Claude Julien, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron

Boston’s lineup a mystery tonight vs. Montreal


Your guess as to Boston’s lineup tonight against Montreal is as good as anybody’s — and that includes the Bruins head coach, Claude Julien.

“Our lineup is one that’s probably the most uncertain so far this year,” Julien said after his team’s optional morning skate.

Why so uncertain? Well, Milan Lucic’s status is still up in the air pending a disciplinary hearing with Brendan Shanahan. Gregory Campbell, who missed the last three games with a fractured foot, practiced on Sunday and could return to the lineup. Rich Peverley took just one shift in the third period of Saturday’s 6-0 win over Philly and didn’t practice Sunday (lower-body injury). He could be held out as a precautionary/maintenance measure.

So depending on who’s available and how players are feeling, the Bruins could feature a major youth infusion. Zach Hamill, 23, has played the last three games against LA, Ottawa and Philly and could stick in the lineup; Jordan Caron, 21, was recently recalled from AHL Providence and could see his first action since Dec. 10.

If that’s the case, the Bruins will be more like the Baby Bears, featuring six players — Hamill, Caron, Adam McQuaid, Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand and David Krejci — that are 25 or younger.

UPDATE: Lucic has been suspended for tonight’s game. So that opens up a spot.

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.