Johnny Boychuk

Battered Bruins hoping Boychuk returns tonight

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The Boston Bruins have been hit hard by injuries, but they got some encouraging news yesterday.

Mere days after Johnny Boychuk’s scary fall, he was able to participate in a Bruins’ practice.

“It was all right; it didn’t feel awesome,” Boychuk told the Boston Herald. “I haven’t skated in five days or so. But at least I got back on the ice and moved around a little. It’s still pretty stiff. It’s been loosening up every day. We’ll see how it feels (Tuesday).”

The Bruins are currently without defensemen Adam McQuaid and Dougie Hamilton, which means that if Boychuk isn’t available, then Boston will have to call someone up before tonight’s match against the Calgary Flames.

Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested that they haven’t done that yet because they’re still hoping it won’t be necessary.

Meanwhile, Boston is also missing forwards Chris Kelly (ankle), Loui Eriksson (concussion), and Shawn Thornton (suspended pending hearing).

UPDATE:

Hamilton will be out 2-4 weeks with his lower-body injury, the club reported today. Also, Dan Paille has an upper-body issue that’ll keep him out of the Calgary contest.

Bruins’ Hamilton (lower body) out at least one week, Miller shrugs off questionable Phaneuf hit

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The Boston Bruins won both of their games this weekend, yet the past two contests have been costly. You can add defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the injured list, as the team announced that he’ll miss at least one week with a lower-body issue suffered on Sunday.

That’s not the only news for the Bruins’ blueline tonight. Kevan Miller is a little banged up – though he isn’t expected to miss time – after this questionable check by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (H/T to Empty Netters’ Seth Rorabaugh):

Phaneuf didn’t receive a penalty for that hit. Miller scored his first goal tonight, so Sunday presented highs and lows for the 26-year-old.

The best news might be that head coach Claude Julien is “more optimistic than pessimistic” that Johnny Boychuk can play against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. That’s pretty great news considering his fall from last week:

Boston will play its next three games in Canada, as they face the Flames, Oilers and Canucks. That could be a challenging trip (maybe more physically than anything else) for a banged-up team.

Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’

juliengetty
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After Saturday’s mess of a game between Boston and Pittsburgh, Bruins head coach Claude Julien relayed a simple – but potentially inflammatory – message: Shawn Thornton admitted he was wrong, while Penguins players didn’t.

“Thorny did cross the line, and some others did too. You have to man up to those things, and I think he did,” Julien said. “He’s being truthful. That’s more than we can say about players that pretend that it wasn’t done on purpose.”

While Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said that he believes Brooks Orpik’s hit on Loui Eriksson was legal, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe reports that Julien disagreed with that assessment.

Julien’s comment regarding players pretending something “wasn’t done on purpose” was directed at James Neal, who delivered this knee on Brad Marchand:

Again, Julien isn’t saying that the Bruins are faultless; it appears that he’s mainly claiming that the Penguins players aren’t holding themselves accountable. (Surely this won’t generate some venom from coaches, players and fans …)

Julien acknowledged that Brendan Shanahan and the NHL face a few difficult disciplinary decisions, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports.

“He’s got some tough decisions to make,” Julien said.

In case you’re wondering, the Bruins and Penguins won’t face each other again in 2013-14 … unless they meet in the playoffs.

Bruins place Kelly on LTIR, McQuaid on IR

chriskellygetty
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The Boston Bruins announced that they placed Chris Kelly (broken ankle) on the long-term injured reserve while Adam McQuaid (lower body) has been placed on the normal IR on Sunday.

To little surprise, Loui Eriksson (concussion) won’t play in tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, either.

Thanks to this stint on the LTIR, Kelly won’t be eligible to play until Jan. 2, according to the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa. Of course, that represents his first possible return date; this injury could very well keep him out for a longer period of time.

Puck Daddy passes along this Vine clip from Mike Cole of NESN, which might capture the moment of Pascal Dupuis’ slash:

The Bruins made two emergency recalls to get their lineup ready, bringing up Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser from the AHL. Here’s Patrice Bergeron’s insight regarding the loss of Kelly, 33:

Bruins’ Kelly out with broken ankle after Dupuis slash

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 15: Chris Kelly #23 of the Boston Bruins skates during warmups prior to an NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on November 15, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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Boston beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, but it’s hard to portray a game like that as a positive for the Bruins.

Loui Eriksson suffered his second concussion of the season, Shawn Thornton faces a potentially lengthy suspension, and on top of that Chris Kelly is now out with a broken ankle, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Kelly sustained the injury when Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis slashed him. Dupuis wasn’t penalized for his actions.

With the Bruins scheduled to play against Toronto tonight, they have called up Matt Fraser and Ryan Spooner, reports the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver.

Fraser, 23, was part of the Eriksson-Tyler Seguin trade between Boston and Dallas over the summer. He has 16 goals and 21 points in 23 AHL games. Spooner, 21, has also been a leader for the Providence Bruins with 24 points in 21 contests.

Related:

Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand

Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated)