Brad Marchand left Bruins morning skate after one line rush and was subsequently declared out for Tuesday’€™s game against the Blues.

Brad Marchand left Bruins morning skate after one line rush and was subsequently declared out for Tuesday’€™s game against the Blues.

Marchand, who missed the final 13:45 of Saturday’€™s game with an undisclosed injury, practiced Monday and was termed “probable” at the time by Julien. Asked whether Marchand’€™s ailment was a concussion or head injury, Julien said it was not.

Tuesday will mark Marchand’s first missed game of the season. In 19 games thus far, Marchand is tied with Carl Soderberg and Seth Griffith for the team lead with five goals.

David Krejci (lower-body) participated in morning skate and centered his regular linemates in Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Julien said that the team didn’€™t know yet whether he would be in. Julien added that if a callup was made Tuesday, it would mean Krejci would be out.

Kevan Miller, who is cleared to play, also participated in the morning skate. Julien said the B’€™s will dress seven defensemen in warmups and decide afterwards whether Miller will be in the lineup. Miller has not played since suffering a dislocated shoulder in a fight on Oct. 18.

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Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand missed Monday’s practice, while both David Krejci and Kevan Miller took the ice at Ristuccia Arena.

WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand missed Monday’s practice, while both David Krejci and Kevan Miller took the ice at Ristuccia Arena.

Marchand did not play the final 13:45 of Saturday’s game and also missed the last 6:23 of Wednesday’s game. Following Saturday’s win over the Hurricanes, Claude Julien said that Marchand was “not injured, per se.”

With Marchand absent, Matt Fraser took his place on Patrice Bergeron‘s line.

Krejci, who began skating Friday as he works his way back from a lower-body injury, did line drills with his usual linemates in Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Chris Kelly, who has played in Krejci’s place during his absence, returned to Carl Soderberg’s line.

The forward lines in practice were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Fraser – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Gagne – Campbell – Paille

Miller hasn’t played since Oct. 18 due to a dislocated shoulder suffered in a fight on Oct. 18. He had taken what the team called “light contact” leading up to Monday’s practice.

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Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Matt Bartkowski

Matt Bartkowski

Matt Bartkowski made one mistake that could have been costly. Early in the second period, with the Bruins leading Carolina 2-1, Bartkowski turned the puck over to Chris Terry just inside his own blue line. Terry led a quick 2-on-1 and tried to center for Jeff Skinner, who wound up redirecting an aerial pass over the net.

Aside from that one play, Bartkowski’s return to the lineup following seven straight healthy scratches was a good one. He was effective on breakouts. He got involved in the offensive zone and wound up with four shots on goal, tied for the team lead in the game. He was physical, most notably landing a big, clean hit on Patrick Dwyer midway through the second. His plus-3 Corsi was the best among Bruins defensemen in the game.

“I think I did alright for how much time I sat out,” Bartkowski said. “I was moving. I didn’t really give them too much, a few chances, but other than that it went pretty well.”

In many ways, Saturday’s game was a good representation of Bartkowski as a whole. There has always been quite a bit to like about Bartkowski’s game, namely his skating, puck movement in transition and ability to win battles down low.

Let’s not forget that Bartkowski was a top-four defenseman for a stretch during the 2013 playoffs and then for most of last season, and that he was at least serviceable in that role. There’s a reason he got those minutes over other options — because he was better-equipped to handle them.

But there have always been those mistakes, too. They started to reach a breaking point in last year’s playoffs, when he wound up being a healthy scratch in favor of Andrej Meszaros four times in 12 games. Then they continued into this season, and Bartkowski found himself watching from the press box as less experienced players like Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky were given a look.

Bartkowski said he didn’t work on any one thing in particular while he was out of the lineup and instead just tried to work hard and stay positive.

“Just worked hard in practice, worked hard on the bike, in the weight room,” Bartkowski said. “That’s about it. … Just playing hockey, that’s all it is. And just focused on staying in game shape.”

Bartkowski playing well can help the Bruins’ back end more than Morrow or Trotman. He could even get back into the top four (for what it’s worth, he was sixth among Bruins defensemen in ice time on Saturday). But he needs to cut down on the mistakes. An occasional mistake is understandable, but if they happen every night, Claude Julien may be forced to bench him again.

Even a mistake like Saturday’s — just one in an otherwise good game — is pushing it. What if the Hurricanes had converted on that 2-on-1 and tied the game? The rest of Bartkowski’s good game would have been completely forgotten and that mistake would have been the story of the game if the Bruins went on to drop a point or two.

