the other teams will probably be in better moods, but that’s probably the biggest change,” Ference said. “He’s a big presence. Guys don’t like playing against him. He’s obviously a huge matchup against other teams’ top lines. That’s something that there’s quite a few of us back there that have played against top lines and top two lines in the league. It’s not like anybody’s getting outside of their comfort zone.”
|Call-up might be necessary as injury bug continues to bite Bruins||12.12.11 at 2:48 pm ET|
The Bruins, already without defenseman Zdeno Chara for Tuesday’s game against the Kings, might need to make a call to Providence in order to ice 12 forwards.
Center Gregory Campbell, who did not practice Monday for the Bruins, is in a walking boot and is considered questionable for Tuesday’s game with an injury suffered when he was hit in the foot with a shot.
While Campbell may be out for the B’s, the team did see the return of Daniel Paille to the ice. Paille, who suffered a concussion Thursday, said he has not been feeling symptoms and that he hopes to get back in the lineup this week. Bruins coach Claude Julien considers Paille day-to-day.
If both players are unable to go, the B’s would need to call up a player from Providence in order to ice four full lines.
“I think that’s something we’re probably going to look at,” Julien said, “and either later today or tomorrow morning, if need be, we’ll be calling somebody up.”
Julien said he doesn’t know whether Campbell has had x-rays taken of the foot, but that the center has been walking with a limp.
Said Julien: “He’s in a walking boot limping, and he’s had treatments here this morning, so I don’t know exactly what the final verdict is more than that he told me he was questionable.”
Paille said that he was feeling symptom-free and good enough to get back in the game Thursday, but that the team kept him out as a precaution. Additionally he still has visible scars on his face from the Steve Staios shot that hit him in the face last month, and he’s also fighting a cold. It’s safe to say Paille’s had better luck in the past, but he isn’t complaining. His main focus is getting back in the lineup, and after taking limited contact Monday (his first time back on the ice since being hit by Krys Barch), he hopes that time will come this week. He’ll need to pass a neuropsych evaluation before he can do that.
“Obviously, if I can [play Tuesday], I will, but obviously at this point I haven’t discussed it with Claude or Peter [Chiarelli],” Paille said, adding that he’d “like to” be back for at least one of this week’s three games.
If both Paille and Campbell are unable to go Tuesday, one option for the Bruins might be forward Zach Hamill, who has experience at both wing and center and picked up a point in a two-game stint with Boston this season. Hamill got off to a hot start in Providence this season, but has just one point, a goal, over his last nine games.
|Daniel Paille returns to practice, Gregory Campbell, Zdeno Chara absent||12.12.11 at 11:12 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Zdeno Chara wasn’t the only one to miss Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Fourth-line center Gregory Campbell was also absent for the B’s as they hit the ice to prepare for games on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Kings and Senators, respectively. It could simply be a maintenance day for Campbell.
The good news the Bruins received on the injury front was that Daniel Paille was back on the ice and skating with the Merlot Line. Paille suffered a concussion Thursday on a hit from Krys Barch and did not play Saturday against the Blue Jackets. With Paille back, each line had three players for a total of 12 forwards Monday. Jordan Caron remains on the Merlot Line.
Here were the defensive pairings with Chara out with a leg injury:
Dennis Seidenberg – Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid
Steven Kampfer – Johnny Boychuk
|What are the Bruins without Zdeno Chara?||12.12.11 at 12:22 am ET|
What are the Bruins without Zdeno Chara?
It could be argued that since coming to Boston, No. 33 has been the Bruins’ best player. He’s a nightmare for star forwards, and he executes a simple-sounding but difficult job impeccably: Play upwards of 25 minutes a game, be out there when their best players are on the ice, and see to it that the only guys scoring goals are wearing black and gold.
Now, with Boston Globe reporting Chara will miss at least the next three games and possibly be kept out until after Christmas with a leg injury suffered Saturday night, the Bruins will be without their best player.
The absence of Chara means Steven Kampfer will return to the lineup. Kampfer played three games for the B’s last month when Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk missed time, and the second-year blueliner was a plus-2 over the three games with ice time ranging from 9:07 to 14:49.
Chara, who is as serious about his conditioning as he is on the ice, has been an iron man for his ability to stay in the lineup. Since being traded to Ottawa prior to the 2001-02 season, the 6-foot-9 defenseman has missed more than eight games in only one season. That season was the 2005-06 campaign, and he missed 11 games.
In his five full seasons since signing in Boston, Chara has played at least 80 games every season with the exception of 2007-08, in which he played 77 games.
The last game that Chara missed for the Bruins was Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Canadiens. With Chara out with an illness, the B’s dropped the contest, 3-1, with the series looking like it wouldn’t last much longer if Chara were to remain out.
Chara returned for Game 3, and Claude Julien’s super-pairing of Chara and Dennis Seidenberg went on to become a primary reason as to why the B’s won it all.
Chara has played primarily with Boychuk this season, and it will be interesting to see how Julien approaches the defensive pairings with Chara out. Seidenberg obviously becomes the de facto No. 1 defenseman, but will Boychuk remain on the top pairing?
The Bruins saw last year against the Habs that they’re a far less dominant team without Chara in the lineup. For a team that was built around having the league’s best blue liner and strong centers, the next week or so will say a lot about what the Bruins are without a major pillar. The results weren’t so pretty in April, but the B’s were able to stick it out for the remainder of their 5-3 victory over the Blue Jackets.
Ultimately, the biggest bit of news regarding the injury is that it isn’t significant enough to put a major dent in his season. The other good news is that this isn’t the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, and that though Chara’s an integral part of the operation, the B’s have been producing enough offensively (with and without Chara, who’s having a career year) to motor through the next week without him. Still, it should be a good test, as the B’s will play back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Kings and Senators, respectively, and will play the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers on Saturday.
|Ryan Spooner to miss World Junior evaluation camp with mono||12.10.11 at 10:32 am ET|
In what our friend Kirk Luedeke notes is just a case of dreadful timing, Bruins prospect Ryan Spooner has mononucleosis and will miss Canada’s World Junior team evaluation camp, which opens Saturday.
Spooner, drafted with the 45th overall pick by the Bruins in 2010, has 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) through 27 games this season for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Spooner won’t be replaced on the roster.
The center is one of two B’s prospects invited to Team Canada’s camp. Niagara IceDogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who is currently fifth in the OHL with 45 points (12 goals, 33 assists), will be in attendance. The Bruins drafted Hamilton ninth overall in June’s draft and signed the 18-year-old to an entry level contract on Thursday.
|Concussed Daniel Paille won’t travel with Bruins||12.09.11 at 4:48 pm ET|
Bruins forward Daniel Paille will not travel to Columbus for Saturday night’s game against the Blue Jackets after coach Claude Julien told reporters Friday that the forward had been diagnosed with a mild concussion.
Paille was hit into the boards Thursday in the first period by Panthers forward Krys Barch and was slow to get up. He left the game and did not return. With Paille out, Jordan Caron will jump back into the lineup. Normally a healthy scratch, Caron last played Tuesday night when he replaced Tyler Seguin.
This is the second upper-body injury of the season for Paille. He missed three games in November after taking a slapshot to the face against the Islanders.
|Tomas Kaberle traded to Canadiens||12.09.11 at 1:16 pm ET|
If Bruins fans didn’t boo him during the playoffs, they’ll certainly boo him now.
Defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who won the Stanley Cup last season with the Bruins, was traded from the Hurricanes to the Canadiens Friday. The trade ends a brief and positively brutal stint in Carolina in which the 33-year-old had nine points over 29 games, though four of those points came in his last two games. Kaberle is a minus-12 this season and was made a healthy scratch on Nov. 27.
The Bruins traded a first-round pick, center Joe Colborne, and a second-rounder to Toronto last February in exchange for Kaberle. By the end of his time in Boston, Kaberle was logging career-lows in ice time. He was not re-signed in the offseason, and took a surprisingly rich three-year, $12.75 million deal with the Hurricanes.
In exchange for Kaberle, the Habs sent Jaroslav Spacek to Carolina.