|Johnny Boychuk in for Bruins||11.18.10 at 7:04 pm ET|
Johnny Boychuk is making his return to the Bruins’ lineup as the B’s take on the Panthers on Thursday night. Based on warmups, the defensive pairings were as follows:
Ference – Chara
Hunwick – Seidenberg
Stuart – Boychuk
Boychuk had been out since Oct. 23 with a fractured forearm. Tuukka Rask is in net for the Bruins.
|Johnny Boychuk a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Panthers||at 12:37 pm ET|
Those who are looking for news regarding Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk are in for some mild disappointment, because there isn’t any.
“It’s the same thing as last night,” Claude Julien said Thursday morning. “He’ll be a game-time decision.”
Boychuk has been out with a fractured forearm since Oct. 23rd and has been practicing with his teammates in anticipation of an eventual return. He and Marco Sturm were the only Bruins to skate Thursday morning, as the team studied video while fellow rehabbing players David Krejci and Marc Savard were given the day off.
It was noted by Boychuk on Wednesday that he hasn’t been given the opportunity to endure physical contact given the nature of his on-ice sessions. Once he does return, his coach understands that he might not be in mid-season form, and that minimizing the effect that it could have on the team is key.
“It’s about limitations. He went on the ice again this morning and went through the things that we were concerned about. I think it’s more about that than anything else,” Julien said. “At one point, [he’s] going to have those kinks out, but right now our schedule is not helping us out with so many games. You’re preferring to give your team — because the team goes before the individual — you want to give them some rest in order to give yourself the best possible chances of winning a hockey game. If we wait for the right opportunity to give him a practice, we might be waiting even longer.”
|UPDATE: Bruins scratch Johnny Boychuk vs. Rangers||11.17.10 at 1:44 pm ET|
NEW YORK –[UPDATED, 6:50 pm] Claude Julien and his coaching staff took the day to think about it, and ultimately decided to hold off on rushing Johnny Boychuk (forearm) back to the lineup on Wednesday night in York.
Earlier in the day, Julien described Boychuk as being a game-time decision after the 26-year-old blueliner participated in the morning skate at Madison Square Garden, going through all the motions without any pain.
Boychuk has been sporting a playing cast on his left forearm, something he’ll continue to use as he eases his way back into the lineup. He saw that as a possibility on Wednesday.
“If they want me to go,” Boychuk said, “I’m ready to go.”
Julien was a little more careful with his words, noting that the idea of having to sit one of his healthy and productive defensemen isn’t so appetizing, especially if Boychuk isn’t totally ready.
“In order for him to be able to get back in, he’s got to be able to help us,” Julien said. “He’s got to be closer to 100 percent than not, because we’re going to be taking out a player who’s healthy and 100 percent. You’ve got to make that decision, and we’re going to give ourselves the opportunity to think about it more today. I know his situation is that he may not be 100 percent.
“We’ve got back-to-back games, so we may put him in,” Julien added. “‘¦We’ve got to make the right decision, not just for the team, but for him as well.”
The Bruins play the Panthers on Thursday at the Garden. Should Boychuk dress back in Boston, it is assumed that Adam McQuaid, or perhaps Matt Hunwick, would be a healthy scratch.
In six games this season, Boychuk has three points, all assists, and a plus-three rating.
THOMAS OFF FIRST
Tim Thomas was the first Bruins’ goaltender off the ice on Wednesday, an indication he will start vs. Henrik Lundqvist. The 36-year-old Bruins’ netminder did not play in the last meeting between the two teams, a 3-2 Rangers’ victory in which Tuukka Rask took the loss.
Thomas is coming off a shutout of the Devils on Monday and is now 9-1-0 on the season with a 1.32 goals against average and .960 save percentage. Should he blank the Rangers, he’d post back-to-back shutouts for the second time this season and tie his career high with five.
|Bruins-Rangers preview||at 2:14 am ET|
NEW YORK — Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers got the better of the Bruins back on Oct. 23 in Boston with a 3-2 win (a one-goal game between these teams? What else is new?), so the B’s will be seeking revenge when they play in New York on Wednesday. The Bruins are coming off a 3-0 victory over the Devils on Monday in which Tim Thomas picked up his fourth shutout of the season.
WHERE IT’S AT
— The Bruins are an impressive 6-1-0 on the road this season, with their lone loss as the away team coming at the hands of the Capitals on Nov. 5. It was a contest in which they came back from a 3-0 deficit in the third period but fell, 5-3.
— The Bruins aren’t the only team that has struggled to dominate at home. The Rangers are 4-5-1 at Madison Square Garden, and have gone 2-2-0 in their last four home games.
— Nine goaltenders have multiple shutouts this season, and two of them could play on Wednesday. Lundqvist has two shutouts in 13 starts this season, while Thomas (first off the ice at the B’s skate midday Wednesday) leads all netminders with four.
— Nathan Horton has four points in his last three road games. His second-period tally against the Devils on Monday was the 150th of his career.
STORYLINES GOING IN
— Claude Julien indicted on Monday night that Johnny Boychuk could be in the lineup on Wednesday. Boychuk has been out since Oct. 23, a game against the Rangers in which a slash from New York forward Brandon Dubinsky fractured his forearm.
Should Boychuk return, the biggest question is which defenseman will be a healthy scratch. Adam McQuaid has done very well with the opportunity given to him, and he could stick in the lineup as a result. It seems either McQuaid or Matt Hunwick will be the odd man out.
— Marian Gaborik wasn’t in the Rangers lineup when they faced the Bruins at TD Garden last month, but he has since returned from a shoulder injury and has clearly made an impact. He’s had four points in his three games since coming back, with all of them coming on Sunday against the Oilers. In that game, Gaborik picked up a hat trick and an assist. He’s a plus-5 on the season.
— Julien will be coaching in his 500th career NHL game on Wednesday. It will be his 262nd game with the Bruins.
“Those things are so far away from my mind, that I don’t even know [when they come],” Julien told reporters with a laugh on Tuesday. ” ‘¦ I don’t pay much attention to that. I’m just happy to be here.”
|Johnny Boychuk could return from forearm injury on Wednesday vs. Rangers||11.15.10 at 10:25 pm ET|
Claude Julien said Monday night that Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci will accompany the Bruins as they travel to New York to face the Rangers on Wednesday night. Krejci, working his way back from a concussion suffered Nov. 6, continues to skate with the team while Boychuk, who suffered a fractured forearm on Oct. 23 against the Rangers, could return to game action.
“Boychuk is day-to-day now,” Julien said. “Depending on how his wrist is or is arm is, there’s always a possibility we could see him in Wednesday’s game.”
Julien expressed uncertainty on the subject of whether Marco Sturm (knee) or Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome) will travel with the team. Both have been skating as they look to return from their respective injuries.
|Notable progress made for David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk||11.13.10 at 1:09 pm ET|
It was easy to see on Saturday morning that David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk are improving, simply because one could actually see them. Krejci, out with a concussion suffered last Saturday took the ice for the first time prior to the B’s morning skate, while Boychuk, who has been skating, joined his teammates for the first time on Saturday.
“Both are progressing well,” Claude Julien said following the skate. “David started his exertion tests yesterday, got on the bike and felt good enough today so that he moved on to getting on the ice and skating a little bit today. I guess that result, we’ll get later on as the day progresses and how he feels, and whether he still feels good tomorrow. Those are things that he’s going through. So far, everything is going in the right direction with him.
“Johnny is the same thing. He started skating with us today, and got some shots — he’s capable of shooting now a little bit and everything else, so he’s progressing well. I guess these next few days will determine how close he is to starting to play again.”
Krejci still has a bit to go before he’ll be suiting up for games, as the B’s anticipated him missing at least a week. Boychuk, who is still wearing a cast, hopes to be back by next weekend. For now, the Bruins are focused on winning with the guys they have.
“You have to deal with things, and if you don’t deal with them well, you’re not going to be successful,” Mark Recchi said Saturday. “I think we handled things very well last year when we went through a lot of it. This year, we see the light at the end of the tunnel with some of the guys coming back, so it’s good, but at the same time, we have jobs to do. We have to go out there and everybody has to elevate when you looser people, and take on more responsibility.”
|Johnny Boychuk hopes to return to Bruins by next weekend||11.12.10 at 1:16 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, out since Oct. 23 with a fractured forearm, was one of only five Bruins to take the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday. He was joined by fellow rehabbing players Marco Sturm and Marc Savard, as well as goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas. It was the first time he has been able to shoot on goalies since the injury.
The prognosis for Boychuk’s return was four weeks, and he hopes to still be on track for a return by the latter part of this month.
“Maybe. Hopefully. I hope so,” Boychuk said when asked if he was optimistic he could return by next weekend. “That will be four weeks I think, so hopefully I’ll be good to go.”
Boychuk admitted that it’s a matter of “just seeing whenever the doctor says I’m going to be OK to practice,” and not trying to push it. He said he is still experiencing occasional pain, with taking pucks on the backhand the biggest issue for him.
With Boychuk out, Adam McQuaid has taken his spot on the roster. The Bruins have gone 4-2-1 over the seven game period that they’ve been without Boychuk.
“We’ve been playing really well, so it hasn’t been too bad,” Boychuk said. “Watching the games, you see when we’re doing really well, it makes it a lot easier, but when we lose it’s kind of tough to watch. You can’t really do anything about it.”
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