The Boston Bruins have been hit hard by injuries this season, but they got some positive news on that front yesterday, with one noteworthy exception.
Forward Brad Marchand was banged up enough after Saturday’s contest to justify him skipping yesterday’s practice, the team’s website reported.
The silver lining is that he was fine to travel to Nashville and might still play against the Predators tonight.
In the meantime, Daniel Paille (concussion) took Marchand’s place on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith during the Bruins’ practice. He resumed skating on Friday, but he won’t be available tonight.
Nor will Loui Eriksson, who is also sidelined with a concussion. Eriksson isn’t as far along in his recovery as Paille, but Julien noted that he’s been feeling better.
“(Eriksson) doesn’t mind being around right now and that’s a step in the right direction where, at one point he couldn’t tolerate too much noise or too much activity around him,” Julien said. “So it’s a step in the right direction here.”
One injured player that might be ready to rejoin the Bruins is defenseman Adam McQuaid. He’s been sidelined for nine straight contests with a re-aggravated lower-body injury, but Julien called him a “possibility” for tonight’s contest.
Boston has a three-point lead in the Atlantic Division race, but the Tampa Bay Lightning have been hot lately. With the Montreal Canadiens also within striking distance of the Bruins, Boston can’t afford to slow down in the second half of the 2013-14 campaign.
Earlier on Thursday, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli insisted that he’s not looking to trade Brad Marchand. The potent pest showed why patience might be the key tonight, as he scored two goals, but it wasn’t enough as the Buffalo Sabres beat Boston 4-2.
Let’s take a look at Marchand’s duo of goals anyway, shall we?
First, he scored a shorthanded tally about two minutes into the second period:
A little more than a minute later, the 25-year-old gave Boston what would be a fleeting 2-1 lead:
The Bruins probably aren’t happy about losing to the lowest-ranked team in the East and NHL, but this pair of goals might just help Marchand turn things around (or at least mute his critics for a little while).
When we last checked in on Bruins forward Dan Paille, he was being sent back to Boston with an undisclosed injury.
Today, we learned a bit more about his early return home from the Bruins’ recently concluded road trip.
“Dan has been evaluated. He came to us when we first got to Calgary and talked about not feeling well,” coach Claude Julien said, per CSN New England. “Once he got evaluated by our trainers it looked like concussion symptoms. So we sent him home to be evaluated by our doctors with what he’s had. It was an unfortunate thing that we found out in the last minute, so we scrambled to get a player out [to Calgary].
“The first thing we did, though, is send him home to get taken care of.”
Paille has three goals and two assists in 30 games. At the moment, there’s no timetable for the 29-year-old’s return. It hasn’t been reported how he suffered the injury. He did have a “mild concussion” in December of 2011.
The Boston Bruins drew headlines on Saturday, but it wasn’t so much about losing to the Vancouver Canucks 6-2. Instead, Brad Marchand turned heads by making gestures reminding his opponents of the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Final win.
Apparently, that bit of trolling didn’t leave B’s head coach Claude Julien amused. He said that the 25-year-old antics will be addressed, according to PHT’s Jason Brough.
(Cue the foreboding music.)
Being a pest is a part of Marchand’s game, so it would be interesting to hear what Julien might have to say to him. Unfortunately for those hoping for added entertainment, that won’t happen, as it’s almost certainly going to happen behind closed doors.
It might be a familiar conversation. Julien gave the pest a talking-to following his golf swing taunt back in 2011, after all. Here’s a brief description of that scene back then, via CSNNE.com:
Julien read Marchand the riot act between the second and third period about his bush actions toward the Toronto bench, and the Bruins agitator admitted he’d gone a little too far this time.
Marchand didn’t score a point against Vancouver tonight and is having a disappointing season overall (14 points in 33 games played), so perhaps the message could be as simple as “taunt less, score more.”
Devan Dubnyk didn’t get out of the first period Thursday, and still suffered the loss.
The Edmonton Oilers goalie was yanked to begin the second period after allowing three goals on 18 shots in the opening 20 minutes against the visiting Boston Bruins. That ended his night, and the Oilers, despite making it a one-goal game after two periods, lost 4-2.
“It wasn’t a mercy pull. It wasn’t because of the first one that went in. It was just time to make a change,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins, as per Gene Principe of Sportsnet.
Dubnyk’s record falls to 9-13-2. Jason LaBarbera came off the bench and into the game, stopping all 12 shots he faced over the final two periods.
The Oilers are in Vancouver for a meeting with the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday. The Bruins come to Vancouver on Saturday. It will be their first visit to Rogers Arena since winning the Stanley Cup over the Canucks on June 15, 2011.