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Johnny Boychuk returns to practice 03.20.14 at 4:03 pm ET
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Johnny Boychuk practiced with the Bruins in Denver Friday, marking his first time back on the ice with teammates since suffering a lower-body injury last Saturday against the Hurricanes.

Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested to reporters after the practice that Boychuk, who was termed day-to-day after he crashed into the boards feet-first, might not be an option to play Friday against the Avalanche, however, saying, the team will “evaluate him day by day, but if he’s not 100 percent there’s no reason why he should play.”

Boychuk had tried taking part in Monday’s morning skate, but he was too sore. The team has played Andrej Meszaros the last two games with Boychuk out, while Corey Potter played Tuesday when Matt Bartkowski served as the team’s healthy scratch against the Devils.

Thursday marks just over two weeks since Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the team would shut Adam McQuaid down for two-to-three weeks in order to aid his recovery from a quad strain. Julien was asked about McQuaid Thursday and gave little update, though he did tell reporters that the player has been “working off ice longer and longer every day.”

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

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Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins say they ‘have another gear’ to their game 03.19.14 at 1:41 pm ET
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Andy Brickley

Andy Brickley

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ 10-game win streak, Brad Marchand, Carl Soderberg and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been on a tear recently, winning 10 straight games and outscoring opponents 41-15 in that span. Despite all their success, the team still is looking to improve.

“They’ve been able to do a lot of things really during this streak,”€ Brickley said. “But it’s amazing when you talk to the coaching staff and even to the players to a man, they say, ‘We’€™re not peaking, we haven’t hit our stride. Yes, we’€™re winning games because we’€™re playing team hockey, and we’€™re getting some good results, but we definitely have another gear.’ ”

Marchand has been quiet during the streak, only recording two goals and three assists. Brickley admits that while the 25-year-old winger has struggled at times, he has had a successful season.

“€œHe’€™s having a terrific season really, on the whole, when you take a look at it,” Brickley said. “Certainly there were times, maybe, at different points in the season where it wasn’t going his way and he was kind of fighting it or searching for that balance.”

The B’s third line compares favorably to many of the third lines across the NHL. One guy in that line that has improved, according to Brickley, is Soderberg.

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Johnny Boychuk day-to-day, won’t play vs. Wild 03.17.14 at 12:01 pm ET
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Johnny Boychuk is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will not play Monday against the Wild.

The Bruins defenseman crashed hard into the boards in the third period of Boston’s win over the Hurricanes. He returned to the game and blocked a shot with his knee, though played the rest of the game.

Boychuk was not on the ice for Monday’s morning skate, with Claude Julien sharing afterwards that Boychuk was too sore to skate.

“It’s from obviously the incident [Saturday],” Julien said. “He couldn’t skate this morning. He came in early, we tried to see if he could and he couldn’t, so we’ll just go day-to-day with him.”

Boychuk had X-rays taken after Saturday’s game. Julien said after the morning skate that Boychuk would not have tried to skate Monday unless those tests came back negative.

“There’s some damage in there, obviously, when you go in feet-first,” Julien said. “We looked at both his skates, and he kind of crashed in there and twisted, so it’s a little sore for him to skate on.”

With Boychuk out of the lineup, Corey Potter will take warmups with the rest of the Bruins’ defenseman, with Julien choosing which six of the seven defensemen will play afterwards.

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice in the morning skate, suggesting he will get the start against Minnesota.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Johnny Boychuk says ‘everything is OK’ after once again sacrificing his body 03.15.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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He could laugh about it after the game but Johnny Boychuk knows full well he was very lucky to even be standing in his electric blue pinstripe suit after Boston’s 5-1 throttling of the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.

Midway through the third period, he lost an edge as Carolina’s Patrick Dwyer reached with his stick for the puck. Boychuk went careening feet first into the boards behind the Bruins net and lay prone on the ice for several minutes clutching his right leg.

Training staff came out and Boychuk immediately got to his feet and swatted away a helping arm so he could get on his skates and test his banged up right leg. He eventually conceded help, with teammate David Krejci helping him off the ice and down the tunnel. Just five minutes after going to the dressing room, Boychuk was back in front of goaltender Chad Johnson, blocking a shot with his skate on the same leg that had just suffered a nasty collision into the unforgiving corner boards.

“I’m a little sore,” Boychuk said with a painful grin. “I’m just glad everything’s OK.”

Indeed, Boychuk appeared to have escaped serious injury, as he had no walking boot on his right leg after the game and didn’t show any noticeable limp while walking. He did need about 30 extra minutes of treatment postgame before speaking to reporters.

Boychuk said he had x-rays on the leg but didn’t have the results immediately available.

As for what happened, on the play into the boards, Boychuk said it was just an unfortunate case of losing his balance.

“I was going for the puck,” Boychuk said. “I was looking left and right to see where my guys were and I went to [make a] hit and then all of a sudden, I’m going into the boards and just went feet-in kind of awkwardly, I guess.”

“I think the part is that we’€™re happy he’€™s not injured,” Julien said. “The way he went into the boards with both feet could have been a lot worse. So, kind of happy that he was able to come back and that shot on the foot is nothing compared to how hard he went into the boards, but you know what our team has always been made of those kind of players and guys that gut it out and certainly it helps our team get some, I guess, some energy, and some momentum at a certain point of the game where we needed it.”

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Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins should ‘add something significant along the blue line’ 02.26.14 at 1:29 pm ET
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Andy Brickley

Andy Brickley

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the possibility of the Bruins adding a defenseman prior to the deadline, Peter Chiarelli‘s scouting and Loui Eriksson. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

With the NHL trade deadline next Wednesday at 3 p.m., Brickley said how the Bruins view the blue line will determine whether they add a defenseman.

