Gagne on ‘indefinite’ personal leave from Bruins (Updated)

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Simon Gagne missed his second straight day of practice on Wednesday, a situation that raised eyebrows after Boston head coach Claude Julien said the veteran winger’s on an “indefinite” leave of absence.

Details of said leave are not known. Gagne is reportedly dealing with a personal matter.

The 34-year-old, who returned from a one-year hiatus to sign with the Bruins this fall, has spent the majority of this season as a fourth-liner. Gagne’s made 23 appearances, scoring three goals and four points, and scored the game-winner in his last outing — a 5-2 win over the Coyotes in Arizona on Saturday.

It remains to be seen if Gagne will miss any game action while on leave. The B’s are in the midst of a four-night break and won’t play again until Thursday, when they host Chicago at TD Garden. From there, though, things will get busy — the Bruins play four times between Dec 13-19 with games against Ottawa, Nashville, Minnesota and Winnipeg.

Update: From TVA’s Renaud Lavoie…

Bruins release veteran d-man White from AHL PTO

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Longtime NHL defenseman Ian White has been released from his professional tryout with Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence, per the Journal.

White, 30, scored a goal and five points in eight games with the B’s but finished his stint with a minus-5 rating. The former Leaf, Flame, Hurricane, Shark and Red Wing — who has over 500 big-league games on his resume — is probably done with the organization; Boston had nine defenseman practicing this morning, including the injured Zdeno Chara, meaning some of the club’s farmhands could be on their way back to Providence.

White’s last NHL action came with Detroit during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign. He spent part of last season with KHL Chelyabinsk before giving it a go with Providence this year.

Better than nothing: Bruins salvage two points from West Coast swing

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OK, so the Boston Bruins didn’t play very well in California. Didn’t play well and didn’t get the results in what is arguably the most difficult tour on the NHL schedule.

But then they head to Arizona, home of the currently struggling Coyotes, and come away with a convincing 5-2 victory on Saturday, salvaging two of a possible eight points on this four game West Coast swing that saw them lose in Anaheim, L.A., and San Jose.

Brad Marchand scored twice in the win over the Coyotes and is now up 100 NHL goals for his career. It was an important win for Boston, which keeps pace with the Toronto Maple Leafs, also victorious on Saturday, in the Atlantic Division.

“There were two desperate teams here tonight (and) somebody had to be hungrier than the other, and it was nice to see that it was us,” said Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien, as per the club’s Twitter account.

Eberle rumors swirl as Bruins’ offense struggles

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The Boston Bruins, when they’ve been at their best in recent seasons, have been one of the top defensive teams in the NHL.

Everyone knows that. (Lest we forget Claude Julien’s beloved “layers,” and how those layers helped the B’s stifle the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 playoffs and the high-scoring Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.)

What occasionally gets forgotten, however, is that the Bruins have been a pretty high-scoring team themselves. In that 2010-11 championship year, Boston finished the regular season with the NHL’s fifth-ranked offense. The B’s finished third in the league last season, averaging 3.15 goals per game.

Hence, the growing concern about the state of the current team, which ranks 22nd in offense, averaging just 2.41 goals per game.

While injuries to David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are surely to blame for some of the Bruins’ scoring woes, that’s not stopping the rumor mill from churning. The latest speculation involves a possible deal with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Jordan Eberle.

According to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, it’s believed that Eberle has “always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold,” even if it didn’t sound today like the Oilers were on the verge of making a big trade.

Why Eberle?

Well, the salary cap-limited Bruins did not, if you’ll recall, bring in a replacement for departed winger Jarome Iginla this offseason, opting instead to hope Loui Eriksson could be “better than he was last year.”

And how’s Eriksson done?

Well, he has just three goals in 27 games, so…yeah.

Consider also: Boston’s leading goal-scorers are Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith, each with six. Currently, there are 92 players in the NHL with more than six goals.

The Bruins lost their third straight last night, falling 7-4 to the San Jose Sharks in a game where, let’s be honest, the offense was the least of their problems. But before that they were shut out by the Kings, 2-0, marking the third time this season that they’d been blanked.

Boston is in Arizona Saturday to play the Coyotes.

Related: (Video) PHT Extra: Why Bruins fans should be worried

Video: Rask takes a puck to the head on Bruins bench

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Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask isn’t playing tonight, but still managed to get injured while watching.

Early in the first period, a Jeff Carter dump-in attempt deflected off a stick and wound up striking Rask in the head.

Rask eventually left for repairs, but is back on the Bruins bench now.