Call it a promising step forward, but don’t leap to Brad Marchand playing on Saturday just yet.
Marchand managed to take contact* in Boston Bruins practice on Friday, yet he was quick to note that he still must go through concussion protocol. Head coach Claude Julien also noted that the decision for him to play (or not) likely boils down to doctors’ opinions.
The Bruins responded to their slow start with a big 6-2 win against Colorado on Wednesday. Still, the Arizona Coyotes are pretty hot to begin the season, so the B’s would prefer to get their prolific pest back into the mix.
That said, if any team knows the risks of concussions and how touch-and-go recoveries can be, it’s the Bruins. They’re wise to take the prudent route, as challenging as being patient can be.
* – Yes, it’s tempting to make bad Jodie Foster jokes.
One strong outing doesn’t signify that the Bruins are out of the woods yet – and this one’s not even over – but this was the type of response fans were clamoring for.
There are a few minutes left in the second period, yet Boston already hammered five goals home against the Avalanche, chasing Semyon Varlamov from Colorado’s net.
Every scorer registered his first tally of the season in the process, with Jimmy Hayes standing out thanks to a one-goal, two-assist night (and counting?).
Again, the video above still applies; the Bruins still have some problems to work out.
This may be a reminder that there are still some useful pieces on this roster, however.
Update: The Bruins didn’t struggle with that lead, ultimately winning 6-2.
Patrick Roy was … not happy.
Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.
With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:
Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.
Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.
Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.
The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?
It didn’t take long for the Boston Bruins trade speculation to begin.
From CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty:
According to separate hockey sources, there has been some level of recent trade discussion about veterans Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand with other teams around the league, just to name a few B’s players. The talks haven’t been substantial but more exploratory in nature, as the team quietly gauges the market value of higher-priced veterans who may not fit in the long-term picture if the decision is made to tear down the current roster.
Chara, 38, is signed through 2017-18 for a cap hit of almost $7 million. Given his age, if the Bruins aren’t going to be contenders for the next few years, it may make sense to try and trade him.
Marchand, 27, is signed though 2016-17 for a cap hit of $4.5 million. He’ll be approaching 30 when his contract is up, and probably won’t be cheap to re-sign as an unrestricted free agent.
Of course, all this trade speculation assumes the Bruins don’t turn things around. It’s possible Chara will return to the lineup this afternoon at home versus Tampa Bay. If not, he’ll be back soon.
Marchand is out with a concussion, his return date unknown.
The B’s remain winless after two games, losing to the Jets and Canadiens by a combined score of 10-4. After today’s game, they play five of their next seven on the road.
“We just need to focus on getting better as a team, and there’s a lot of work to be done,” said coach Claude Julien. “We need everybody right now. There are a lot of people we need to get more of if we’re going to battle out of this. This is where we need players to step up.”
The Boston Bruins are already playing with a badly depleted defense, they just have to hope that they don’t start losing key forwards as well.
That’s a possibility though as Brad Marchand left Saturday’s contest early after inadvertently being elbowed in the head by Dale Weise, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty. Bruins coach Claude Julien couldn’t provide an update after the game, according to the team’s Twitter account.
Whatever happens there though, Boston already has a hole it needs to dig out of as Montreal handed the Bruins a 4-2 loss tonight.
Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk led the charge by scoring two goals and three assists respectively. Alexander Semin registered two assists after going scoreless in his debut with Montreal on Wednesday.
The Bruins are now 0-2-0 and have allowed 10 goals over that span. They have been playing without their top two defensemen in Zdeno Chara (upper body) and Dennis Seidenberg (back).
Boston’s task isn’t getting any easier as it will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. Montreal, which is opening the season with a four-game road trip, is now 2-0-0 ahead of Sunday’s contest against Ottawa.