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Posted On Saturday, 01.07.2012 / 12:16 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

No Luongo for Canucks, but Thomas starts for Bruins

BOSTON – While one of the starting goaltenders from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final won’t be in net today at TD Garden, the one who prevailed in the epic seven-game series will get the start.
               
Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed this morning he will give Tim Thomas, last year’s Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner, the nod. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault announced Friday that New England native Cory Schneider would start instead of No. 1 goaltender Roberto Luongo.
               
Brad Marchand, who missed a win Thursday night against Calgary with the flu, is classified as a game-time decision by Boston.
               
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

BRUINS

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alex Burrows
Chris Higgins - Ryan Kesler - Mason Raymond
Andrew Ebbett - Cody Hodgson - Jannik Hansen
Manny Malhotra - Maxim Lapierre - Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis - Kevin Bieksa
Alex Edler - Sami Salo
Andrew Alberts - Keith Ballard

Cory Schneider
Roberto Luongo
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Posted On Thursday, 01.05.2012 / 12:50 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected Calgary lineup for Thursday's game

BOSTON – The chance to complete their seven-game road trip with a .500 record lies in the balance tonight.

So the Calgary Flames needed to regroup in the midst of their morning skate after things started to get sloppy.

Head coach Brent Sutter interrupted his team’s skate at the TD Garden, where they’ll face the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, for a lengthy team chat, before allowing his players to resume their activities. It’s rare for any coach to insert his speech in the middle of a skate.

“We have a game to play tonight. So that’s what it’s about,” said Sutter, whose team is 2-3-1 on its current trip. “We don’t want to be missing because we’re not at the standards we need to be.”

Calgary center Rene Bourque begins his five-game suspension Thursday night, so Raitis Ivanans is scheduled to get into the lineup. Leland Irving was the first Flames goaltender off the ice, which indicates he’ll probably get the start.

Here are the Flames’ projected forward lines and D pairs as per the morning skate:

Forwards

Curtis Glencross-Olli Jokinen-Jarome Iginla
Blake Comeau-Mikael Backlund-Lee Stempniak
Paul Byron-Roman Horak-Tim Jackman
Tom Kostopoulos-Brendan Morrison-Raitis Ivanans

Defenseman

Chris Butler-Jay Bouwmeester
Scott Hannan-Anton Babchuk
T.J. Brodie-Cory Sarich

Goalies

Leland Irving
Miikka Kiprusoff
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Posted On Thursday, 01.05.2012 / 12:29 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Fatigue not expected to be an issue for Bruins

BOSTON – The Bruins will play the second half of a back-to-back set of games tonight at TD Garden.
               
But weariness shouldn’t be an issue against Calgary because coach Claude Julien was able to spread out his team’s ice time in a 6-1 victory at New Jersey on Wednesday night.

No Bruins forward played more than the 17:20 logged by Rich Peverley, and Dennis Seidenberg led the defense corps in ice time with just 22:33.
               
“I think that was one of the things I tried to do in the third period when we scored that fourth goal and seemed to have control of the game, I really tried to spread out the ice time and keep us as fresh as possible for tonight,” said Julien, who gave his players this morning off. “That’s the reality of things. You’ve got a team waiting for you at home and you’ve got to play a back-to-back game. We’ve done it before. It’s throughout the whole league, every team plays back-to-back games. And you’ve just got to look at the situation and make the best of it. And we’re fortunate that we had a good enough cushion last night that we were able to do it.”

After Tim Thomas made 30 saves against the Devils, expect Tuukka Rask to get the start against Calgary.
               
Here is the projected lineup for tonight:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas
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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 6:25 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Weiss likely to sit Tuesday as well

BOSTON -- Florida coach Kevin Dineen said Friday night that No. 1 center Stephen Weiss would probably miss the team's next game Dec. 27 at home vs. Toronto in addition to tonight's game at Boston.

Weiss suffered an upper-body injury Thursday night in the first period in Ottawa and did not return.

The Panthers had hoped to recall center Mark Cullen from the AHL San Antonio Rampage for Friday's game, but travel issues prohibited that transaction. Instead, Dineen expected to dress seven defensemen with his team now short seven forwards due to injury.

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Posted On Friday, 12.23.2011 / 12:06 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins get Lucic back, but Peverley to sit

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will get one forward back for tonight's game against Florida, while another will sit the game out at the TD Garden.

Milan Lucic will be back from his one-game suspension, which he served Monday against Montreal. Rich Peverley, who's nursing an undisclosed injury, will miss the game. Coach Claude Julien said the Bruins are hoping having a full week off (Peverley hasn’t skated since Monday's game) will allow Peverley to be ready for the team's next game Wednesday in Phoenix.

Lucic, who was suspended for his hit from behind on Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo, should provide the Bruins with a boost of offensive support and physicality. Despite the suspension, he plans to play the game the way he usually does.

"I can't change my game," he said. "I play with a lot of emotion and I do everything I can to keep it safe and follow the guidelines of the new hitting protocol and all that type of stuff. So obviously, a big part of my game is being physical and creating emotion. And I can't lose that, that's for sure."

The Panthers didn't have a skate today after getting in late last night in the aftermath of their overtime loss in Ottawa. Kevin Dineen will update on his team's injury status, including that of star forward Stephen Weiss, prior to game time. Florida is expected to call up Mark Cullen to replace Weiss in the lineup

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

BRUINS
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Zach Hamill
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

PANTHERS
Tomas Fleischmann - Tomas Kopecky - Kris Versteeg
Shawn Matthias - Mike Santorelli - Matt Bradley
Tim Kennedy - Bill Thomas - Evgenii Dadonov
Krystofer Barch - Mark Cullen - Michal Repik

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Brian Campbell - Jason Garrison
Keaton Ellerby - Ed Jovanovski

Jose Theodore
Scott Clemmensen

 

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Posted On Monday, 12.19.2011 / 6:55 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lucic hopes reputation won't take a hit

BOSTON – Although he's accepted his one-game suspension with the utmost humility, Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic hopes this punishment for his hit from behind on Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo and the decision by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan don't tarnish the reputation the left winger has worked his career to build.

Shanahan said in his explanation of his decision Monday that Lucic's past, which included a phone hearing for his hit on Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller earlier this season, factored into the suspension.

"As far as my history is concerned, obviously I think you look at the five years I've been here, I’ve led the team in hits for all those years. And this is the first time that I've ever had a hearing or a suspension when it comes down to a hit. Take aside the hit on the goalie, I'm talking about a hit on the players. I do everything in my power to keep it clean out there," said Lucic, whose one prior NHL suspension came during the 2009 playoffs after a high hit in a scrum.

"I remember even earlier this year, one of the Boston reporters came up to me and asked me 'Is the reason why you're not playing as physical as the years before because of the new rules and the clarity of it?' And I answered the question, 'Yes.' Obviously he put out some pretty clear videos of what is a suspension and what isn't, and I try my full-on best to follow those rules."

Lucic, whose history also includes a $3,500 fine last December for a punch after the linesman had intervened in an altercation, said he explained to Shanahan that he tried to make sure the hit wasn't from behind. Rinaldo was also quoted as saying he didn't think the hit warranted a ban.

“Obviously I support the League's attempt at addressing player safety," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. "And I think Milan might have explained to you … if you look at it closely, I feel that he … did change his game, so to speak, on that check. I thought he stopped skating. If you looked at his left arm going in, I thought he tried to lever him so that he could hit him in the crest, and I don't think he hit him as hard as he normally does. Milan's a guy whose led our team in hits, I think, since he's been here, and he's very rarely been penalized with boarding, hit from behind – the roughing stuff. He's a clean player, and that's what the law is now, so we'll abide by it."

Lucic expressed disappointment about not being able to face Montreal tonight at the TD Garden. But overall, he's been impressed by Shanahan and the League's effort to get dangerous checks out of the game.

"I think it's good that it's in the back of players' minds now, that the NHL is not a place just to be running around recklessly anymore," he said. "And I think that's a good thing. And it's good to see they're aware to keep the game safer and to try to take head injuries ultimately out of the game because you don't want to see anyone, your teammate or an opponent, go through any troubles with concussion problems or anything like that."
 

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Posted On Monday, 12.19.2011 / 1:18 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Hamill's success pushing Campbell to return

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have won four in a row and Zach Hamill has proven he can be a serviceable fourth-line center at the NHL level.

Those are just a couple of reasons Gregory Campbell wants back into the lineup even if his fractured left foot is still in pain. Campbell, who has missed three games since taking a shot off his foot in Columbus on Dec. 10, practiced without limitation Sunday and then took part in an optional skate at the TD Garden today.

His availability will be a game-time decision tonight when the Bruins host Montreal.

"It felt actually better than yesterday. So we'll see how it goes," Campbell said.

Campbell admitted that he didn't remove his skate after he blocked the shot that injured him. He played the rest of the night with the fracture in his foot. Now he says it actually feels better when he's skating than it does when he's walking, especially when wearing shoes, because of the pressure that gets put on the injury.

If he faces the Habs, Campbell will take some precautions.

"I had the trainers punch [my skate] out a bit just so it relieves a little bit of the pressure," he said. "That's kind of the main thing. At the beginning I couldn't even put my foot in the skate. And if I play, I'm sure I'll put a hard, protecting pad or shield over it just in case I block another shot there."

Campbell played in 80 games last season, so his Bruins career hasn't included many nights on the sideline. He wants to keep it that way.

"It's not fun," he said about sitting out. "But I think the silver lining is that our team is playing extremely well. So it's fun to watch us win. It's not fun to not be a part of it. I want to be involved in the success of the team, but injuries are part of the game."


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Posted On Monday, 12.19.2011 / 12:48 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins lineup 'uncertain' for game against Canadiens

BOSTON -- There are plenty of questions about tonight's lineup for the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens before tonight's game at the TD Garden.

"Our lineup is one that's probably the most uncertain so far this year," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team's optional morning skate.

Gregory Campbell, who has missed the last three games with a fracture in his foot, practiced Sunday and this morning. He could return to the lineup. Meanwhile, the Bruins are awaiting word on Milan Lucic's status after the forward had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan about his hit on Zac Rinaldo in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Rich Peverley only took one shift in the third period Saturday and didn't practice Sunday. The Bruins could opt to rest the veteran forward as well.

The Canadiens held a full skate, including forward Travis Moen but minus P.K. Subban. Moen should be back in the lineup tonight after missing two games with a lower-body injury, while Subban's availability is in doubt.

"We're evaluating him. He's a little under the weather there, so we'll let him get his rest and make a game-time decision tonight," coach Randy Cunneyworth said about Subban.

Carey Price was the first goaltender off after the skate for Montreal, so he should start in net. An educated guess would be that Tim Thomas will start for Boston because Tuukka Rask skated while Thomas took the option to not go on the ice.

Here's a look at the projected lines and D pairs for both teams:

BRUINS
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell/Zach Hamill - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

CANADIENS

Andrei Kostitsyn - Lars Eller - Louis Leblanc
Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Michael Cammalleri
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Mike Blunden

P.K. Subban - Josh Gorges
Hal Gill - Chris Campoli
Tomas Kaberle - Alexei Emelin

 

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 7:04 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Paille returns to Bruins' lineup

BOSTON – Forward Daniel Paille will make his return to the Boston Bruins lineup tonight against Los Angeles at the TD Garden.

Paille missed one game after he suffered a mild concussion in the first period of last Thursday's game against Florida. He did not return to that game and missed Boston's win at Columbus two nights later.

He started skating for the first time Monday during a non-contact practice and took the morning skate with the Bruins today. Paille said he's been symptom-free since the hit but was held out of the game and activity for precautionary reasons.

Jordan Caron is a healthy scratch due to Paille's return.


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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 3:26 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Kampfer getting a chance with Chara out

BOSTON – It’s been almost a month since Steven Kampfer played in an NHL game.

The second-year defenseman will get back into action tonight for the Boston Bruins when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings at TD Garden without captain Zdeno Chara. Other than two conditioning games with Providence in the American Hockey League earlier this month, Kampfer has spent a lot of time practicing.
           
He’s only played in five games all season after he skated in 38 games for Boston and 22 for Providence last season as a first-year pro.
           
“That you’ve just got to take every day and get better,” said Kampfer about the biggest lesson this season has taught him when asked after Boston’s morning skate. “It’s a learning process when you come in as a seventh [defenseman]. They want you to learn things. So I think that’s been the main aspect of the year so far.”
               
So what has Kampfer learned from Day One of training camp until now?
               
“[I’m] moving my feet more, more confidence,” he said. “Definitely the skating aspect of the game has definitely helped. So I think using that confidence will help out.”
              
Coach Claude Julien wants Kampfer’s confidence level to be pretty high in order to produce the way he can, regardless of how many minutes he winds up playing. He has one assist in the five games he’s played, and has averaged a little less than 12 minutes of ice time before contest.
               
“A player like that just has to go out and he can’t be afraid of making mistakes, and you’ve heard every coach say that,” Julien said. “You just go out there and play, play with confidence and if you’re afraid of making a mistake, you’re going to make a mistake. … He’s worked really hard, we’ve done some extra with him in practice, kept him in the best shape possible and he’s had a couple of games in Providence, where they felt he played really well. So he just needs to bring that with him tonight … he’s a player that skates really well and he can move the puck when he feels good and he’s confident about his game, that’s what he brings to us.”
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