- There was a buzz around the Bruins this morning at TD Garden, and it wasn’t just carryover from Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Senators.
Jaromir Jagr joined the B’s in the locker room prior to morning skate, smiling and meeting his new teammates, with his stall close to the spoked-B on the floor, and a few down from Tyler Seguin (more on the significance of that as you read below).
“I’m going to a good team, they won two years ago, the Stanley Cup. They didn’t make many changes, so the team looks kind of the same,” Jagr said, as he looked around smiling at his new teammates scattered throughout the locker room. “Hopefully, I can help them to another Cup.”
Shortly thereafter, he took the ice in the spoked-B for the first time, with many members of the media looking on and anticipating what the line combinations might be a few minutes later.
But Jagr isn’t the only addition to this squad - gritty forward Kaspars Daugavins also joined his new teammates for his first morning skate as a Bruin, after taking warm-ups Tuesday night opposite his former Senators’ team (B’s did not practice Wednesday).
In another positive note that led to the good vibe around the team, before practice, defenseman Adam McQuaid was skating with Strength & Conditioning Coach Whitesides, as he has done all week, and Chris Kelly participated in pregame skate with the B’s for the first time since suffering a broken left tibia on March 11 in Ottawa.
With Jagr and Daugavins in the lineup, here are the highly anticipated line combinations that formed during morning line rushes, with Tyler Seguin getting the opportunity to center Jagr and Brad Marchand.
Seguin Shifts to Center
“We put him there because we think he can [play center] and we’ll see. It’s a great opportunity for him, he’s played there most of his career and I’m giving him that opportunity as something I think he deserves,” Coach Julien said of Seguin centering Jagr and Marchand during pregame skate. “So, we’ll see how it goes, and if not then coaches will do what they do, they adjust.”
“It’s going to be a little different for him; he’s not on the wall right now, he’s going to have go down low in support and he’s going to have to cover a little bit more territory, something that we all know Bergy does extremely well.”
“He’s got some big shoes to fill, we don’t expect him to fill them, but we expect him to go out there and do a decent job like everybody else. We have the confidence he can skate and more responsibility means a chance to get better as a player and mature as a guy that you can put it in different situations.”
Bergeron "Sounded Positive"
While the Bruins get additions to their club and have a the likes of Kelly and McQuaid back around the locker room, they’re also now missing their most consistent player, best defensive forward, strongest faceoff man, and all-around leader, alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a “moderate concussion” in Tuesday’s game against Ottawa.
Coach reiterated what GM Peter Chiarelli had told media yesterday, that there is no timetable, but “he sounded positive and sounded good.” Given Patrice’s history, any talk of him being in high spirits, like Julien and Chiarelli have referenced, is surely a good sign moving forward in his recovery.
Kelly Back Soon
Chris Kelly, on the other hand, is on his way to finding himself back into the lineup for Boston. For an injury like Kelly’s that doesn’t have a set timetable for recovery, Coach Julien said it’s now a “matter of days now, versus a week” for the center, who will be practicing with the B’s tomorrow and making the trip to Montreal.
On the back end, seven defensemen were on for the B’s during morning skate, as D-man Wade Redden has yet to join the team following yesterday’s trade with the St. Louis Blues. As such, he is not expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Tuukka Rask was first off the ice, as Anton Khudobin stayed on for extra work. The Bruins face off against the New Jersey Devils in their second meeting of the season tonight at 7 p.m. ET (NESNplus).