It’s a thin line for Bartkowski right now, and that what-if scenario from Saturday highlights just how thin it is.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

Claude Julien's Bruins are having a tough time with a potentially tougher time coming up.</p>
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Claude Julien said after Saturday’€™s win over the Hurricanes that Brad Marchand is “not injured, per se,”€ which is a toug

Claude Julien said after Saturday’€™s win over the Hurricanes that Brad Marchand is “not injured, per se,”€ which is a tough way to say that someone isn’t injured.

Marchand did not play the final 13:45 of Saturday’€™s game. That came two games after Marchand missed the last 6:23 of Wednesday’€™s loss to the Maple Leafs.

‘€œHe’€™s not injured, per se, but he wasn’€™t 100 percent,’€ Julien said Saturday. ‘€œIt was a safe route to take, I guess.’€

The Bruins are either being cautious or trying to hide the situation the best they can. Remember, Julien called David Krejci‘€™s preseason injury “very, very minor ” at the time it was suffered.€ Krejci went on to miss the next three games with what was believed to be a hip injury. The team has still not revealed why Krejci has not played the last four games.

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Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Playing bad teams at home really seems to work for the Bruins.

Tuukka Rask got the start and the win Saturday. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask got the start and the win Saturday. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Playing bad teams at home really seems to work for the Bruins.

After a treacherous two-game Canadian road trip that saw the Bruins’€™ get outscored, 11-2, the lowly Hurricanes looked like a worthy opponent for the B’€™s, but they escaped with a 2-1 win (box) and improved their record for the first time since they were last at home, which was also when they were playing bad teams.

The Hurricanes outshot the Bruins by wide margins in both the first and third periods and would have easily put more than one goal past Tuukka Rask had they finished any of what were multiple gimmes during a 1:44 5-on-3 in the first period. You get breaks like that when you play struggling teams, but by no means were the Bruins dominant.

That’€™s the Bruins in a nutshell right now. They can get these wins, but they aren’€™t dominant. The B’€™s are now 7-4-0 without Zdeno Chara.

Here are four other things we learned Saturday:


Matt Bartkowski made his return to the lineup after sitting the previous seven games as a result of his early-season struggles. He played in place of Zach Trotman, who was a healthy scratch.

That wasn’€™t the only change to the Bruins’€™ back end, as Claude Julien broke up Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton on the top pairing. The pairings were as follows:

Seidenberg – McQuaid
Morrow – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Krug

Bartkowski had a generally good game, with a particularly lengthy first-period shift in the offensive zone among the positives. A turnover in the second period led to a scoring chance for Jeff Skinner, but Saturday was overall an improvement on the mistake-heavy showings Bartkowski had before he was taken out of the lineup.


Bergeron was on the ice for Tlusty’€™s goal, which made it eight even strength goals against for which he’€™s been on the ice the last four games.

The results for Bergeron and his line changed later in the period, however, as Brad Marchand‘€™s work with the puck and ensuing pass set up a Bergeron goal with 50 seconds left in the period. The goal was the first for Bergeron’€™s line since Reilly Smith’€™s goal late in the third period of Monday’€™s win against the Devils.

Bergeron also made a nice heads-up play in the offensive zone in the third period, picking off a Justin Faulk pass to set up a Seth Griffith scoring chance.


Daniel Paille turned the puck over in the neutral zone to lead to a lengthy Hurricanes possession on which Jiri Tlusty scored just over seven minutes into the first period. He was given just one more shift the rest of the period and did not play the final 10:27 of the first period.

Paille didn’€™t take contact with anyone or appear to be in pain on his nine-second shift, which came on the penalty kill. He didn’€™t look like a guy who was injured, and even if he was, the Bruins probably won’€™t say anything about it.

Claude Julien threw some different looks out there for his forward lines as the period went on, giving Milan Lucic two shifts with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. The lines were reverted back to normal for the second period.

Paille still has no goals this season. He thought he scored when he wheeled around and in the high slot and whipped the puck through traffic and in, but the goal was waved off due to Gregory Campbell standing in the crease.

The line of Campbell between Paille and Gagne still has just one goal this season, a Campbell game-winner on Oct. 21 against the Sharks,


Say what you will about Tuukka Rask not starting in Montreal ‘€” personally, I thought the Bruins’€™ plan to go Rask in Toronto and Niklas Svedberg was the right plan going into it, with spectacularly poor results ‘€” but Rask had a nice bounce-back performance Saturday against the Hurricanes.

Of course, a lot of goaltenders have good games against the Hurricanes, who entered Saturday 26th in the league in goals scored per game, but the Bruins will take it nonetheless.

One of Rask’€™s bigger saves came about eight minutes into the third period, when he left a rebound out front for Victor Rask but was able to recover and stop Carolina’€™s second-chance opportunity.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean