BOSTON, MA – Before heading off to the airport to fly to Chicago for Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins practiced this morning at TD Garden. The B’s went through a fast-paced session that lasted for about 45 minutes.
The lineup remained the same, with the exception of the fourth line. Carl Soderberg replaced Kaspars Daugavins on the left wing, alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton. Daugavins returned to the group of extra forwards (Jay Pandolfo and Jordan Caron) that he had been skating with prior to entering the lineup following Gregory Campbell’s season-ending injury in Game Three against Pittsburgh.
Soderberg, talking during the B’s sendoff celebration at TD Garden, said he has not been informed that he will in the lineup for Game Five.
“Obviously I was on that [fourth] line [during practice], but I haven’t talked to Coach [Claude Julien] yet, so I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow,” said Soderberg.
“I don’t know if I’m playing yet, I haven’t talked to [Julien] today. That would be amazing, of course.”
Julien said the lineup will be finalized Saturday and that he wanted to see what it would look like to have Soderberg on the fourth line at practice.
“Just trying something else here,” said Julien. “I’ll make that decision tomorrow. Just to get a different look on what they would look like.”
The 27-year-old Sweden native joined the Bruins late in the regular season, but he has been around the team for its entire postseason run. Soderberg has participated in practices, morning skates, and a number of pre-game warmups. That experience has him feeling confident that he can enter the lineup and contribute.
“That has helped me a lot, to be here practicing with the team and get in warmups,” said Soderberg, who played in six regular season games, registering two assists. “You don’t play, but still you are there. I’ve been practicing for a long time now, so I feel ready.
“I’m a big guy and can protect the puck, I can get it deep and go from there. I’ve been here for 11 weeks now. I’m getting to know the system a lot.
“I haven’t played games in a while, but if I’m playing tomorrow, I think it’s going to go well. I know everything.”
Soderberg’s experience playing in Sweden also has him prepared to enter the lineup. If he does play, he said he will keep things straightforward.
“I think I have a lot of experience from before. I’ve played hockey for 10 years, so I know the game,” he said. “If I play tomorrow, I have to keep it simple. Just get the puck out and get the puck in and then work from there.”
Even if he doesn’t find himself in the lineup on Saturday night, Soderberg has enjoyed his first couple of months in Boston.
“It’s amazing to be here. I love being here in Boston. Of course I want to play, but I haven’t yet. Hopefully, tomorrow.”
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg – Rich Peverley – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference – Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid