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Andy Brickley on M&M: Andrej Meszaros ‘gives you options’ 03.12.14 at 2:57 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 Andrej Meszaros, the B’s defense and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

While Brickley still has doubts about the Bruins depth at wing, he sees the Meszaros trade as one that will help the Bruins figure out their best defensive combination.

“I’m not sure I’€™m convinced that if there are injuries to the four lines, as currently constituted, that they have enough in the wings waiting to step in,” Brickley said. “The organization, obviously, believes they probably do, but ”the emphasis was to definitely go get a defenseman, and now bringing in Meszaros, that gives you options.”

Added Brickley: “And it gives you — ’cause he can play left or right — and it gives you competition for ice time and actually be in uniform. You see Dougie Hamilton, the first casualty. They’re trying to figure out guys. Who’s going to play with [Zdeno] Chara in the playoffs? They want that shutdown pair and they’€™re not sure where it’€™s at right now and that was the whole reason to go get a guy like Meszaros.”

While the Bruins like what they see from Meszaros so far, the real test starts Wednesday night against Montreal, according to Brickley.

“I think the competition has started,” Brickley said. “It started the other night in Florida with Meszaros going to the lineup. They really like what he brought on that power play, being a left shot, being able to work the overload on the one side with other left shots on the half wall, whether it’s [Carl] Soderberg or [Loui] Eriksson, whoever it might be. They like that look.”

Added Brickley: “Now keep in mind that’s the Florida Panthers. That’s a pretty easy matchup for your first game as a player. Tonight you’€™ll probably get some different results and I’ll be curious to see how the defensemen in the lineup tonight handle a team like Montreal and the intensity and the speed.”

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Daniel Paille out vs. Canadiens with concussion 03.11.14 at 4:04 pm ET
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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.

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

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More uncertainty awaits Jordan Caron with Bruins forwards now healthy 01.13.14 at 2:06 pm ET
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Jordan Caron

Jordan Caron

WILMINGTON — A former first-round pick with just one goal through 23 games this season is an easy target for criticism, but Jordan Caron — given his role — hasn’t been as disappointing as it might seem.

Caron hasn’t done anything offensively this season and that is undoubtedly his Achilles’ heel. Four partial seasons into his NHL career, he seems to be a bottom-six player rather than a top-six guy for that reason.

Yet for as offensively invisible as he’s been, the defensively responsible Caron has been sound in his own zone and has been a useful penalty killer when called upon. Often times, young players see offensive results — a goal here, an assist there — quicker than they can be trusted on the PK, but Caron is the opposite. The Bruins don’t need to worry about him on the ice — something that’s been the case for young players over the years — but they shouldn’t expect him to light up the score sheet.

As such, it’s been a very unglamorous season for Caron (one goal and no assists) but he hasn’t been a liability or the awful player impatient fans might make him out to be.

“Obviously I’d like to produce more offensively, but [I've been] doing a good job on the PK and stuff like that,” Caron said Monday. “I’m just trying to be good defensively and working hard. The offensive part’s going to come.”

When or where the offensive part comes remains to be seen. The healthier Bruins lineup means that he’s back to 13th forward duties, and if the Bruins reach the point at which they would want to send Caron down, he would need to be placed on waivers first. In such a scenario, Caron could be claimed by another team and the Bruins would lose their 2010 first-rounder.

“I mean, if it happens, it happens,” Caron said with a shrug Monday. “I’m not too worried about it.”

Caron has been dealing with a bad back for about a month, and it forced him to miss at least three games recently, with him also missing Saturday’s game with the returns of Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton. Caron still isn’t 100 percent, but the team is unlikely to need to need him unless another forward gets injured.

“Of course you never want to be the one sitting out, so it’s always the same story,” Caron said. “We have a lot of depth on our team, and it’s always a tough lineup to crack, and with my little injury, it didn’t really help. I’ve just got to stay positive and make sure I’m ready.”

Always the same story is right. Over the past four seasons, Caron has had little consistency regarding his role. He began the 2010-11 season as a healthy scratch, but soon became a second-line player for the Bruins. From there, he’s been up and down between Boston and Providence numerous times and has moved around the lineup filling in for different players.

You can call that a chicken-egg situation and say that Caron would have more of a defined role if he played better, but it’s hard to define a role when in as uncertain situations as the ones Caron has faced. Despite playing in only 23 of the Bruins’ 45 games, Jordan Caron has had eight linemates, which is second only to Carl Soderberg for most on the Bruins this season.

“I’ve said it before: This is a guy who’s been bounced around from line to line, from right to left, from left to right,” Claude Julien said. “At [some] point you have compassion for a guy like that who never gets to be on a steady line and build chemistry with his teammates. It’s pretty easy from the outside to want to criticize him, but I think you need guys like that on your roster to go wherever you tell him to go.

“He hasn’t a guy who has generated a ton offensively, but he’s done his job along the walls, he’s been pretty reliable and he’s done exactly what needs to be done as far as that’s concerned. If you look at his stats, not impressive, but at the same time you have to understand what he has to go through.”

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Loui Eriksson cleared for contact 01.08.14 at 9:19 pm ET
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Bruins forward Loui Eriksson has been cleared for contact, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Wednesday. Eriksson took contact in Wednesday’s practice after returning to the ice last week.

Eriksson is recovering from his second concussion of the season, which he suffered on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. The veteran winger has missed a total of 19 games this season between his two concussions. Julien told reporters that Eriksson is not expected to play Thursday against the Kings.

Both Milan Lucic (illness) and Jordan Caron (back) were reportedly back on the ice for Wednesday’s practice after missing Tuesday’s game against the Ducks.

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

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Milan Lucic misses Tuesday’s game vs. Ducks due to illness 01.07.14 at 10:02 pm ET
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Bruins left wing Milan Lucic missed Tuesday night’s game against the Ducks due to an illness.

In addition to it being the first missed game for Lucic all season, it also marks the first time that the team’s top line of David Krejci between Lucic and Jarome Iginla has not been intact. That line had been the only one to stay together for the first 42 games of the season.

With Lucic out and Jordan Caron (back) both out, the Bruins dressed seven defensemen, with Kevan Miller getting into the lineup.

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

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Justin Florek playing in place of Jordan Caron (back); Torey Krug in 01.04.14 at 12:28 pm ET
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The Bruins recalled forward Justin Florek Saturday to play in place of Jordan Caron. Claude Julien told reporters prior to the game that Caron is out with a stiff back.

Florek, a fifth-round pick of the Bruins in the 2010 draft, has nine goals and 11 assists this season for 20 points in 34 games for Providence this season.

Torey Krug was in the lineup after missing the last five minutes of Thursday’s game with an undisclosed ailment and taking a maintenance day on Friday.

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

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Shawn Thornton a healthy scratch vs. Hurricanes 11.18.13 at 7:08 pm ET
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Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch for Monday night’s game against the Hurricanes, allowing Jordan Caron to get into the lineup for the first time in nine games.

Thornton was a healthy scratch once last season (March 2 against the Lightning), but had yet to sit this season. The fourth line of Gregory Campbell between Daniel Paille and Thornton had been intact for the first 19 games of the season.

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

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