Bruins fourth line happy to be back together again


Bruins fourth line happy to be back together again

WILMINGTON, MA Its back to business as usual for Bostons fourth line as Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton have returned to health in the last two games. That allowed them to reunite with center Gregory Campbell, and give the Bruins their full compliment of forwards while taking three of a possible four points against the Sabres and Rangers in the last two games.

There were some games that we really contributed to early in the season, said Gregory Campbell. We want to continue that. Its a tough league to be consistent in that area of bringing energy, and I have so much respect for lines that are able to bring that same level of energy night after night.

We just want to be a line that Claude Julien and the rest of the coaching staff can be proud of.

The fourth line has been kept under 10 minutes of ice time in those last two games during five-on-five play, but Campbell feels like they are on the verge of getting back into their early season impact. The fourth line kicked in goals in early season wins against the Rangers and Islanders, and the center is looking for more opportunistic offense now that the familiar forwards have been brought back together.

I really enjoy playing with them and I think we offer a lot to the team, said Campbell, who has a goal and three points along with a minus-3 in 11 games for the Bruins. We just want to keep adding to the teams success and keep contributing. Some nights it might be on the scoresheet, but most nights it might not be.

Well take any form of contribution from our line. Those guys are great to play with, we know each other well and Im happy to see them healthy again.

The Bruins also have extra forward Jay Pandolfo wearing a Merlot practice jersey at Ristuccia Arena, and lending a little experience and depth should injuries or circumstances break up the fourth line again. But for now its all about Campbell, Paille and Thornton getting back into their familiar role of providing emotion, intensity, energy and occasional offense in a job they take very seriously.

The fourth line had a great start, but after that its hard to evaluate because both Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille missed some games, Gregory Campbell moved up. Its hard for me to evaluate where they are at this moment, but Im certainly pleased with the start of their season, said Julien. They obviously showed early on that they were back to what they were before. They scored some important goals for us, certainly gave us the energy they used to. Its a matter now of seeing that they continue doing that throughout the whole season.

For Julien and the fourth line its about getting back to what they were when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup two years ago, and now they can at least aspire to that with all three components of the line finally healthy again.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.