“I think it all starts with how you evaluate what’€™s going on along the blue line,” Brickley said. “€œThis is a team that prides itself on goaltending, team defense, some strong penalty-killing, and then that balanced offense is somewhere further down in terms of priority. And if you have that type of analysis, then I think you have to look real closely at the group of six or seven that they have on the blue line right now and say, ‘€˜Is this group good enough, deep enough to carry us to an Eastern Conference final and get us to a Stanley Cup final and an opportunity to win this thing.’ And I think that’€™s what has to be addressed, because in my evaluation I would like to see them add something significant along the blue line.”

Brickley was complimentary of Chiarelli’€™s ability to identify defensemen who work well with the team.

“The thing about what Peter is able to do along with his management team and the scouting crew, identify a guy like Torey Krug and go out and pay maybe a couple extra dollars to make sure he comes to Boston,” Brickley said. “You make a deal for [Matt] Bartkowski, when nobody really makes notice of it or takes notice of it. You draft a kid like Dougie Hamilton in the first round. You identify a player like Kevan Miller and allow him to play in the American Hockey League and learn how to be a good depth defenseman. And those guys are all significant pieces to what the Bruins have been able to put together and accomplish and pile up points to this point in the regular season.”

Brickley is concerned with the lack of experience the young defensemen have, however, and would rather move Johnny Boychuk out of the top two.

“But as we know the playoffs are a different animal and you’€™re talking about very little experience there in that foursome,” Brickley said. “Now you have Johnny Boychuk, because of the added absence of Adam McQuaid as well due to a lot of injuries over the last year plus, almost two years. And of course Dennis Seidenberg being out of the lineup. Now you have [Zdeno] Chara, Boychuk, that’€™s your one-two combination. And I think you’€™re a really strong defense if Boychuk is somewhere in your top four, but maybe not your top two. And that’€™s certainly not an indictment on his play, because I love his game and I love how, how game he is, as a matter of fact, to speak to his character.”

Added Brickley: “€œBut if you can go out and acquire, or certainly add to the players that you have on the blue line, as well as they’ve played, now I think you have a much better chance when you get in the postseason. You know there’€™s going to be injuries, you know there are certain matchups that you’€™re looking for, based on the opponents that you’€™re going to draw, and if you can have seven, eight NHL caliber, and maybe even a top two, three that might not be there right now, I think your chances certainly improve as far as going where you want to go and reaching the goals that you set.”

Eriksson, who has not produced big numbers in Boston, played well for Sweden in the just-completed Olympics. Brickley said that the extra playing time, along with playing on the third line, could help the 28-year-old.

“Eriksson needed to play hockey, he needed to play hockey over in Sochi, and he seemed to be — €”he seemed to be finding his game more and more a little bit before the break,” Brickley said. “€œHe seemed to have some chemistry with [Carl] Soderberg in particular, the two Swedes. Seemed to slide into that third line, instead of the pressure of being in that top six, that seems to be paying dividends. And his awareness, when you watched him play, although it was the bigger ice surface, his awareness of all the moving parts going on around him seemed a lot cleaner, a lot sharper. When you come back from injuries, that’€™s the one thing you have to be concerned about when you’€™re coming back from a concussion, is that awareness. Seemed a lot better in the Olympics, so that’€™s what I’€™m looking for. And he needs to continue to play. So maybe the break was good for him in terms of playing hockey.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: Bruins want to ‘ride into this two-week break on a high’ 02.05.14 at 1:44 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Tuesday night’€™s game against the Canucks, coaching in the NHL and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Thornton was pleased with winning on Tuesday, but he said that the usual intensity for the rivalry wasn’t there.

“€œIt’€™s been a couple of years,” Thornton said, referring to the Bruins’ win in the Stanley Cup finals in 2011. “€œThey’€™re coming off back-to-back games, too. [The Canucks] just played in Detroit, so maybe not as much of an energy level for them, and I think they had lost three or four in a row, too. Think they have their own stuff going on internally.”

Despite the Canucks’ off night, Thornton said the Bruins did what they do best.

“We’€™re more focused on what we do, but it might have taken from it a little bit,”€ Thornton said. “€œWhen you’€™re up by a couple goals to start, I guess really running around and creating the emotion, you could be playing with fire. … You’€™re in control of the game, you just want to keep control of the game the way it is.”

With the win against the Canucks, the Bruins have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Thornton credits focus as a big reason for their success.

“Yeah, things are going well,”€ Thornton said. “We kind of broke it down about 10 games before the Olympic break that we wanted to ride into this two-week break on a high, and I think we’ve done a good job of that for the last seven, eight games. That’€™s still our goal, we’€™re pretty good at not looking at the long-term board, just taking it game to game and sometimes segment to segment.”

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Bruins battling flu, team still expects Johnny Boychuk back for Tuesday 12.09.13 at 6:09 pm ET
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Four players were missing from Monday’s practice in Calgary due to the flu, according to the team. Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, Chad Johnson and Gregory Campbell were all absent.

Campbell played Sunday’s game with the flu, while Miller left the game in the final minutes after a hit from behind from Dion Phaneuf.

Johnny Boychuk did take part in the skate but said he “didn’t feel awesome,” according to the Boston Globe. Boychuk has been out with a sprained back since last Thursday, but Claude Julien is still optimistic he’ll be in Tuesday’s lineup.

As of Monday afternoon, the Bruins had not made any more callups. If they have to recall a defenseman from Providence, Zach Trotman would be a logical option.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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