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Daniel Paille skates, ‘no updates’ on injured Bruins 04.18.14 at 10:21 am ET
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Bruins forward Daniel Paille skated with defenseman Adam McQuaid prior to Friday’s morning skate, which might suggest he will not be in the lineup for Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Red Wings. Paille has been out since last Saturday with what appeared to be a head injury.

The morning skate was optional, with Chris Kelly and Matt Bartkowski — neither of whom have practiced this week — among the missing. That group of absent players also included Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, Jarome Iginla, Milan Lucic, Kevan Miller and David Krejci.

Following the skate, Claude Julien said there were “no updates” to offer on the status of his players.

Before you rule out Paille, here’s a quick conspiracy theory: Considering morning skates are non-contact, perhaps the B’s just had Paille do his work before to throw folks off the scent as to his availability. However, his skating beforehand should be taken as a sign he won’t play.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘If you start believing your own hype, it comes back to bite you sometimes’ 04.18.14 at 9:47 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to talk about the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins will take on the Red Wings in Game 1 of the playoffs Friday evening at TD Garden.

“We like what we have,” Thornton said. “We said that at the deadline when people were talking about it. We like the group of guys we have. We like the room, how it’€™s made up, so hopefully that equates to some success here.”

Boston is favored in the matchup despite going 1-3 against the Red Wings during the regular season.

“If you start believing your own hype, it comes back to bite you sometimes,” Thornton said of the expectations for the Bruins.

Thornton added that it’s difficult to accurately predict the outcome of a hockey game.

“You put the work in and play the right way,” Thornton said. “You hope that you’€™re doing the right thing that will get you the win. We don’€™t really look at the big picture too much.

“You’€™re right, hockey is a sport that can go either way. Freaky things happen out there. … You just focus on playing our game and hopefully we get the win out of that.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more team news, visit weei.com/bruins.

On Jordan Caron: “We’ve played with him during the year. He’€™s a big body, good skater. He hasn’t played a whole lot of playoff games, but we have some chemistry — me and [Gregory Campbell] with him. He plays a straight-line game. It should be pretty good.”

On Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille: “They’€™re both really good players. They’€™re both really fast skaters. Their speed is a big attribute for us. I don’€™t know what’€™s going on there if they’€™re in or out.”

On the B’s needing hatred for the Red Wings to play at their best: “This time of year you shouldn’t need anything extra to motivate you. It’s playoffs. I think, like you said, we can play without [hatred]. If it happens, it happens. I like the way our team’s built. We can play any style game that way as far as we’re not going to get pushed around, but we’ve got a lot of skill that can play hockey, too.”

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Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Matt Bartkowski miss Bruins practice again; Dennis Seidenberg increases workload 04.17.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille and Matt Bartkowski were all absent from Thursday’s practice, which puts their availability for the start of their series against the Red Wings in question. Kevan Miller, who had not practiced Tuesday or Wednesday, did return to practice.

Following the practice, Claude Julien wouldn’t rule any of the three out.

Paille has not played since leaving the team’s win over the Sabres last Saturday with what appeared to be a head injury, while Kelly sat out the last three games of the season with back spasms. Neither have practiced this week, while Bartkowski, who didn’t have any injury-related absences from games this season, has been off the ice as well. He may be dealing with the flu, as several Bruins had been sick earlier in the week.

“I don’t know that it’s official yet on any of that stuff,” Julien said. “Today was another day where we had another player, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It’s hard for me to start giving you my lineup when I don’t know what’s going to happen day to day. Hopefully it continues to improve, which it has this week, and we’ll go from there.”

Dennis Seidenberg skated again prior to practice Thursday, which marked at least the fourth consecutive day in which he took the ice. Seidenberg did the same routine that he had done in recent days (big laps, smaller circles in the neutral zones, shooting and moving laterally across the blueline), but added a drill in which he skated out to a cone and took a tight turn before catching a pass and turning. Tighter turns would suggest further progress as he tests what his surgically repaired right knee can handle. Video of that drill is below.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Chris Kelly, Dennis Seidenberg,
My NHL awards ballot 04.16.14 at 10:30 pm ET
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In the interest of transparency, following is my ballot for the 2013-14 NHL awards.

