|Bruins pregame: Daniel Paille cleared for return, Chad Johnson starts in net||03.15.14 at 12:33 pm ET|
Winners of seven straight, the Bruins will welcome back one forward and another making his NHL debut. Bruins coach Claude Julien announced before Saturday’s game with Carolina that Daniel Paille, who has missed the last five games with concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to game action.
Asked if he will be available and will play, Julien was more coy with reporters pre-game.
“Could be,” Julien said with a smile. “Probably. You’ll have to make some deductions. right? I have to keep you guys on your toes. I’m too predictable.”
The other big story Saturday is the NHL debut of 23-year-old forward Matt Linblad, a Friday call-up from Providence.
“It’s pretty special,” Julien said. “I’m sure he’s dreamed of playing in the NHL, and exhibition games are one thing, and this is the real deal right now. But at the same time, I think he’s earned it. He’s played really well. I liked his training camp, I liked his, again, his hockey knowledge and his hockey IQ.
“Hockey sense is always an important part of any player at this level, and he has that. He’s a smart individual, so you put that with the good skater that he he is, and it makes for a pretty decent player. So we have high hopes for him and there’s an opportunity for him to show he’s gotten better over the course of the season.”
Julien also announced that, after playing in three straight games, defenseman Andrej Meszaros would get the day off, giving Torey Krug more time on the blue line as well as the power play.
“There’s going to be some changes here as we go along, and I think [Meszaros] has played three straight games and we’ve continued to work with him,” Julien said. “So, we certainly don’t want to let our other players that have been here be pushed aside because of trades. So it’s just managing that whole back end.”
|Daniel Paille looks to return from concussion||03.14.14 at 1:32 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Daniel Paille took contact in Friday’s optional practice and hopes to return to the lineup from a concussion in time for Saturday’s game. He has yet to be cleared to play, but he said he feels no symptoms of a first-period hit from Ed Jovanovski that he took last Sunday.
Coach Claude Julien said that Paille was “looking good” in practice and that the team would make a decision later in the day Friday regarding whether he will play.
“I feel pretty good,” Paille said. “Actually, this whole week, I’ve just felt normal, felt the same. I didn’t necessarily feel any symptoms really, but it was more of the way it looked, being [cautious] and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I just kind of followed the [protocol] to make sure I was 100 percent. After a few days, there was nothing.”
This is Paille’s second concussion of the season, as he missed seven games in December with a head injury. He said this one wasn’t as bad though, and if he is back Saturday against the Hurricanes he will have only missed two games.
“This past one was probably like one I had in Buffalo, where I took a hit, my head hit the ice and I got dizzy,” the former Sabre said. “I remembered everything, and the process with having any other symptoms wasn’t there. The same thing happened with this one. Obviously I knew I couldn’t play, but I felt good enough to play if I had to.”
Paille added that he had no problem with taking the cautious approach at this time of year, given that his priority is to be in good health for the start of the playoffs next month.
Said Paille: “There’s still about a month left in the season and it’s a push for the playoffs, so there was really no reason to push it at that point.”
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|Daniel Paille out vs. Canadiens with concussion||03.11.14 at 4:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Bruins forward Daniel Paille did not practice Tuesday and will miss Wednesday’s game against the Canadiens with a concussion suffered in the first period of Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
Paille left Sunday’s tilt after taking a big hit from Ed Jovanovski on his first shift of the game. This is the second concussion Paille has suffered this season, as he missed seven games in December with a head injury.
Claude Julien said that Paille is unlikely to play Thursday against the Coyotes as well, though the team hopes to have him back for Saturday’s contest against the Hurricanes.
“He’s feeling much better. Like I said the other day, it’s very minimal, but they deemed it a concussion so he’s going through the protocol right now,” Julien said. “… He’s not playing tomorrow and more than likely not Thursday either, but a very good possibility for Saturday.”
With Paille out, Jordan Caron practiced on the team’s fourth line Tuesday at the Bell Centre and is expected to play in Paille’s usual spot Wednesday.
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|Bruins beat Canucks for first time since 2011 Stanley Cup finals||02.04.14 at 9:39 pm ET|
Though it didn’t mean as much as their last win over the Canucks, the Bruins beat Vancouver on Tuesday at TD Garden for the first time since the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins picked up a 3-1 victory, good for their sixth win in their last seven games.
Vancouver native Milan Lucic made it 1-0 at 5:12 of the first period, with David Krejci passing it back to him while on a 2-on-2 with Jarome Iginla. Lucic finished off the play by beating Roberto Luongo stick side from the slot. Iginla added to the lead with a power-play goal off a feed from Zdeno Chara in the second.
