The Bruins won’t have Zdeno Chara for the Thanksgiving night showdown with the Ottawa Senators and the Canadian Tire Center, but they will be getting back 20-year-old right winger David Pastrnak.
Claude Julien confirmed his leading goal scorer will be back in the lineup after missing the past three games with an upper body injury. Pastrnak will bring his 10 goals back to a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand that could use his explosive finishing ability.
In a corresponding move, the Bruins returned rookie forward Sean Kuraly to Providence after a couple of decent games with the Black and Gold. Kuraly has appeared in five games with Boston this season with zero points and two penalty minutes. He has played in 10 games for Providence with two assists and nine penalty minutes.
The Kuraly roster move also means that winger Jimmy Hayes somehow stays in the lineup despite not having scored a point in an NHL game since Feb. 24, a stretch of 33 games with zeroes across the board for a player brought to Boston for his net-front offense. Hayes has actually been more active with shots on net and registered hits and perhaps is feeling some urgency with Frank Vatrano inching closer to a return from his foot injury.
The Kuraly move to Providence might also clear up a roster spot for Kevan Miller coming off the injured list and potentially jumping back into the lineup with Chara injured. Julien told reporters in Ottawa that Miller would be a game time decision after returning to regular practice for the past week plus.
Miller missed the first 19 games of the regular season with a fractured hand, but earlier this week was cleared by the B’s medical staff to play in games.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the Bruins are going into troll mode.
*Here is the aforementioned “troll mode” for the Bruins now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth. They came out with a marketing campaign where they’re dragging FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Felger for his early season take that the Bruins season is over. He also ripped the young players at the beginning of the year as well, so they used the sound from “Felger and Mazz” with video clips of David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy dominating for the Black and Gold, and shots of the young players mean mugging at the camera. It definitely shows that the Bruins perhaps care a little too much about what the media thinks about them, but it’s also a fair bit of clap-back toward a take that was a little too harsh on the B’s early in the season.
*What a great piece on the Stoneman Douglas hockey team as they embark on a national hockey tournament after winning at the state level in the weeks after the Parkland shooting.
*Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says the Hawks aren’t shaken even as they’ll be missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time. What a disappointing season.
*Despite a great season, Taylor Hall may end up missing the playoffs with the New Jersey Devils amidst his Hart Trophy-type season.
*Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Auston Matthews is returning from injury ahead of the playoffs.
*For something completely different: This new, updated version of the Karate Kid web series looks awesome with Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio.
Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.
MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues
The Bruins currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.
If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.