BostonBruins.com -- The only Bruins on the ice for morning skate in Madison Square Garden were defensemen Shane Hnidy and Steve Kampfer, forwards Michael Ryder and Shawn Thornton and goaltender Tuukka Rask.
During his pregame comments to the press on Monday, Head Coach Claude Julien said that Hnidy and Kampfer would be among the scratches against the Rangers.
As for Thornton, who continues to recover from a 40-stitch skate blade cut to the head against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 29th, Julien said not to expect the B's beat cop to appear against New York.
"Doubtful. Doubtful, he’s skating this morning but still has a visor and...I don’t think we’re one hundred percent comfortable right now medically," said Julien. "And as long as [the B's medical staff's] not comfortable we have, I guess, that luxury of being a little bit more cautious so I would say doubtful."
Julien explained that the Bruins are concerned about the stitches popping on Thornton.
"There is some damage that’s been done inside and if those stitches were to pop out it would certainly be a bit of a risky situation," said Julien. "So he’s wearing a visor right now and I don’t think he feels one hundred percent comfortable.
"But I think if we’re in the playoffs today, and he had to play there’s no doubt he’d be in there. Right now...I think our crew is being a little bit more cautious
"And like I said we’re going to support our medical staff in regards to that," he said.
However, despite their division crown and playoff berth, according to Julien the B's are taking tonight's tilt to heart.
"They’re fighting for their lives, so there’s definitely some desperation on their end of it," said the B's bench boss. "They want to keep their spot on the playoffs and we understand there’s always a possibility we will meet these guys.
"Because of last game, a 1-0 game, which I thought was hard fought game, but they ended up on the winning end of it, we need to make sure we’re ready to go tonight."
"They’re a great forechecking team, they come at your hard, and you’ve got to get pucks in deep and you have to make sure you get pucks at the net with a lot of traffic there," added Julien. "They’ve got a good goaltender there that when you do get some momentum, he’s able to [outlast] that pressure a lot of times and keep them in the game.
"So we have to figure out a way of getting through to him and maybe playing more in their end than in ours," he said.