After a completely hectic week around the city of Boston, the Bruins hoped to help restart the healing process and sense of normalcy by earning wins this weekend against the Penguins and Panthers. While they couldn’t manage to carry the positive emotions forward from the previous night on Saturda, suffering a 3-2 loss to the Pens, a 3-0 win over the Panthers and an emotional “Shirts Off Their Back” ceremony today certainly helped to move things in the right direction, as Boston temporarily took back the 2nd spot in the Eastern Conference from the Montreal Canadiens.
New Bruin Carl Soderberg does in fact exist and is on the ice today for morning skate with his new teammates. He’s rotating in with Greg Campbell, David Krejci and Jaromir Jagr, and most likely will be a healthy scratch tonight. He could make his debut Friday when the Bruins take on the Penguins.
Brad Marchand is skating again today as well, back with former linemates Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Coach Claude Julien, according to those in the know, confirmed after the skate that both Marchand and Bergeron will in fact be in the lineup tonight.
In somewhat surprising news, Milan Lucic is (finally) taking shifts with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley on the fourth line. This would be the first major demotion for Looch (aside from being taken off the power play against the Hurricanes), so if this lineup sticks it will be interesting to see how the big man responds.
Defenseman Wade Redden will also make his Bruins debut.
7:30 pm puck drop tonight, NBC Sports Network. Don’t miss the anthem.
Obviously the Bruins were (appropriately) an afterthought given the events that took place yesterday in the city of Boston. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those directly affected and all those who call Boston home.
While we search for answers and start the healing process, the Bruins will press on and take to the ice for the first time since the bombings, hosting the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night at the Garden (7:30 pm puck drop – NBC Sports Network). I for one am very much looking forward to what is sure to be a special rendition of the National Anthem before the game from Rene Rancourt.
Monday’s scheduled game against the Senators, which had been postponed, was rescheduled today to Sunday, April 28th at 7 pm. That will be the final game of the NHL regular season.
The black and gold held a spirited practice today and there were a few items of note:
Claude Julien termed Patrice Bergeron ‘highly probable‘ to return against the Sabres. He still has to be cleared by doctors before the game, but he appears ready to go.
Jordan Caron has been reassigned to Providence, mostly to make room for Bergeron’s return but also ahead of Carl Soderberg’s arrival, which is expected tomorrow. He could be on the ice for morning skate, but likely will not dress against the Sabres.
Brad Marchand was cleared for contact before today’s practice, but he wasn’t assigned a line so it’s unlikely that he will dress against the Sabres. If his recovery continues to go well, he could return Friday against Pittsburgh.
“We represent the city of Boston and we want to make sure we represent them well. All you can do is go out there and give it all you’ve got. Whether it gives a little bit of joy, or excitement to some people, it’s going to take a while to heal from this, and we don’t expect tomorrow to be the day that everything’s going to be OK, but you’ve got to start somewhere and tomorrow’s a great time for us to go out there and play our hearts out for all the right reasons.”
There were many displays of support across the league last night, with moments of silence in Chicago, Montreal, Phoenix and other arenas. The National Anthem in Chicago was particularly moving:
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman and Boston native Keith Yandle showed his support with a message on his skates:
Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow night’s game, it will be a big first step towards moving forward and a great opportunity for the people of Boston and all Bruins fans to come together and get their minds off of yesterday’s events for a few hours. Go Bruins!
Despite suffering back to back losses against the Islanders and Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins still remain just a point behind the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Northeast Division. The Bruins kick off the final two weeks of a crazy regular season tonight, hosting the Ottawa Senators at the Garden in the first of four straight home games. The Black and Gold could also be bolstered by the return of Patrice Bergeron, who has been practicing with contact and may be available tonight.
The Bruins are back on the ice against the Islanders tonight looking for the season sweep, but there was a quite a bit of other news making headlines today.
Patrice Bergeron Resumes Skating This Morning
Just a day after GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed that concussed center Patrice Bergeron had started off ice workouts on his road to recovery, the Selke winning star was sighted back on the Garden ice taking morning skate with a small group that included Tuukka Rask, Wade Redden and Aaron Johnson. Bergeron looked fresh and participated in non-contract drills, and appears to be on track to make a return before the end of the regular season.