TAMPA BAY, FL - After missing all of the Bruins' first six games of the season, it appears that Carl Soderberg may get his opportunity in the lineup on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Following practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday afternoon, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said that Soderberg has been cleared to play.
Friday marked his third straight day taking full contact with the team. He's been out of game action since suffering an ankle injury in the B's final preseason game on September 27 in Saskatoon.
The forward was coming off a solid showing during training camp, playing on the wing with Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith, and forming quick chemistry, before the injury kept him out.
"Carl is ready to go," Julien said following practice. "He’s been cleared so there’s a possibility there."
"I know it’s kind of a question if we feel that he’s going to be in tomorrow; there’s a good chance he will be. He’s been cleared so now it’s up to me to make that decision."
When Soderberg last spoke with media following his first full practice with the team on Wednesday in Sunrise, he said he didn't think the layoff would affect his performance, when he goes get back into the lineup.
"I hate to not play, but 2-3 weeks isn't that long of time, and it's going fast, and you keep in shape pretty good, so it shouldn't be a problem."
Caron "Ready to Go"
During practice, Soderberg was sporting the grey jersey on the third line alongside Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand.
Jordan Caron was the only Bruin absent from the ice, but Coach reiterated it was just a maintenance day for the winger.
"Jordan’s fine. He’ll be ready to go," said Julien, of his availability for the match-up with Tampa Bay.
Finding Commitment at Both Ends
Following the Bruins' 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers in Sunrise Thursday night, before they flew across the FL coast to Tampa Bay, Julien had said for his team, it was "more about the commitment and attitude towards our game right now that has to be better."
Tuukka Rask had spoken about "mental mistakes" on the part of himself and the team. "Uncharacteristic" is what comes to mind when you think about the recent lapse in a team that has predominantly been defense-first and well-structured.
Though the Bruins found a way to get the 3-2 win after being up 2-0, there's a shift they believe needs to happen heading into the Lightning on Saturday night. That includes more net-front presence, especially against a 6-foot-7 goaltender like Ben Bishop and a a Bolts' team that has the "swag going," as Head Coach Jon Cooper put it.
The Lightning have won five of their past six games since dropping the season opener, 4-1, to Boston at TD Garden on October 3.
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla Gold:
Reilly Smith-Patrice Bergeron-Loui ErikssonGrey:
Brad Marchand-Chris Kelly-Carl SoderbergMerlot:
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn ThorntonD:
Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg, Matt Bartkowski, Adam McQuaid, Dougie Hamilton, Torey KrugG:
Tuukka Rask, Chad Johnson