David Krejci will take warmups and is “probable” to play Thursday night against the Ducks, Claude Julien said after the Bruins’€™ morning skate.

David Krejci will take warmups and is “probable” to play Thursday night against the Ducks, Claude Julien said after the Bruins’€™ morning skate.

Krejci, who has missed the last 15 games with a partially torn MCL, will play right wing on Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line according to line rushes in morning skate.

Tuukka Rask is expected to start against the Ducks. Boston’€™s lineup in morning skate was as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Krejci
Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak
Smith-Soderberg-Eriksson
Kelly-Campbell-Talbot

Chara-McQuaid
Krug-Seidenberg
Bartkowski-Trotman

Rask

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Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

David Krejci doesn't mind moving to wing if it means playing with Patrice Bergeron.</p>
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Jack Edwards of NESN joins Dale, Michael and Jerry. With 9 games left the Bruins don't have much if any margin of error, and Jack knows it.

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[0:01:42] ... to the lineup tomorrow night. But maybe a bit surprising for most Claude Julien was asked are we gonna get seed David I can David Craig cheap play wing and he said we're gonna find out. ...
[0:06:31] ... doesn't seem to be on the side. We're talking to Jack Edwards Boston Bruins play by play announcer on nests and Jack do you have an on tradable untouchable list if you're the GM of the Bruins. I got through our I got through the rest of Patrice Bergeron and I would listen to any awful for any other player. Now after bringing a couple hours. You know there there are ...





WILMINGTON — In a positive sign that he could be in the lineup for Thursday’€™s game, David Krejci practiced on the Bruins’€™ first power play unit in practice Wednesday.

Krejci took the spot of Dougie Hamilton, who is out for multiple weeks with an upper-body injury. Ryan Spooner, who initially replaced Krejci on the power play following Krejci’€™s torn MCL, remains on the first unit.

The power play units were as follows:

PP1:

Krug-Krejci
Eriksson, Bergeron, Spooner

PP2:

Smith/Trotman-Chara
Lucic, Soderberberg, Pastrnak

Boston’€™s lines and defense pairings were unchanged from Tuesday’€™s practice:

Marchand-Bergeron-Krejci (Paille)
Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak
Smith-Soderberg-Eriksson
Kelly-Campbell-Talbot (Ferlin)

Chara-McQuaid
Krug-Seidenberg
Bartkowski-Trotman

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

General manager Peter Chiarelli is taking heat as the Bruins have dipped this season. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)Wasted first-round draft picks, an overpaid core and a couple of disastrous trades.



CHRIS VILLANI

BIO | ARCHIVE


Reilly Smith is capable of more. (Getty Images)

Reilly Smith is capable of more. (Getty Images)

If Brett Connolly hadn’€™t broken his finger, rendering him a non-factor down the stretch before he ever played a game for the Bruins, maybe the Reilly Smith problem wouldn’€™t matter as much as it does.

If Connolly were healthy and in the lineup, he would provide the B’€™s with a viable option to take Smith’€™s minutes and, with any hope, do more with them than Smith has.

Connolly isn’€™t there, however, and the Bruins’€™ playoff chances are slipping away while Smith’€™s confidence is seemingly nowhere to be found. On a team loaded with players who can run hot and cold, Smith has been at his coldest at the worst time imaginable.

The Bruins need the Smith of early last season and last postseason. The current Smith — the one who has no goals in his last 13 games and only 12 this season despite playing most of the year with one of the best centers in the world in Patrice Bergeron — needs to access the smarts and mindset that have previously made him a good top-sixer. It’€™s anyone’€™s guess as to whether that happens down the stretch, including him.

“I think you try to build it every day,” Smith said when asked if his confidence is where it needs to be. “Obviously when the team’€™s struggling and things aren’€™t working out, your confidence isn’€™t going to be as high as it usually is, but it’€™s something you’€™ve got to kind of work around.”

Smith missed the first game of his two-year Bruins career on Saturday when he was made a healthy scratch against the Panthers. Uninspired play — most notably a dreadful showing against the Senators last Thursday in which he had two turnovers that led to goals and was given just one shift over the final 28:03 — led to the benching, but he was back in the lineup the next day. Smith picked up an assist on Zdeno Chara‘€™s third-period power play goal against the Lightning, good for just his first point in seven games.

Tuesday’€™s practice saw Smith skate with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, while David Krejci held Smith’€™s usual spot to the right of Patrice Bergeron. Krejci playing with Marchand and Bergeron makes for a loaded first line, but the Bruins have historically had success with balance throughout their top three lines, if not all four.

That means that Smith needs to start producing regardless of where he plays. Even when Connolly returns, the prospects of him contributing are worse than they were prior to the injury, as finger injuries can still keep players off their games for a while after they return to action.

Four goals in 12 games. That’€™s what Smith brought to the table last postseason. It wasn’€™t anything remarkable, but it was consistent with his role. He’€™s been too quiet for too long this season, and he needs to find the aforementioned production to avoid being an easy scapegoat in a lost season.

“I think I can, and that’€™s obviously the goal, I think for everyone on this team,” Smith said. “These are a very important nine games coming up here at the end and we’€™re going to need our best effort coming from everyone. Anything you can do and anything extra is definitely going to go a long way in this stretch here.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Tuukka Rask shouldn't expect to rest any time soon. (Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask shouldn’t expect to rest any time soon. (Getty Images)

WILMINGTON — As has been documented many a time, Tuukka Rask has been given much more work this season than he’€™s ever experienced. His 61 games played are already three more than he’€™d ever played in a regular season, and there are still nine games to go.

Rest be damned, the Bruins might need to start Rask in each and every one of those games, or until a playoff spot is secured if that happens at all. Without saying those exact words, Rask seemingly admitted as much Tuesday.

“Nobody cares about that now,” he said of potential fatigue. “We’€™re playing the most important games of the year. Obviously rest is important, but when it’€™s game time, it’€™s game time, and then you rest when you have a chance to rest.”

This season, Rask has for the most part been asked about two things: whether he’€™s tired and whether he’€™s had it with the product in front of him. At worst, Rask has been average this season, and at best he’€™s been brilliant. That’€™s better than most Bruins can say for themselves this season.

After Tampa scored their fourth goal in Sunday’€™s 5-3 win over the B’€™s, Rask gestured in frustration, as he has frequently this season. He said that while he’€™s frustrated that the team is losing, he’€™s trying to not let the team’€™s struggles get to him.

“I’€™ve been pretty even all season,” Rask said. “Obviously, it’€™s frustrating when you have these ups and downs. We play good and then we play really bad and we never seem to settle, so obviously it’€™s frustrating for everybody, but if I get too frustrated, then I’€™m just going to slip away from my game.”

The Bruins are in the midst of a three-day break between Sunday’€™s game and their next contest on Thursday against the Ducks. They have two more back-to-backs on their schedule and three three-in-fours. The team should be able to start their backup in a game like Sunday’s against the Hurricanes and be confident in winning, but maybe that’s too big a risk to take with a playoff spot on the line.

Rask said he’€™d be willing to play all nine games, even if he didn’€™t sound too enthusiastic about the idea.

“I don’€™t know. We’€™ll see how it goes,” he said. “I’€™ll play as many as I need to.”

As for what needs to get better in front of him to make his nights easier and the Bruins’€™ chances of securing a playoff spot greater, Rask said he couldn’€™t point to one specific issue.

“It’€™s just team defense,” Rask said. “There’€™s not one thing. When we defend as a unit and everybody does their job, I think that’€™s when we’€™re at our best. There’€™s not really one thing that we need to figure out more than everybody just playing together as a unit and defending in front of the net.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The Bruins need David Krejci back as soon as possible, but neither he nor the team is committing to his availability for Thursday’s game against the Ducks.

Krejci has been out since Feb. 20 with a partially torn MCL. Claude Julien had said last week that he was a possibility to return as early as last weekend’s games against the Panthers in Lightning, but Krejci remained out of the lineup. On Tuesday, Krejci skated as the right wing of Patrice Bergeron‘s line with Brad Marchand.

After the practice, Krejci was noncommittal regarding whether he could return for Thursday.

“It was a possibility last game, but I wasn’€™t able to,” Krejci said. “It’€™s a possibility for next game again.”

Krejci then went into Marshawn Lynch mode, repeating some variation of “it felt pretty good today” when asked whether the delay in returning to the lineup is due to him not being cleared or because he doesn’t feel ready.

Asked if the Bruins were still in “wait-and-see” mode with Krejci for Thursday, Claude Julien responded, “yes we are.”

Krejci has been limited to 38 games this season due to multiple lower-body injuries. He is third on the Bruins with 1.87 points per 60 minutes.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The ninth-place Bruins returned to practice Tuesday after being pushed out of the playoff picture by the Senators’€™ win over the Sharks Monday.