Newly acquired Canucks defenseman Raphael Diaz beat Tuukka Rask with a slap shot on a waffling puck in the second at 11:28 of the second, but a Daniel Paille breakaway goal off a stretch pass from Johnny Boychuk increased the Bruins’ lead back to two.
The game was the third played between the B’s and Canucks since the 2011 Cup finals, with Luongo making his first start at TD Garden since Game 6 of the series. He was out dueled Tuesday by Rask, who made 27 saves.
Tuesday marked Chara’s last game with the team before he leaves for Sochi to be Slovakia’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday. The B’s have two games left before the break, as they’ll play in St. Louis on Thursday and host the Senators Saturday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Boychuk was a beast, starting the play that gave Paille his goal and providing a bruising presence. Boychuk found Paille coming onto the ice with the B’s stuck in their zone and sent a pass from the hashmarks of Boston’s zone to Paille at the Canucks blue line. Paille took it from there, beating Luongo low with a stick-side backhander.
That wasn’t all Boychuk did, as he used his body well on Canucks forwards, most notably crushing David Booth multiple times, including a massive hit along the wall in the Vancouver zone late in the second period.
The Bruins will need a couple more performances like that from Boychuk before the Olympic break, as the 30-year-old will be the elder statesman of Boston’s blue line for the next two games without Chara.
— Speaking of Chara, it was good for B’s to get two points in his last game with them before the break. The next two won’t be easy, as the B’s, who are already without Dennis Seidenberg, will be down their best two defensemen. David Warsofsky will play the next two games after being recalled Monday and sitting Tuesday.
— Though his line didn’t have the prettiest night, Paille continued to contribute. The tripping penalty he drew in the first period was the fourth penalty he’s drawn in the last four games, while he continues to use his speed (or, as was the case Tuesday, a fortunate line change) to create chances. Paille has eight goals through 48 games this season after registering 10 in 46 contests last season.
— Iginla has points in five of his last six games, registering three goals and eight assists for 11 points over that span. His assist on Lucic’s goal was the 600th helper of his career.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— Brad Marchand missed out on a couple of goals in the second period. What appeared to be the Bruins’ third goal was waved off after it was determined Torey Krug obstructed Luongo. Krug was in front of the net and fell into Luongo as Reilly Smith took the puck behind the net and fed Marchand, with Marchand having half the net open with Luongo down. Luongo immediately argued that the goal should be disallowed, which it was.
Later in the period, Marchand hit the post on a backhand bid in front.
— Statistically speaking, Patrice Bergeron‘s line has cooled off since its torrid stretch in mid-to-late January. The trio of Bergeron, Marchand and Smith now has gone four games without producing a goal.
|Torey Krug breaks out of midseason slide with career night against Jets||01.04.14 at 5:46 pm ET|
After bursting onto the scene by scoring four goals in his first five playoff games during the Bruins’ memorable Stanley Cup run last season, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound blueliner picked up right where he left off, recording 15 points over the team’s first 24 games this year.
While the Michigan State product impressed many with his dynamic offensive skill set, he could not keep his great production going, eventually falling into a midseason slump. Prior to Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the Jets, Krug had not scored a goal since Dec. 8 and had just two goals over a 26-game stretch.
Luckily for the Bruins, Krug was able to break out of his recent skid with a three-point effort (two goals, one assist) against Winnipeg on Saturday at the TD Garden. It was the rookie defenseman’s third multi-point game this season and first-career three-point game.
“He played well,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien after the game. “When he’s on top of his game offensively, he makes things happen. … He got the shots on net, was good and again, just a few times, it’s about him making safe plays at times, and that’s a part of his game that he’s working on right now, but I liked his game a lot tonight.”
Saturday’s contest did not start out well for Krug, as he turned the puck over around halfway through the opening period, creating a Jets rush that eventually resulted in a goal from Dustin Byfuglien, giving Winnipeg a 1-0 lead.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating. … It’s all about forgetting and putting it in the past and making plays moving forward, and that’s what we did tonight,” Krug said.
Krug would make up for his defensive miscue just a little over four minutes later, as he executed a beautiful cross-ice to right wing Daniel Paille, who sent it past Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec to tie the game at 14:06 in the first period.
Said Krug: “I was going to shoot it, but at the last second I saw [Paille] popped back up, and it was nice that it worked out and he put it in the net.”
Krug finally found the back of the net a little over three minutes into the second period. The blueliner fired a shot from the left point that got past Pavelec, who was being screened in front by Bruins left wing Justin Florek, playing in his first NHL game.
“When you’re not contributing it’s tough, but it is a good feeling when you get the first one,”Krug said .”Actually, I was hoping [Florek] got his first NHL goal, I was hoping he tipped it, but it was nice.”
Krug would notch his second goal of the afternoon just four minutes later, as the rookie fired a shot from the top of the left circle that went through the legs of Jets wing Eric Tangradi and was deflected into the net.
With his three-point effort, Krug now has 23 points on the year, including 10 goals, which tie him with Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Nashville’s Shea Weber for the league lead in goals amongst defensemen.
The Bruins will now head back out on the road, as they will face off against the Ducks, Kings and Sharks over the next week. While Boston faces a tough task in playing against some of the top talent in the Western Conference, Krug made note of the fact that finishing strong on their three-game homestand at the TD Garden was of the utmost importance for the Black and Gold.
“Yeah, it was important. There’s three teams, I think Claude mentioned they lost collectively six games at home between three teams,” Krug said. “So for us, we know it’s going to be tough getting points in there, and we wanted to finish our little homestand on a high note.”
|B’s send Nick Johnson, David Warsofsky to Providence||12.24.13 at 3:25 pm ET|
The Bruins on Tuesday assigned forward Nick Johnson and defenseman David Warsofsky to AHL Providence, an indication that some of the injured B’s are ready to return.
Johnson, a former Dartmouth College star, played in seven games since his call-up on Dec. 10, recording no points or penalty minutes, with six shots on goal.
Warsofsky, from Marshfield and Boston University, made his NHL debut on Thursday against the Sabres. He collected five shots but no points in three games.
Forward Daniel Paille (out seven games with concussion symptoms) and defenseman Dougie Hamilton (out since Dec. 8 with a lower-body injury) have made progress as they’ve recovered from their injuries, but Paille did not travel to Nashville for Monday’s game and Hamilton, though he has been skating, has yet to practice with the team. The B’s could ice six defensemen without him and Warsofsky thanks to the recent return of Adam McQuaid. With McQuaid returning to the lineup Monday, the B’s made Matt Bartkowski a healthy scratch against the Predators.
|Daniel Paille practicing with Bruins||12.22.13 at 11:27 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Daniel Paille took another step forward in his recovery from a concussion when he practiced Sunday for the first time since being sent back from last week’s road trip.
Paille, who has missed the last six games, has been skating on his own since Friday. He wore a yellow sweater with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith in Sunday’s practice in place of Brad Marchand, who was the only player from Saturday’s lineup absent from the practice. Marchand, who was hurt twice in Saturday’s game but returned to the game, will travel to Nashville and play Monday. Paille won’t make the trip.
Following the practice, Paille said that he had been experiencing neck pain in previous games and eventually spoke up after feeling especially uncomfortable on the plane from Toronto to Calgary last week. It was at that point that the team sent him back to Boston and he was diagnosed with a concussion.
“I wouldn’t say it was one hit,” Paille said. “For a while I was kind of just working on my neck and then I think over time it’s been hit after hit. I didn’t necessarily have symptoms back then; it was just my neck was really sore and hard to move. The travel from to Toronto to Calgary, it felt a little bit different and that’s where I said something to the team.
“But they knew — the medical staff and the coaches — they knew that my neck was sore, and that was the issue to begin with, but as soon as I told them that it had kind of progressed on the travel from Toronto to Calgary, that’s when they sent me back here.”
Adam McQuaid continues to practice with the Bruins as he works his way back from a lower-body injury. He will make the trip to Nashville and could potentially play Monday against the Predators after missing the last nine games.
The Bruins face an interesting dilemma with when to get McQuaid back in the lineup. If they hold him out Monday, he gets three extra days to heal but then will return to play back-to-backs Friday and Saturday. If they play him Monday, he’ll at least be able to get some rest before getting into his second game.
“To us, when a guy’s ready to go, he’s ready to go,” Claude Julien said. “You don’t hold a guy back when he’s ready to go just because you’re looking at the schedule. I think right now it’s a matter of if he’s ready to go, he should be playing. I don’t that we should be holding him back any longer when he’s feeling good. That’s a decision we’re going to have to make tomorrow. He’s telling us he’s feeling pretty good right now, so we’ll make sure that that’s the case tomorrow.”
Dougie Hamilton (lower body) skated for the second straight day. Hamilton took the ice late in Sunday’s practice and skated by himself.
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