It will be a battle of Tuukka Rask backups Thursday night at TD Garden, as Niklas Svedberg will oppose former Bruin Chad Johnson as the BR

Niklas Svedberg

Niklas Svedberg

It will be a battle of Tuukka Rask backups Thursday night at TD Garden, as Niklas Svedberg will oppose former Bruin Chad Johnson as the B’€™s host the Islanders.

The night will center around the return of Johnny Boychuk, who has two goals and four assists for six points in six games this season after being traded to the Islanders.

Other than the goaltender, Boston’€™s lineup appears to be the same as it was Tuesday:

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

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – Krug
Bartkowski – McQuaid

Svedberg

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Tuukka Rask's numbers are down as the Bruins find their way in front of him. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)Bruins goalies are generally spoiled because they play for the Bruins.



Some of the following quotes can also be found in Wednesday’€™s feature on Johnny Boychuk.

Johnny Boychuk will play his first game back at the Garden Thursday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Johnny Boychuk will play his first game back at the Garden Thursday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Some of the following quotes can also be found in Wednesday’€™s feature on Johnny Boychuk. For more on the former Bruin’€™s start to his Islanders career and his return to Boston Thursday, click here.

Speaking to WEEI.com earlier in the week, Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk said that though being traded away from Boston was difficult, he saw the move coming to an extent.

“They didn’€™t tell me [their plans], but we all knew,” Boychuk said. “You knew that somebody was going to get moved. Even if you don’€™t watch hockey, you would know that somebody’€™s going to get moved, just because we had eight guys.

“You’€™re not going to carry two extra D men. We usually [carried] one, but you’€™re not going to carry two. They thought they got the best deal for me, so that’€™s the way it goes. That’€™s the way the league is.”

Boychuk said that he figured that Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Dennis Seidenberg and Kevan Miller were safe from being traded, leaving him on a short list of defensemen the B’€™s could deal. His cap hit ($3.36 million) was the highest of the group, which also included Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski.

Peter Chiarelli said after trading Boychuk to the Islanders that negotiations never started for a contract extension with the free-agent-to-be before the B’€™s traded him. The lack of communication on a new contract made the trade less of a surprise for Boychuk.

“We didn’€™t talk, so I just figured something’€™s probably going to happen,” Boychuk said.

Boychuk was waking up from his pregame nap the day of Boston’€™s last preseason game when he got the call from Chiarelli.

“Peter phoned me when I was just waking up from my pre game nap, because I was supposed to play [against Detroit],” Boychuk. “As soon as I said ‘€˜hello’€™ and he said, ‘€˜Hi Johnny, this is Peter,’€™ I was like ‘€˜ugh.’€™ You know that you’€™re getting traded when Pete calls you.”

As for the reception he expects from the Boston crowd Thursday night, Boychuk said he expects an emotional return.

“[Expletive],” Boychuk said. “That’€™s going to be’€¦ different. It’€™s going to be hard. It will definitely be hard.”

Click here for Wednesday’€™s feature on Boychuk and here for the Bruins’€™ thoughts on Boychuk’€™s return to the Garden.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

WILMINGTON — Johnny Boychuk is expecting an emotional return to the Garden Thursday. Tuukka Rask might not know who Johnny Boychuk is.

“Oh, is he playing? I hope he gets the start. It would be good for him,” Rask said Wednesday when asked what it would be like to play against “Johnny.”

Proving that goaltenders live in their own goaltending world, Rask thought that the “Johnny” being discussed was Islanders backup Chad Johnson, who spent last season playing in Boston with Rask.

Rask laughed when he realized his error, adding that he obviously wished the best for his former teammate. He did note that if he allowed a goal to Boychuk, who has already scored twice this season for the Islanders, Rask would “never hear the end of it.”

“He actually texted me after he got traded,” Rask said. “He said whenever we play I should give him a goal, but I hope he doesn’€™t score.”

Rask was then reminded that he already has a big contract, while Boychuk is in the final year of his contract. If Rask were a true friend, he’€™d help Boychuk boost those numbers and net him a bigger payday.

“Yeah, well if the game’€™s 9-1 or something for us, then accidents happen,” Rask said with a grin.

As for Boychuk himself, the 30-year-old is loving life with the Islanders, but said it will be very difficult to take the ice Thursday (and undoubtedly receive a warm welcome) in front of the Garden crowd.

“[Expletive],” Boychuk said this week when asked what he expected. “That’€™s going to be… different. It’€™s going to be hard. It will definitely be hard.”

Claude Julien said he’€™s happy for the early success Boychuk has had with the 4-2-0 Islanders. Boychuk’€™s six points through six games are as many as he had in the lockout-shortened 2013 season with the Bruins.

“He’€™s a good team guy. He’€™s an easy guy to like for players and coaches,” Julien said. “€œHe came in and played a big role in our Stanley Cup run. Many thought he’€™d be an American Leaguer. We traded for him and he stepped up and became a really reliable defenseman in this league, and obviously a good defenseman. We lost a good person and a good player.

“You’€™re always happy that he’€™s happy well — of course you’€™re going to hear us say except when it’€™s against us, but I don’€™t think there’€™s anybody here that wishes [anything] but the best for him. Then you move on, and that’€™s what we’€™re trying to do. Hopefully he’€™s done the same thing. He seems to have done that. When you look at his start with that team, he’€™s had a good start as well.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.
Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.

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[0:05:00] ... there he put a check mark next that fourth line now the Gregory Campbell has come back and oh and what you expect that a guy need long term but that fourth line. Gregory Campbell has made a difference. I don't question. No question in any one of those blue guys said you know we have that ...
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There may have been frustration among those in the sellout crowd at TD Garden when the Bruins allowed two goals in the span of 37 seconds of the second period Tuesday night, leading to a 3-2 deficit after two periods. But that was not the mood in the dressing room as the Bruins prepared to take the ice in the third.

As a matter of fact, it was the determination to stick to the game plan of throwing pucks to the net and generating traffic in front of San Jose goalie Antti Niemi that Claude Julien, Milan Lucic and others credited for scoring three in the third, en route to a 5-3 win for Boston’s first winning streak of the season.

“It was exactly what we talked about after the second,” Julien said. “I really liked our game, even the second period was probably our best second period of the season. We just had that little lapse again that allowed them to score a couple goals. Coming out for the third, I thought we were playing well enough that we could give ourselves a chance if we just stayed with it. And our guys did exactly that. We found a way to get some goals. Same old, same old, getting your nose dirty around the net, jumping on those loose pucks. [It] made a big difference.”

Lucic had his most productive and active games of the season in front of the net. The effort didn’t produce any goals off his stick but he did assist on three goals, including the game-tying goal five minutes into the third period that sent the Bruins on their way.

“I think that’€™s the most important thing, especially when your down, is to stick with the game plan and play desperate to get yourself back in the game,” Lucic said. “Talking in the second intermission here, going out for the third, we just talked about being positive and sticking to the game plan and giving ourselves opportunities where we can get ourselves back in the game. We did that and were able to come out with a big win.”

Lucic agrees with Julien that the team’s fight and focus has started to re-appear in the last four games, a sign that the wins will follow.

“I think so. I think that’€™s where the focus has shifted and I think that’€™s why we’€™re starting to have success and starting to play the way that we are,” Lucic added. “We’€™ve got to do whatever we can to keep that up and keep giving ourselves success by worrying about the things that matter, like you mentioned ‘€“ more than the things that are kind of not controlled by the players. Just focus on playing our game the right way and the way that the coaches put the plan together. When we do that we’€™re a real hard team to beat.”

Lucic also believes he’s turning a bit of a corner, and the three assists Tuesday night reinforce that positive vibe.

“I think so. [I'm] feeling a lot better, a lot more confident on the ice,” Lucic said. “Hope to get a few more shots on net, that’€™s probably the one area where I need to work at more on my game. Probably being a little bit more selfish and getting those shots on net. So, if I do that, the goals will come. I think as far as moving my feet and getting into those areas and being strong and hard on the puck and all that type of stuff is definitely over the last week, has gotten a lot better.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia