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Bruins assign Steven Kampfer to Providence 04.07.11 at 1:43 am ET
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The Bruins announced late Wednesday night that they have assigned defenseman Steven Kampfer to Providence. Kampfer will report to Providence on Thursday.

Kampfer has played in 38 games for the Bruins this season since being called up following a hand injury to Mark Stuart in December. He has totaled five goals and five assists for 10 points.

The Providence Bruins have three games remaining on their schedule, meaning Kampfer could see time Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In 20 AHL games this season, Kampfer has three goals and 13 assists for 16 points.

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Shawn Thornton out for Bruins, Michael Ryder and Steven Kampfer make return to lineup 03.31.11 at 12:11 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, who recieved around 40 stitches for a gash above his right eye after being cut by a skate in Tuesday’s game, is not medically cleared to return to the lineup and will not play Thursday against the Maple Leafs. Coach Claude Julien said the forward is considered day-to-day. In Thornton’s place, Michael Ryder will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the last two games.

Thornton participated in the morning skate wearing a helmet with a shield. Tuesday will be the first game Thornton has missed all season, leaving Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi and Dennis Seidenberg as the only Bruins to play in each game this season.

Thornton’s absence isn’t the only lineup change for the B’s Thursday. Rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer, who has not played since March 17 in Nashville, will play in place of Johnny Boychuk as part of Julien’s plan to keep everybody fresh for the playoffs. Julien suggested that Shane Hnidy, who has not played an NHL game this season, could play Saturday

Read More: Michael Ryder, Shawn Thornton, Steven Kampfer,
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
Brad Marchand returns to Merlot Line 03.22.11 at 6:44 pm ET
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As we suspected this morning, Brad Marchand is indeed back on the Merlot Line upon his return from a two-game suspension. Michael Ryder is sticking on Patrice Bergeron’s line, while Daniel Paille, Steven Kampfer, and Shane Hnidy are the scratches. Here’s how the lines looked in warmups:

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton

Michael Ryder – Patrice Bergeron – Mark Recchi

Rich Peverley – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand – Gregory Campbell – Thornton

Read More: Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Steven Kampfer,
Claude Julien says he doesn’t support Tuukka Rask’s displays of frustration 03.21.11 at 1:16 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask has a 10-12-2 record this season. (AP)

WILMINGTON — When Claude Julien put Tim Thomas back in to start the third period against the Maple Leafs Saturday night, the logical reason as to why was because of Tuukka Rask‘s latest display of frustration. After Rask, who came in with over 11 minutes remaining in the second period in relief of Thomas, allowed the game’s fifth goal, he was visibly infuriated with defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who screened him on the play.

Julien has maintained that the move was not disciplinary, and that it was because Thomas wanted to go back out. Monday, he shed light on Rask’s behavior on the ice.

“I don’t support that,” Julien said. “I don’t think anybody supports that, including him. Sometimes frustration sets in, you see players breaking their sticks after a goal against or something. You see them putting their heads up in the air after they miss an open net. There’s a frustration point, so I’m certainly not going to stand here and start accusing him of that, but it’s something you don’t want to see from anybody because it has a big impact on your team.

“Having said that, I think Tuukka’s aware of that, and if anything, he’s been playing some of his best hooky lately, so I don’t think there’s any need for that. I think it’s just that sometimes you’ve got to control your emotions. He’s frustrated with the first half of the year, and he wants to help this hockey club. Sometimes his emotions are probably running a little too high and he reacts that way, but having said that, it had no influence on my decision on Saturday.”

For what it’s worth, Rask has been cool as a cucumber off the ice all season despite the uncertainty as to when he’ll play. On the ice, however, he’s never shied away from expressing his emotions, and Julien hopes he can keep them in check.

Read More: Claude Julien, Dennis Seidenberg, Steven Kampfer, Tim Thomas
Andrew Ference returns to Bruins’ lineup 03.19.11 at 6:54 pm ET
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After being considered a game-time decision earlier in the day, Andrew Ference is in the lineup for the Bruins as they take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Steven Kampfer is the healthy scratch.

This is Ference’s first time in the lineup since Feb. 26. He had been out with a lower body injury.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer,
Andrew Ference a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Maple Leafs at 5:47 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Saturday that defenseman Andrew Ference will be a game-time decision when the B’s take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto Saturday night. Ference has been out since Feb. 26 with a lower-body injury.

In 58 games this season, Ference has two goals and 11 assists for 13 points and a career-high plus-24 rating. If Kampfer plays, Steven Kampfer could be a healthy scratch. Kampfer had a rough game Thursday in Nashville, as a mental lapse allowed the Predators’ game-tying goal, while his holding penalty in overtime led to the game-winner.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer,
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