WILMINGTON, Mass. Johnny Boychuk is feeling better, but he might be missing a couple of games after being on the wrong end of a Chris Neil train-wreck hit Saturday night in Ottawa.
Neil caught Boychuk with his head down and blasted Boychuk with one of the hardest body checks thrown this season, and Boychuk was still feeling concussion symptoms a couple of days following the hit. Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli said that Boychuk was still a little foggy on Sunday, and the B's defenseman was absent from practice on the Ristuccia Arena ice on Monday morning.
Claude Julien said Monday that Boychuk was day-to-day. In the interim, he paired the playoff defensemen duo of Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara together in the interim. The Bruins may fill Boychuks spot with a trade executed this afternoon Johnny Oduya and Bryan Allen have been mentioned most prominently or it could be up to Andrew Bodnarchuk to fill in for No. 55 during his injury absence.
It appears very unlikely that the ultra-durable Boychuk will be available for tomorrow nights rematch against the Senators, but the Bs coaching staff hadnt yet made that determination.
With Johnny were dealing with post-concussion symptoms and hes day-to-day, said Julien. But hes already feeling much better.
Both a source close to Boychuk and his own teammates seem to think his issue wasnt a serious injury like the one thats kept Nathan Horton out for over a month. But anyone in hockey knows theres no sure timetable when it comes to concussion symptoms.
Julien also called Shawn Thornton "a question mark" for Tuesday night's game against the Senators with the flu bug that's been attacking the B's tough guy for more than a week. Both Boychuk and Thornton weren't at practice on Monday morning.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots injury report shrunk again on Thursday.
One day after Rob Gronkowski was removed from the injury report, the Patriots were able to take backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo off.
Garoppolo injured his shoulder in a Week 2 win over the Dolphins and then missed the following two games, giving way to rookie third-rounder Jacoby Brissett. He has been limited in practice ever since being driven into the ground by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Here is Thursday's full practice participation/injury report for the Patriots and Steelers:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
T Marcus Gilbert (ankle)
DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (left knee)
S Shamarko Thomas (groin)
C Cody Wallace (knee)
WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder)
RB DeAngelo Williams (knee)
S Robert Golden (foot)
S Michael Mitchell (knee)
LB Ryan Shazier (knee)
BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins will have plenty of proud history on display for tonight’s home opener when Bobby Orr and Milt Schmidt drop the ceremonial first puck at TD Garden prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils.
Orr is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first NHL game, and the amazing Schmidt is there for the 80th anniversary of his rookie NHL season, and it will be up to the current crop of B’s players afterward to play up to the standards of those two Hall of Fame legends. That was a difficult challenge for the Black and Gold last season as they struggled to a 17-18-6 record on home ice and experienced some of their worst regular-season efforts in front of the paying home customers.
When placed side-by-side with a road record (25-13-3), where only the Sharks and Capitals had more victories on the road last season, it was clear the B’s had some strange motivational issues at the Garden. Whether it was leadership, maturity or the coach to blame for their home malaise, the Bruins are looking to reverse that trend this season after an encouraging 2-1 start on the first three-game road trip of the season.
In fact, Brad Marchand didn’t even want to entertain thoughts about last year’s home ice funk.
“Last year has nothing to do with this year. We’ve got a lot of new guys and a lot of new faces, and we’re looking to have a big start at home and have a big year. We want to try and start that tonight,” said Brad Marchand. “We don’t have to get anxious and too excited. We play a good road game and if we play the same way at home as we do on the road then hopefully we’ll be okay.”
The home ice anxiousness was clear on many occasions for the Bruins whether it was getting blown out at the Winter Classic, getting smoked in Milan Lucic’s return to the Garden with the LA Kings or epically blowing the final game of the season vs. Ottawa with the playoffs on the line. It will be interesting to see what a big personality and hardened, vocal leader David Backes can bring to combat some of the home ice skittishness of last season.
One other thing the Bruins will be looking to change: allowing the other team to score the first goal, as they’ve done in all three games to start this season. It could perhaps be excused with the B’s playing the polite visitor at the emotional home openers for the Blue Jackets and the Maple Leafs last week, but now it’s their turn to jack up the emotional level and make TD Garden a much more difficult place to play than it was for the majority of last season.