The B's held two practices Thursday morning, with the group set to play tonight on the ice first. Gregory Campbell was on the ice, and will be playing in his first game since suffering his broken right leg on June 5 during the Eastern Conference Final. He said Wednesday the next step for him was just move forward and start playing.
He'll be getting that opportunity tonight, likely back with his usual Merlot left winger, Daniel Paille.
"Soupy’s a go. Feels good, feels ready," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien confirmed following practice. "Our trainers told me yesterday; just before I left they came in and said, 'Listen, if you want to use him tomorrow, he’s a go.' So that’s what we’re going to do; give him a chance to play."
Soupy’s a go. Feels good, feels ready. - Claude Julien
Zdeno Chara will also see his first preseason action of 2013-14 tonight against Detroit and their top line of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader. He stayed back in Boston for the first two games in Montreal and then Baltimore against the Capitals - "Coach's decision" to give prospects the opportunity to play.
Zee will also have a front-row view of the Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla line in action tonight.
"It seems like, really, since the beginning of training camp, they know each other's role on that line and they seem to be finding each other pretty good," said Chara. "So I'm excited to be playing with them."
Here are the likely lines and defensive pairings for tonight, per morning skate.
Projected Lines/Pairings vs Detroit
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Matt Fraser-Carl Söderberg-Nick Johnson
Rob Flick-Ryan Spooner-Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski-Zach Trotman
Torey Krug-Adam McquaidStarter:
Subban to Start
Julien said Malcolm Subban will get to play the whole game tonight against Detroit, a first for Subban in an NHL setting wearing the spoked-B.
"I thought he made some real sound saves in that Montreal game where he had all the reasons in the world to be extremely nervous – playing in Montreal, in that building, against his brother," said Julien of the netminder, who stopped all shots he faced, though he was under too much pressure.
"And yet he seemed poised and calm and in control so, again, he’s earned the right to play a whole game
so we’re going to give him that."
Campbell Gets to Play
"I think as I play, I'll get more comfortable, even mentally...just kind of overcoming that and feeling good enough to play. So it's time for me now just to move forward and play," Gregory Campbell said following Wednesday's practice at TD Garden, in an interview with media that one reporter would later joke to Head Coach Claude Julien that the centerman was campaigning to get in the lineup.
Campbell isn't the only one excited he'll be playing; his left winger Daniel Paille is anticpating his teammate's return to the ice as well.
"Having Soupy back tonight, this early in the preseason, we're all happy to have him and anxious to see him come in the lineup," said Paille, following morning skate. "I know he's definitely waiting for it. He's waited a few months to get to this point and play tonight and I'm sure he's going to enjoy every opportunity."
A standing ovation is expected, given the overwhelming attention he got during the Final and throughout the offseason.
"I would think so, given the fact that everyone embraced it while he was hurt. Definitely well-deserving with what he was doing. But, you know him," Paille smiled. "He just wants to kind of leave it be and play the game, so hopefully it doesn't go too long for him so he can just focus on playing."
The Captain is also looking forward to having an integral part of the team back on the ice healthy.
"Obviously a tough end of the playoffs for him - we all missed him, he's such a great teammate," Chara told me. "He recovered so well and he worked so hard to be back so he wouldn't have to miss any games or time from the beginning of the season, and he did a tremendous job to be able to be in great shape."
"He's such an important part for our team; it's hard to replace guys like that."
Iginla's First Garden Crowd
Jarome Iginla sniped two goals in his first game in the spoked-B; now he'll have the chance to have a good showing in front of the Boston faithful at TD Garden.
I want to play well here and pump up the crowd. - Jarome Iginla
"Once you get into the game there it’s competitive, you want to play well, you want to win. You want to keep working on things and getting better," said Iginla. "It’s my first time playing here at home, so preseason or not, it’ll be special and something that you get used to. I want to play well here and pump up the crowd and be a part of a strong home team and it’s a new experience for me too, so I’m looking forward to it."
Injury UpdateBobby Robins
has been missing from practice the past two days. Julien divulged Thursday that he sustained a knee injury
Tuesday night in Baltimore, playing against the Washington Capitals.
"Right now, from what I know, is we’re probably looking at at least two weeks," said Julien.
Near the end of the game, Julien thinks he may have taken a hit, and came right off the ice. Robins played another shift afterwards since the leg was still warm, but soon stiffened up.
Red Wings Outlook
The Bruins will be facing the Wings' top line with Pavel Datsyuk centering Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader
. Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary are also both listed on the lineup for Detroit, along with heavy hitter Niklas Kronwall and blueliner Jonathan Ericsson. Neither Johan Franzen or Daniel Alfredsson traveled with Detroit today to Boston, as they're both sidelined with injuries.
Jimmy Howard and Tom McCollum are the goaltenders for the Wings, and I'd expect to maybe see the usual starter, Howard, between the pipes first.
Tonight's game will be streamed on BostonBruinsTV in the Boston market (due to broadcast restrictions, it is limited to the Boston market only), with the call of Bob Beers and Dave Goucher on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
I'll bring updates, as always, on Twitter @NHLBruins ^CS