WILMINGTON, MA -- Plenty of good news on the injury front for a Bruins team that got pretty banged up last week while picking three wins out of four games in six days.
The best news of all might just be that Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton skated on his own prior to Mondays practice after passing the bike fitness test on Sunday with no return of his concussion symptoms. Thornton was memorably dinged up during a fight with 6-foot-8 Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott in a loss to the Sabres last week.
Thornton isnt going to play against the Canadiens on Wednesday night. But Bruins officials seem to be very encouraged by the quick progress Thornton is making from the concussion, and it doesnt appear like hell be out beyond the 7-10 days originally set as a timetable.
Hes going really well. There are no issues there, said Julien. Hes feeling really good. Hes been great and symptom-free for a few days now. He biked yesterday and skated today, so things are going well. But theres a protocol to follow and were going to follow that to the letter.
Brad Marchand is progressing very well from an upper body injury suffered in Bostons 1-0 win over the Leafs over the weekend, according to Julien, but Marchand missed Monday mornings Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Marchand was injured when he tripped over goaltender James Reimers equipment on a drive to the net, and crashed into the end boards. The Bs agitator skated a couple more shifts in the game, but appeared to be in visible pain before leaving the bench for good at the end of the second period.
Marchand hasnt been ruled out for Wednesday nights tilt against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, but Gregory Campbell was skating in his spot on the left wing alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin.
Well make those decisions tomorrow, obviously, before we leave about who can and who cant play Wednesday against the Canadiens, said Julien.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the return of Adolfo to Toucher and Rich this morning.
*Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid have received plenty of acclaim over the past couple of years as talented, young stars in the league, but Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien details how things haven’t gone ideally for either of those youngsters, or their teams, this season. Clearly, it’s not at this level yet, but just think about the hype behind Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin when they were drafted 1-2 back in 2010, and what they have, and haven’t, been able to accomplish in the league since that time.
*Outstanding rookie Brock Boeser credits a conversation with Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green for helping spark his game this season.
*Good video piece on the near miss of Wayne Gretzky almost playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs after dominating them in the playoffs.
*Salivating for some hockey trades? The 10 potential NHL trade deadline targets around the league as we wait for players to become available for trade later in the season.
*Hockeybuzz is asking what the NHL, and more specifically the Hockey Hall of Fame, has against goaltenders?
*For something completely different: A great piece from Drew Bledsoe on the tragic passing of former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, and how his death came just as he seemed to be putting all the pieces of his life together.
BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are getting closer to a healthier lineup, but it won’t be in time for the Thanksgiving Eve road tilt against the upstart New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.
Brad Marchand (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and David Backes (colon surgery) all skated in red no-contact jerseys at practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena, so none of those three banged-up B’s will be making the trip to Jersey. Anders Bjork (upper body) didn’t practice and is obviously out vs. the Devils as well, but Ryan Spooner might be a possibility after making it through his first full practice since tearing his groin almost six weeks ago.
If he can make it through Wednesday's morning skate without any problems, Spooner will likely be a game-time decision against the Devils after missing the past 14 games.
The Bruins have continued to indicate that Marchand is in the concussion protocol, though it appears the Bruins agitator is dealing with both upper body and lower body issues. Marchand was encouraged by the progress he’s making while returning to practice, so perhaps the B’s could get back one of their leading scorers sooner rather than later.
“I feel pretty good. It’s good to be back with the guys and feel like you’re a part of the team,” said Marchand, who has missed five of the past seven games after returning for the home-and-home against the Maple Leafs. “It’s frustrating whenever you miss games and you miss time away from the team, but they had a great road trip and they’re playing well. It would be nice to be back in the lineup consistently and be back with the team...it’ll come.”
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Devils based on practice Tuesday: