WILMINGTON, Mass. The Bruins prepared for their first back-to-back road games of the season this upcoming week at Ristuccia Arena.
Gregory Campbell was the only Bs player missing from the ice on Sunday, and both Steve Kampfer and Jordan Caron were promoted back to the NHL after tune-up games with the Providence Bruins.
The Bruins travel to Pittsburgh to play the class of the Eastern Conference on Monday night. That game will be a noteworthy event in and of itself, but then the Bs will feel the pain of their first road tilt against Southeast Division foe Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night.
The Jets are toward the bottom of the pack in the Eastern Conference, but theyre also 7-4 in their own building playing for fans drunk on the return of NHL hockey.
Pittsburgh is a team thats doing extremely well and we know what that challenge represents, said Claude Julien. But its also a good thing where its going to give us one of the best possible challenges we could have right now, and its not going to get any easier the next night when we have to fly to Winnipeg. Theyve been playing pretty well at home, so weve got two good tests there.
The road games kick off a busy week with four games in six days, including a home game against the Florida Panthers and another road tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets to finish things off.
Tuukka Rask's start Saturday night against the Leafs will likely begin run of appearances for the backup goaltender with the density of games beginning to thicken for the Black and Gold. Expect Thomas against Pittsburgh and Florida, and a pair of likely outings for Rask against the Jets and Blue Jackets.
It was about giving Rask an opportunity to be as well-tuned as possible before this stretch, said Julien. Thats why we tried to give him some games even though the schedule was favoring us a little bit.
For Tim to have played as many games as he did last year, rest certainly isnt going to hurt him. One thing I really like about Tim is that he can get some rest and it doesnt seem to affect his game. He can come back and I havent seen him look rusty at any time. I think last year he took a whole week off and Thomas still came back strong.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.
*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.
*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.
*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.
*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.
*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.
*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.
BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.
Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.
It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.
“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”
Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: