Bruins

Bruins' Bergeron doing his thing for 'NHL 36' cameras

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Bruins' Bergeron doing his thing for 'NHL 36' cameras

GLENDALE, AZ Patrice Bergeron isnt the biggest talker or camera hog in the Bruins dressing room, so he was an interesting choice by the NHL for their second subject in the all-access NHL 36 productions airing on NBCVersus.

The NHL films crew basically follows an NHL player around for 36 hours to get the behind-the-scenes tour of the hockey lifestyle, and get something close to the HBO 247: Road to the Winter Classic feel thats become so wildly popular in only two seasons on the air.

Patrick Kane was the first subject of NHL 36 to excellent reviews when the show featuring the Chicago Blackhawks superstar was aired, and the cameras have trailed the Bs center over the last two days of travel preparing for tonights game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Patrice has won a Stanley Cup, plus a gold medal at the Olympics, at the World Championship and at the World Junior Championship," said Ross Greenburg, executive producer, NHL 36. "He is one of the League's most under-rated superstars."

The mild-mannered Bergeron said he wasnt going to do anything different for the cameras outside of his normal business-like character, and joked that most of his day consisted of sleeping and getting ready for each nights game.

Its a little weird having cameras following you around all day, but its something Im a little more used to today rather than yesterday, said Bergeron. Its not in my personality to play to the camera, so its going to come out the way its supposed to. Its about my 36 hours and how I prepare for games.

It might be boring, but I told them that. Im not the biggest talker or really do that much stuff. I just go about my business. Its a road trip, so its pretty routine for all of the guys. Its the same for me. Hopefully its interesting and people will like it.

Perhaps the most interesting material will come from some of his Bruins teammates, as the NHL films crew took time to chat with Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille and Tyler Seguin among others on Wednesday morning following morning skate at jobing.com Arena. Paille is Bergerons movie buddy and the two players hit the cinema on the road when the team gets the rare off day in a different NHL city. So perhaps well all know whether Bergeron likes to layer the butter in his movie popcorn, or that hes a secret Twilight movie fan when its all said and done.

But somehow both of those things seem doubtful at best.

NHL 36: Patrice Bergeron will air Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS). Narration is provided by actor and Emmy Award winner Peter Coyote. The original score is the creation of accomplished composer Ferdinand J. Smith. The show will be followed on NBC Sports Network by NHL LIVE at 7:00 p.m. ET, and the Bruins' game in New Jersey against the Devils at 7:30.

Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

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Rask recovering from concussion, may be ready to play on Saturday

BRIGHTON -- Tuukka Rask is quickly making his way through the concussion protocol and may return to action this weekend.

The Bruins netminder skated with the other injured players ahead of Monday’s main team practice at Warrior Ice Arena, and is on track to rejoin the team at regular practice on Tuesday barring any setbacks in his concussion recovery. That would leave Rask with just a couple of games missed after getting trucked by Anders Bjork at practice last week, and it would give the Bruins back their No. 1 goaltender after Anton Khudobin let in five goals vs. the Sabres on Thursday night.

“He’s in the protocol and progressing well,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’ll probably join us [on Tuesday] for the next step if there are no ill effects from today. That’s a positive. If there are no setbacks, I think Saturday is a more realistic [timetable for a return].”

The hope would be that Rask could start elevating his game when he does return, and play better than the goalie that’s posted the 1-3-0 record, 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage thus far this season. But first things first with the recovery to his first career concussion as an NHL goalie, and the set of hurdles that must be passed before Rask is again allowed to jump back into game action as early as this weekend.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Bruins practice with Rask, David Krejci and Noel Acciari all skating prior to practice, Patrice Bergeron staying off ice with a maintenance day and Kevan Miller skating in main practice with a maroon, no-contact jersey:

Marchand-Schaller-Bjork
DeBrusk-Backes-Pastrnak
Agostino-Nash-White
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano

Chara-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Miller-Postma

Khudobin

Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

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Schaller's sterling play helping to ease Bruins' pain

BRIGHTON -- Injuries, and some really tough losses, have put a bit of a damper on the start to the Bruins season. But there've also been a couple of unquestioned bright spots.

And one of them is Tim Schaller, who's been a strong, consistent performer in the first couple of weeks of the season. The New Hampshire native -- and lifelong Bruins fan -- was penciled in as a fourth-line winger throughout most of training camp, but he’s played everywhere as injuries have ravaged the B's roster.

The high point was probably centering Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak (and notching an assist) in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Sabres, and filling in for a late-scratched David Krejci with a very different set of skills. Certainly he’s been a standout for the Bruins with his physicality, including stepping up and fighting man mountain Erik Gudbranson after Gudbranson's nasty boarding hit on Frank Vatrano last week, and he’s also kicked in a couple of goals and three points in seven games thus far this season.

“It’s a reactionary thing, and that’s just in a person,” said Bruce Cassidy of fighting Gudbranson. “It’s a character thing because you don’t have a lot of time to think about it. Good for Timmy. That earns a lot of street cred not only in your own locker room, but the other teams notice it. too.

"We know with the goals that he can obviously chip in [offensively] and he’s doing a great job for what we’re asking him to do. He’s probably going to take ownership if he’s out there with some young guys on a line, and if he can be a leader and get that line playing the right way every night that is very valuable to us.”

Schaller’s game to this point is a continuation of what he showed in his first season with the Bruins last year, when the 26-year-old posted 7 goals and 14 points in 59 games while becoming a staple in Boston’s bottom-6 group. He’s once again shown pretty good straight-ahead speed for a big man, and a willingness to take his 6-foot-2, 219-pound frame straight to the net.

“I’ve been moving well and I’ve got the two goals, so personally I’m happy [with my game],” said Schaller. “Hopefully others can feed off what I’m trying to do out there, and we get a more well-balanced game [as a team]. I had a good season last year, and what was really good was that I knew that I had more to give. That’s what I’m trying to do this season.

“I can obviously produce more. I had a good start to last season and then I kind of fell off a little bit. So hopefully I can be a little more consistent for this entire year.”

That would be a very good thing for a Bruins team that can use him in a bottom-6 energy role when its roster is healthy, and will fully utilize his versatility in times of injuries and adversity.