WILMINGTON, MA - Carl Soderberg skated on his own Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena, before the Bruins hit the ice for practice following their day off Sunday, and 4-1 win over Detroit and Saturday.
The forward is returning from an ankle injury that has kept him out since the final preseason game of the season on September 27 in Saskatoon against Winnipeg, when he hit a rut in the ice during the third period.
"He skated this morning so he is getting closer," Head Coach Claude Julien said following the hour-long skate at the B's practice facility.
Jordan Caron has filled in on the left wing, proving reliable at both ends and serving as an early offensive threat, notching his first goal of the season in the victory over Detroit and nearly scoring in the first game (early whistle waved it off), a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.
With Soderberg still on the mend, Julien was swift to dismiss any discussion surrounding third line questions when a reporter asked him about it Saturday night.
"I think it’s premature to talk about those things. When the time comes, I’ll deal with Carl being back in," Julien had said. "They play well, he may come in for them. And it’s a long year. I can give you all the clichés that you want but I think at the end of the day all you want is to see what kind of decision I’ll make and I’m certainly not about to make that decision now."
Julien always embraces tough roster decisions, especially when it's reflective of depth. This one will be no different -- when the time comes.
To kick off practice on Monday, the Bruins did a "stick-switch" drill we've seen before, usually used to lighten the mood. I remember seeing it last season amidst a losing streak, so it was nice to see it employed with this confident group of Bruins that has started the season undefeated at 2-0-0.
Right-handed shots switch sticks with the leftys and vice versa. It always, always, always brings out tons of "I feel like a kid again" smiles from the group, and Monday was no different.
"Keeping things light," said Julien. "For me, the worst drill in practice is finding a warm-up drill – where you allow guys to get their legs and goaltenders feeling pucks and stuff like that. It was one of the things we’ve done before, give them a chance to loosen up and have fun with it."
"We’re three days away from the next game so I don’t think we have to be too hard on them on a Monday morning practice."
The Bruins next host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night at TD Garden, and will be looking to build on their confidence.
"We definitely know we had to play better in the second game than we did in the first. So we did play a good game, a solid 60 minutes against Detroit and that’s what makes you feel good," said Dennis Seidenberg, who recently inked a four-year contract extension with Boston.
"And when you feel good, you have fun practicing and enjoy working here. And that’s what we’re doing now and hopefully we can keep it going."
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome IginlaGold:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Loui ErikssonGrey:
Jordan Caron-Chris Kelly-Reilly SmithMerlot:
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn ThorntonD:
Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Matt BartkowskiG:
Tuukka Rask, Chad Johnson