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Zdeno Chara expected to play Saturday after being hospitalized with dehydration 04.16.11 at 11:10 am ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday that he expects captain Zdeno Chara to be in the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after being hospitalized Friday night for dehydration.

“He got treated with a little bit of hydration, and that’s basically all there is to that,” Julien said. “Until our medical staff tells me he can’t go, he’s in tonight.”

Julien would not divulge whether Chara stayed overnight in the hospital, but did say that the medical staff, who will make the decision, “have yet to tell me that he can’t go.”

Chara led all Bruins skaters with 25:06 of ice time on Thursday, totalling five shots on goal in the team’s 2-0 loss to the Canadiens. His plus-33 rating in the regular season led all NHL skaters.

“He’s our leader. He’s our captain,” forward Shawn Thornton said of Chara. “He’s 6-foot-9, 260 pounds. He’s a big, big presence for us. He’s been our best player for the four years that I’ve been here, so he’s huge.”

In the unlikely event that Chara is not able to play Saturday, reserve defenseman Shane Hnidy, who played in three regular-season games with the team since signing on in late February, is ready to go.

“That’s why I’m here,” Hnidy said with a smile. “You’ve got to have that kind of mind set that every day, regardless of the situation, you’re coming in preparing to play. When told otherwise, you look after that.”

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Steven Kampfer out at least two weeks with knee injury 04.11.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in Monday’s conference call that rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer will be out for at least two weeks after sustaining a knee injury while playing for Providence on Saturday. Kampfer left the contest vs. Springfield after trying to return to the ice for another shift.

“Steven injured his knee and is going to be evaluated in the next couple of days,” Chiarelli said. “My guess is he’ll be gone for at least two weeks.”

Kampfer played in 38 games for Boston this season, but figured to be a healthy scratch in the playoffs given that he played just once (March 31) following a rough game in Nashville in which a defensive lapse and a penalty in overtime played a major role in the Predators’ come-from-behind win over the B’s. He was sent to Providence on April 6 to get more game action.

With Kampfer out for at least the first round of the playoffs, Shane Hnidy is clearly the first defenseman the B’s would go to in case of injury, though Chiarelli stressed that the B’s have options should they suffer more injuries on the blue line.

“We’ve got depth beyond that in [Matt] Bartkowski, [Andrew] Bodnarchuk and [Colby] Cohen. We’ve got some players that can fill in,” Chiarelli said. “Obviously, it’s a blow to our depth, but from what I’m told, it’s not that bad. I can’t give you an exact time frame, but I now it’s at least two weeks.”

Kampfer, 22, totaled five goals and five assists for 10 points with Boston in the regular season.

On the subject of depth, Chiarelli noted that goaltender Anton Khudobin will be among 10 or so Black Aces the B’s will be able to use for depth purposes. Zach Hamill is also in that group.

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Shane Hnidy makes his second-time-around debut with B’s, Steve Kampfer back to bench 04.02.11 at 12:12 pm ET
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After missing most of the season with a shoulder injury, defenseman Shane Hnidy has been cleared by coach Claude Julien to return to action today against the Thrashers in a matinee at TD Garden.

Hnidy suffered the injury during camp with the Coyotes in September and spent the first half of the season rehabbing it before signing as a free agent with the Bruins at the end of February.

This is Hnidy’s third stint with Bruins, racking up three goals and nine assists in 65 games two seasons ago. The 35-year-old Hnidy had a goal and four assists in 43 games in the 2007-08 season. To make room for Hnidy, Julien scratched rookie blueliner Steve Kampfer for the seventh time in eight games.

The well-traveled Hnidy broke in with Ottawa in the 2000-01 season and played his first three seasons with the Senators before being traded to Nashville in the middle of the 2003-04 season. Following the lockout, he came back and played two seasons with Atlanta before being signed by Anaheim in July 2007. He was traded to Boston in the middle of the 07-08 season, his first go-around with the Bruins.

Hnidy’s best season came in 2006-07 with the Thrashers, when he had five goals and seven assists in 72 games with a plus-minus of +15.

Hnidy played for Minnesota last season before getting a tryout with the Coyotes last September.

Read More: Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Minnesota Wild Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Bruins hold optional morning skate in anticipation of Blackhawks 03.29.11 at 11:23 am ET
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Michael Ryder has not scored a goal in over a month. (AP)

The sounds of pucks hitting boards and skates cutting ice were drowned out by a game of hallway soccer, as the Bruins held an optional skate Thursday in anticipation of their game against the Blackhawks. Tuukka Rask, Chris Kelly, Michael Ryder, Tyler Seguin, Gregory Campbell, Shane Hnidy, Steven Kampfer and Adam McQuaid skated for the B’s. Expect Tim Thomas to start with Rask the only goaltender to skate in the optional.

Given that Ryder also skated in the optional and that Claude Julien expressed a desire to stick with the same lineup that won them Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, it is probable that Ryder will be a healthy scratch once again.

Here are some notes from the morning:

- Julien said that he doesn’t feel a need to talk about last year’s playoffs with his team as they prepare for the postseason this time around. The B’s blew a 3-0 series and Game 7 lead in the second round last year against the Flyers.

“I think for us right now it’s just focusing on the moment. From here on in, we’ve still got to maintain our play, our level of play that we’ve had lately and continue to try and even improve that. There’s no room for complacency right now, and we have lots of players. If we’re going to move some players in and out from here on in it’s not because we’re taking it easy, but because we want everybody ready to go. That’s kind of the message that we gave the players. So for us, I think we need to make sure we maintain our level of play from here on in.”

- Much was made in training camp of the new situation that former Panthers Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton found themselves in. Having never been to the playoffs in their careers, it seemed the postseason would be extra special for them. Campbell spoke about what it means to him to finally know he’s headed for the playoffs.

“I’m excited. It’s been a long time. That was the first thing I thought of when I got traded to Boston, was that I was going to get a chance to play in the playoffs,” Campbell said. “For me, at this point in my career, the most meaningful thing is to get a chance to win. I know this organization’s excited about the opportunity to get back to the playoffs again.”

- While Julien said that the recent scratches “probably” won’t get in the lineup Tuesday, he will get them in the lineup over the next two weeks to both rest those playing and keep everybody fresh.

“We’ve got to remember the guys were going to put in are good players. It’s not like you’re putting in a bad player,” Julien said of the players serving as healthy scratches. “It’s that you’ve got a 20-man roster for the game, but you’ve got 22-23 guys here. We’re going to put some guys in, pull some guys out, but certainly not to say, well this is a game that we’re going to take it easy, we’re going to pull so-and-so out. We’ve got to stay on top of our game, and that’s what I’ve been talking about, sliding guys in that can go in there and stay sharp so that if, come playoff time, we need somebody, they haven’t been sitting around for a month.”

- Julien spoke highly of David Krejci, who has 28 points in the 27 games since Marc Savard went down with his latest concussion. The coach said it’s been more a result of improved play than increased opportunity.

“He’s elevated his play, there’s no doubt,” Julien said. “He’s become a better player in the second half of the season. I think we’re starting to see more of the David Krejci we know. I think he had a bit of a slow start this year and wasn’t skating as well as we had seen him in the past. And was trying to make those plays, but when you don’t use your speed it’s pretty hard to make those plays in this league. So I think his skating has gotten better, his intensity has gotten better, and because of that he’s making some plays.”

- The coach said that as far as fine-tuning things go prior to the playoffs, special teams will be the focus. After an ugly stretch, the power play has scored four goals in the last four games, while the penalty kill has allowed one goal over the last five.

“[Power play] is an area we’ve got to get better at,” Julien said. “Even our penalty kill had been pretty good all year, then we hit that funk there for about three weeks that really made us slide down in the [rankings] in regards to that. We’ve got to get that back to where we feel it should be. I think our special teams are going to be important from here on in, and those are part of the things we need to work on.

“What I liked about the last game is that we were playing a really good team, it was a tight checking game and we stuck with it and found a way to win. You’ve got to be able to  be patient with those types of games that are tight checking games. In the playoffs, that’s what you’re going to get, and I think our guys did a great job in the third period of not creating some bad mistakes or turnovers, and eventually they broke, took a penalty, and we took advantage of it. It’s those little details when you get near the end of the year. You want your team to be composed and in control of their game plan.”

Read More: Adam McQuaid, Claude Julien, David Krejci, Gregory Campbell Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Claude Julien reiterates that Shane Hnidy will be a depth player 03.22.11 at 12:30 pm ET
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With Shane Hnidy coming off LTIR Tuesday, Bruins coach Claude Julien seemed to reiterate Sunday’s comments that he is by no means coming in and taking anyone’s job. He said after Tuesday’s practice that Hnidy can’t go down to Providence, so that he’ll remain with Boston as a depth guy who could occasionally see playing time.

“I don’t know what upper management has in mind here. I don’t think he can go to Providence at this stage of the season, after the trade deadline,” Julien. “So this is something that I don’t think is in the options. But he’s come around, and I think we’ll see him at some point in our lineup. We brought him here to give us some depth, and if we’re going to use him as a depth player, at some point from here to the end he’s going to see some action.”

With that being said, Julien noted that he doesn’t feel Hnidy, who hasn’t played all season due to a shoulder injury suffered in training camp with the Coyotes, is a liability.

“Just because he’s in our lineup doesn’t mean we can’t win our hockey game either. It’s just a matter of him not having played this year,” Julien said. “There’s going to be some small adjustments with him, but we can manage that, put him in some situations where he can get on the ice and help us more than hurt us.”

Given that all the other defensemen are healthy, the B’s have eight blueliners to choose from.

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Shane Hnidy ready to come off LTIR 03.21.11 at 5:45 pm ET
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Shane Hnidy last played for the Bruins in 2009. (AP)

He might not play, but at least he’s eligible to do so.

Shane Hnidy will see team doctors Tuesday en route to officially coming off long-term injury reserve, meaning the veteran blueliner will be available to the Bruins for the first time since they signed him in late February. Hnidy had been rehabbing a shoulder injury suffered with the Coyotes in training camp.

“It’s the doctors’ thing,” Hnidy said. “If it was up to me, I was ready a while ago, but it’s probably best to wait. It feels really strong, and I’ve been able to battle the last few practices and have been doing it for a while. I haven’t had a negative effect at all.”

Claude Julien reiterated Sunday that Hnidy was brought in for depth purposes and that he wouldn’t be taking anyone’s job. Hnidy understands that, but he’ll welcome the playing time when it comes.

“The whole reason you want to come is to play, but I knew what the situation was coming in,” he said. “If it works out and I’m needed and have to play, I’m going to go out there and do my best. I’m anxious to get back and get in a game, but if not, I’ll just continue on this path, and try to prepare the best way I can.”

Hnidy previously played for the Bruins from 2007-09, totaling 17 points (4 G, 13 A) in 108 games.

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Bruins expect either Steven Kampfer or Andrew Ference to return to lineup Tuesday 03.14.11 at 1:54 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena that injured defensemen Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer and Shane Hnidy will travel with the team to Columbus for Tuesday night’s tilt with the Blue Jackets. While Julien noted that Hnidy is still unavailable, either Kampfer (concussion) or Ference (lower body) could suit up on Tuesday.

“We feel that one of them, at least, will be ready, and hopefully two,” Julien said of Kampfer and Ference. The coach added that, “there isn’t any definite decision that’s been made on either of those two players.”

Both Kampfer and Ference have skated with the Bruins the last two days. Kampfer has been out since suffering a concussion on a hit from Mattias Ritola on March 3. Ference has not played since Feb. 26.

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