|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.
|Daniel Paille examined by doctors after leaving Thursday’s game||12.08.11 at 11:21 pm ET|
Following the team’s 2-0 loss to the Panthers Thursday, Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have a definitive update on the status of forward Daniel Paille, who left the game after being hit into the boards by Krys Barch.
Paille was slow to get up and was woozy in his movements, suggesting he could be concussed. Julien would not confirm a concussion following the game.
“Not a concrete update, just that, as you know, he got dinged pretty good there, and our doctors felt that it was safer to not let him return and examine him a little bit further,” Julien said. “He wasn’t well enough to come back.”
The coach added that Paille was examined by doctors following the game. Paille missed three games last month after he was hit in the face with a slapshot by Islanders’ defenseman Steve Staois, and had played with a full cage until Tuesday’s game, at which point he went back to wearing a visor.
|Bruins lose their second in a row, get blanked by Panthers||12.08.11 at 9:29 pm ET|
The Bruins haven’t lost in regulation in a long, long time. Now, the Bruins have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since the Canadiens swept them in a home-in-home at the end of October.
With less than three minutes to play in a scoreless game, a Shawn Matthias shot yielded a big Tim Thomas rebound for Tomas Kopecky to score the game-winning goal as the Panthers marched into TD Garden and defeated the B’s. Kris Versteeg scored an empty-netter with 41.9 seconds remaining to make it 2-0.
Playing in his 600th career game, Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore made 40 saves in the shutout win. With the loss, the Bruins have now fallen behind the Panthers in the standings and are currently third in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins will next play Saturday when they travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets at 1:35 p.m.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Daniel Paille took a hard hit into the boards from Krys Barch in the first period and did not return to the game. While Shawn Thornton immediately went after and fought Barch, it wasn’t a pretty scene as Paille woozily tried to get up and took quite a few seconds before he was on his feet.
With Paille out, Claude Julien went with a few different looks for his line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Barch, who received a charging minor on the play, would take another penalty in the second period when he went off for holding Andrew Ference.
– It was post city for the Bruins, as they struck iron five times through the first two periods. Adam McQuaid, Dennis Seidenberg, Patrice Bergeron, Joe Corvo and Brad Marchand all hit the post in the first 40 minutes, making it a much better night for Theodore. Another bid from the Bruins on the power play appeared to hit the top of the Florida netminder’s stick, so it’s safe to say the B’s didn’t have the best luck when it came to cashing in on opportunities Thursday night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Aside from their two fights (Thornton vs. Barch and Johnny Boychuk vs. Jack Skille), the Bruins took only one penalty on the night. Brad Marchand went off in the second period for elbowing Tim Kennedy, but at full speed, it looked like a pretty soft call. Marchand was in the corner trying to jump around Kennedy to get to the puck in the Bruins’ zone, and it seemed that something may have caught Kennedy.
– The Bruins have now gone four straight games without allowing a power play goal. Including Thursday night’s penalty, the B’s have killed off 13 straight penalties this month.
– Thomas had to come up big to counter Theodore’s play down the other end, and he did until the final minutes. The Bruins’ netminder, who entered the night second in the NHL in save percentage, made 28 saves in regulation, including a point-blank stop on Versteeg with less than a minute to go in the first and what at the time was a potential game-saving stop on Jeff Skille with around four minutes remaining in regulation.