Before I jump into it, I will freely admit that the votes that you see here are the ones I had in the final hours before they were due Wednesday at 7 p.m. and I changed my mind on some of them several times leading up to the deadline.

I also didn’t arrive at my votes totally by myself –€“ nobody does –€“ but through discussions with other writers. In particular, I discussed the various awards with two non-voters in WEEI.com’€™s Scott McLaughlin — one of the premier advanced stats nerds and a major help to geezers like me who see a place in the world for some of the crazy numbers out there but can’€™t always understand them — and the MetroWest Daily News’€™ Dan Cagen. The Pro Hockey Writers’€™ Association cut the number of voters this season down to 150, with Cagen being Exhibit A of the baby being thrown out with the bath water.

At the end of the day, any votes here you don’€™t like are still my fault. Also, the PHWA doesn’t vote for the Vezina Trophy or the Jack Adams, as those are determined by NHL general managers and broadcasters, respectively.

[Also, in the interest of transparency, I will admit that the first explanation I wrote was for Hart and was way too long. Given that I had other work to get to, I decided to only write out explanations for the heavy hitters (Hart, Norris and Selke). If you have any questions about any of the votes, you can find me on Twitter @DJ_Bean.]

HART TROPHY
(“To the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team”)

1. Sidney Crosby
2. Ryan Getzlaf
3. Patrice Bergeron
4. Tyler Seguin
5. Joe Pavelski

The Penguins led the NHL in man games lost due to injury with 429. While that was happening, Sidney Crosby was doing everything, and he finished with an NHL-best 104 points en route to leading the Penguins to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Points-wise, it wasn’€™t even close, as nobody else had 100, or even 90. Getzlaf was second with 87. Plus, it wasn’€™t like achieved his numbers by being surrounded by Pittsburgh’€™s star forwards. His third most-common linemate was Lee Stempniak.

Bergeron was a real toughie, because I believe in the eye test over stats when appropriate. I gave Jonathan Quick a Hart vote the year they won the Cup for that reason even though other players had better numbers. Yet when determining a middle-of-the pack Hart candidate who didn’€™t have the traditional numbers, it’€™s difficult to figure out where they fall. For example, I had him ahead of Seguin despite not having similar numbers, so why wouldn’t I have him ahead of Getzlaf?

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Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘I just totally don’t expect’ Dennis Seidenberg to return 04.16.14 at 1:11 pm ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Dennis Seidenberg and the upcoming playoff series against the Red Wings. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

When Seidenberg tore his ACL last December, most assumed he was done for the season. But with Seidenberg back on the practice rink, some have speculated that he could be back at some point, including Peter Chiarelli. Brickley said if Seidenberg is going to come back, he has to come back at full strength.

“He’€™s just such an incredibly strong athlete that if he can look like he’€™s able to play and actually get up to speed and be a productive player then that would be a tough decision, but a good decision to have to make,” Brickley said. “That being said, I’€™m still in the camp that I just totally don’€™t expect it.”

Added Brickley: “€œI think if he’€™s back he’€™s going to play regular minutes. And I don’€™t think they want him in a 10-15-minute range. … If he’€™s in the lineup and he’€™s playing, he needs to be able to handle similar minutes.”

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was the coach of the Canadian team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, with Claude Julien his assistant. While the two shared coaching ideas and strategies during that time, Brickley doesn’t see it as an advantage for either coach.

“I don’t think we’re at any point of the season now where there are any secrets, with all the video pre-scouting that you do, with all the actual scouts that represent Detroit that have been following the Bruins over the last month or two,”€ Brickley said. “Everybody is well aware of how the Bruins play and everybody is well aware of how Detroit defends as well. Usually Claude Julien gets the checkmark when it comes to who’s got the better coaching when you’€™re comparing two teams, but this one is a pretty even matchup when it comes down to that.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Dennis Seidenberg, Detroit Red Wings
Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller miss Bruins practice; Dennis Seidenberg skates again 04.16.14 at 11:12 am ET
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WILMINGTON – Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly both missed Wednesday’s practice. Both players missed the team’s final game of the regular season, with Kelly sitting out the last three with back spasms and Paille suffering what appeared to be a head injury in the team’s second to last game.

Also missing from practice were defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller. Claude Julien had said numerous Bruins were battling the flu Tuesday, but Patrice Bergeron, Andrej Meszaros and Loui Eriksson were all back at practice Wednesday as missing Tuesday’s skate.

The Bruins’ lines in practice were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Dennis Seidenberg skated again Wednesday, marking at least his third straight day on the ice. Seidenberg was on the ice for about 25 minutes and did the same thing as Tuesday, working with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides as he did big circles, then smaller circles, shot and practiced taking pucks on the blue line and moving across it.

Adam McQuaid was not on the ice Wednesday and did not skate Tuesday.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski
Claude Julien isn’t overly worried about the speed of Red Wings: ‘We’ve played fast teams before’ 04.15.14 at 10:59 pm ET
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The Detroit Red Wings present plenty of problems for the top team in the East. But Claude Julien isn’t worried about his Bruins being overwhelmed with the many challenges they’ll see from Detroit starting Friday at TD Garden.

The one characteristic that will be brought up often this week will be the speed of the Red Wings, namely Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, David Legwand, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen.

“We’ve played fast teams before,” Julien said, referring clearly to teams like Montreal and Ottawa. “And again, we can look at their record whichever way we want and see us 1-3. I look at the games we played against them and there was one game, the first one in Detroit that we didn’€™t play very well. The other three, we could have won the two that we lost, I mean, we had the lead in that last one.”

Julien brought up the three regular season losses because he is more than aware that there are those who think this is the worst possible first-round match for his team that finished with an NHL-best 117 points. But then Julien offered perspective, specifically that it’s the Red Wings who have to be worried about containing the weapons of a team that won 54 games.

“So I don’€™t think that it is going to be that big of an issue as much as we may be an issue for them,” Julien said. “Teams have strengths and it’€™s how you counter those things. I think our team can certainly skate, I don’€™t think we’€™re a slow team whether people underrate our skating or now, I don’€™t know. But we’€™ve shown that we can skate with these guys but certainly close the gap quick on those guys too. And that’€™s what you have to do, you have to make sure you don’€™t give those guys too much room because they will make plays and they will take the ice that you give them.”

With a team like the Red Wings loaded with offensive firepower, Julien was asked if he sees similarities to his young team that fought the 2007-08 Canadiens team tooth and nail before losing in seven games.

“I don’€™t know, they’€™re not all that young,” Julien said. “They have some young players but so do we. I’€™m not sure that that’€™s the same situation to be honest with you. You know, you have the [Pavel] Datsyuks and [Todd] Bertuzzi will be in there, they have some veteran players. And I know the [Gustav] Nyquists and [Tomas] Tatars, those kinds of guys have carried their team when they needed it the most but I think our young Ds have done a pretty good job the same way when a guy like [Dennis] Seidenberg went down.

“I think there are a lot of similarities there and I don’€™t think they’€™re as young or that much younger than we are, I haven’€™t done the math yet when it comes to the age of both teams because that’€™s not the important thing to me. But again, like I said, I don’€™t think that is going to be comparable to what we went through against Montreal. We had some real key players who had to grind it out, you just have to look at our roster now and look at where those guys are, a lot of them aren’€™t seen any more. So it was just one of those years where, to us, talent was fairly low for whatever talent we had was extremely young. But we had a really good work ethic.”

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Read More: 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Detroit Red Wings
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