Bruins term Johansson, Moore game-time decisions for Game 4 vs. Leafs

Bruins term Johansson, Moore game-time decisions for Game 4 vs. Leafs

TORONTO – A couple of the walking wounded may be returning for Game 4 of the Bruins playoff series as both John Moore (upper body) and Marcus Johansson (illness) made it through a full team practice, and are expected to suit up on Wednesday night. Johansson skated left wing on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen during Tuesday afternoon’s practice at the Coca-Cola Coliseum, home of the Toronto Marlies, and it looked like Moore would be naturally subbing in for Steve Kampfer on Boston’s third pairing.

Moore has missed more than three weeks with his injury and would be making his B's postseason debut if he suits up for Game 4. 

“[Johansson] made it through practice and gave a little bit extra, so he’s obviously feeling better. It looks like he has some color again. But until he shows up tomorrow healthy he’ll be a game-time decision, but it’s encouraging at least that he’s working with the group,” said Bruce Cassidy. “[Sean} Kuraly will not go in [for Game 4]. He’s not ready to play yet. He’s still working on it. John Moore went through the whole practice wearing a normal-colored jersey. So it’s encouraging again. If he goes through tomorrow with no ill effects then he could be a game-time decision as well.”

Johansson said it was really bad timing to fall sick right during Stanley Cup Playoffs and didn’t even fly to join the team until Monday afternoon after missing the last two postseason games.

“I feel a lot better,” said Johansson. “I just got sick real bad. There’s not much you can do about it. It is what it is… just bad timing. It’s not a fun part of the year to get that, but I’m feeling better now. So I’m good to be here with the team and skate.”

Connor Clifton also returned to practice with the Bruins on Tuesday, but the B’s rookie defenseman was in a no-contact jersey and didn’t appear likely to be drawing back in to Game 4.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice with David Backes appearing to be odd man out up front, but Cassidy was quick to stress that the B’s wouldn’t be making that decision until game time:











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Zdeno Chara joins Patrice Bergeron in admirable action this week while attending Boston protest

File photo

Zdeno Chara joins Patrice Bergeron in admirable action this week while attending Boston protest

The Boston Bruins leadership group has shown they are about more than simple lip service and social media posts when it comes to what’s been going on in this country over the last few weeks.

Patrice Bergeron made a $50,000 donation to a pair of worthy causes this week in the Boston branch of the NAACP and Centre Multiethnique de Quebec while releasing a lengthy, passionate statement through the Bruins.

B's captain Zdeno Chara was spotted in all his 6-foot-9 glory walking in Boston on Friday afternoon during one of the protests through the city streets while sporting a Bruins mask in the crowd.

None of this is a surprise as both the 43-year-old Chara and the 33-year-old Bergeron have fostered a welcoming, friendly environment in the Bruins dressing over the years. The Bruins veterans don’t even really use the word “rookie” because Chara has always believed that it creates unnecessary separation between younger and older teammates that shouldn’t exist in a team setting.

Bergeron is partially credited with helping pull a black teammate named Gemel Smith out of a mental funk that he was mired in during his time with the Bruins. Bergeron urged Smith to talk to somebody professionally when he sensed that something wasn’t quite right with his new teammate and it helped Smith turn things around personally and professionally when he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.

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Smith ended up playing just three games with the Bruins last season after being picked up on waivers, but even in that brief time Bergeron had managed to reach out and make a connection with the player that made a lasting impact. That’s exactly the kind of healthy, welcoming dressing room that’s made the Bruins a success over the years.

There isn’t a long history of black players with the Bruins in recent years as Smith, Jarome Iginla and Malcolm Subban are the only black NHLers to suit up with Boston over the last decade. So there haven't been a great deal of opportunities for Bergeron, Chara and the rest of the B’s leadership core to show just much they embrace the diversity and equal treatment for all that so many around the NHL are voicing in the days since George Floyd was horrifically killed by Minneapolis police officers.

But give full credit to both Bergeron and Chara for stepping up this week, representing the Bruins in a manner they would be proud of and showing that it’s about actions as much as -- if not more than -- words when it comes to promoting equal treatment for all, and a better tomorrow for people of all races and backgrounds.

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

Breaking down the winners and losers of NHL 24-team season return format

The NHL has their 24-team postseason format and they’ve even drilled down on some of the specifics this week.

We still don’t know exactly when the Stanley Cup postseason can start or when NHL training camps would be going full speed ahead. Also, all of the matchups beyond the “qualifying round” are still very much in the air.

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Clearly there is still plenty we don’t know about the Stanley Cup Playoffs once the NHL presses the play button in the next few months.

But we do know enough about the proposed postseason to know who will benefit, and who will be getting the short end of the stick. So that’s enough to put together the always popular winners and losers list when it comes to the new NHL postseason format. 

Click here for the gallery.