Bodnarchuk and Marchand rekindling friendship

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Bodnarchuk and Marchand rekindling friendship

BOSTON -- Andrew Bodnarchuks promotion to the Bruins gives the young defenseman another chance to establish himself at the games highest level. It also reunites a couple of lifelong friends from Nova Scotia.

Bodnarchuk and Brad Marchand have known each other for 13 years. They met as grade-school youngsters in Halifax.

"Too long," Marchand said with a smile when asked how long he and Bodnarchuk have been friends.

We grew up together playing on all the area teams, we were roommates when he was in Providence, and were here now, said Bodnarchuk.

They're both happy Bodnarchuk's been rewarded for his hard work in the AHL.

He was staying positive in Providence," said Marchand. "Hes very dedicated and he was training very, very hard. I know hes having a really good year and playing a lot of minutes while staying a plus player for a team thats not doing all that hot.

He bided his time and waited. Now that hes up, here hes excited that he can try to take advantage of the situation. Some guys have to wait a little longer for that chance. What really matters is taking advantage of it when you do get into that situation.

Added Bodnarchuk: Its very exciting. Its been a long time since Ive been up here. Boston has a lot of D prospects and Steve Kampfer (who was sent down to the P-Bruins) was playing great last year. Matt Bartkowski was having a great year, too.

I consider them all good friends, but at the same time you know where you want to be. Instead of getting frustrated you just put your nose to the grindstone.

While it remains to be seen how long Bodnarchuk will stick with the Bruins, it appears hell be with them for the 11-day, six-game road trip that starts Wednesday in Montreal.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)