Hnidy to be activated by B's, won't play vs. Devils


Hnidy to be activated by B's, won't play vs. Devils

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON Theres been an inordinate amount of excitement for the return of Shane Hnidy, considering the guy hasnt taken a single shift this season, and Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted Tuesday morning that hes going to bring the veteran defenseman along slowly. Hnidyis to be takenoff the injured-reserve list on Tuesday, but wont in the lineup against the New Jersey Devils when the Bruins look to look to bust out of a 1-3-3 funk over their last seven games.The slump hit at the end of a 12-of-16-on-the-road stretch, and the Bruins clearly didnt have any legs in their last couple of games. So now wouldnt be the proper time to throw a guy like Hnidy into the mix, not when the core players need to win some games, right the ship and help the B's make one last push at the No. 2 overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Julien needs to find the proper time to insert Hnidy into the lineup, while knowing that Steve Kampfer will also need to play down the stretch.Hnidy cant be sent down to Providence this late in the season for an AHL tune-up, so the thinking is that it will be largely practice situations to sharpen Hnidys game prior to the postseason.Hes come around, and I think at some point youll see him in our lineup, said Julien. We brought him here to give us some depth. If were going to use him as a depth player, at some point from here to the end hes going to see some action.Theres going to be some small adjustments with him, but we can manage that. We can put him in some situations where he can get on the ice and help us more than hurt us.Its been a long road for Hnidy this season after rotator cuff surgery in the fall, and hes simply happy to get things going when Julien calls his number.Its nice to know that its just a matter of knowing that Im ready to get into a game, and its up to the coach, said Hnidy. We havent discussed any plan. Its about practicing and putting the time in at the gym, and make sure my body is where its supposed to be when I do play. The Bruins held an optional skate on Tuesday morning and only Daniel Paille and Tuukka Rask appeared on the ice. That would appear to cast Paille as the healthy scratch for tonights game against New Jersey, and points to Tim Thomas as the likely starting goaltender.Brad Marchand will return to the lineup after sitting out a two-game suspension for elbowing R.J. Umberger in the back of the head, and there's a chance the pesky winger could be reunited with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell on the fourth line. Peter Chiarelli also confirmed with Bruins season ticket holders in a conference call that Tyler Seguin will be manning the second power play unit for Boston.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Issues with gambling and Vegas Golden Knights?


Morning Skate: Issues with gambling and Vegas Golden Knights?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while still in disbelief at what happened to Gordon Hayward last night.

*Interesting piece on the connection between gambling and the NHL in Las Vegas where they’ve just kicked their new expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights.

*Would you like a Providence Bruins game-worn jersey and give to a great cause at the same time? Here are the Pink the Rink Bruins jerseys up for auction on eBay with the money earmarked for cancer research and treatment.

*Some interesting stuff from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts about the start that Malcolm Subban is off to with the Vegas Golden Knights and whether that’s in any way a reflection on the way goalies are being developed with the Bruins.

*So, the Ottawa Senators clearly didn’t miss Erik Karlsson given the start that they got off to, but there’s no doubt hockey fans did as he makes his return from offseason surgery.

*Nikita Kucherov just keeps on improving for the Tampa Bay Lightning after a Hart Trophy-level season last year.

*For something completely different: I don’t understand why there’s anything controversial about somebody saying In ‘N Out Burger is overrated. While it’s a perfectly fine West Coast fast food chain, it is absolutely overrated at this point. The fries are average at best, and the burgers are merely okay compared to all of the other burger joints out there.  



Inconsistent Bruins hope to settle in at home


Inconsistent Bruins hope to settle in at home

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' actual 2-3-0 won-loss record isn’t particularly terrible, especially when you consider they were without Patrice Bergeron and David Backes.

But they've been wildly inconsistent within those first five games, playing a couple of very good games against the Predators and Coyotes while suffering three ugly, non-competitive losses to Colorado and Vegas. The Bruins are 20th in goals scored (2.8 goals per game) and 22nd in goals allowed (3.6), and their special teams have been average at best in a soft part of the schedule that should have allowed them to get off to a good start.

The Bruins have looked sloppy much of the time with chaotic breakouts, far too many breakdowns in defensive coverage, and goaltending has been average at best.

As a result they're scuffling in the Atlantic Division as the Lightning and Maple Leafs have sprinted out to strong starts. Clearly it’s still early -- nearly the entire season is in front of them -- but there’s also no illusion about the need for a quick turnaround in what’s going to be a competitive division.

That's why the next four games, all at TD Garden, are so important.

“We’ve been inconsistent in our game. We’ve been good and we’ve been not good, so hopefully being home will allow us to get back into form,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “We knew going in with a youth movement that we’d had some ups and downs. We’ve had both. We’ve had some really strong games and we’ve had some other games where there’s a learning curve.

“As good as [our] prospects are, it falls on the core group to be solid and consistent every night. Then you lose a bit of your core group [to injuries] and you need your support players that aren’t your core group -- but aren’t kids, either -- to contribute. So we’re battling through all of that, and it’s up to us to put in a game plan that gets us through it. We haven’t achieved the level we’d like. We aren’t hiding behind that. We’d like to be better than we are right now, and we’re facing it head on every day.”

Clearly there are plenty of players in the “support player” category referenced by Cassidy who haven’t performed to date, and that also explains some of the Bruins consistency issues. Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano and Riley Nash have a combined two assists and a combined minus-5 rating through those first five games, and are among the players that need to step up and perform if the Bruins are going to start achieving the consistency that Cassidy is actively seeking right now.