Game-time decisions for Paille, Thornton, Marchand Saturday

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Game-time decisions for Paille, Thornton, Marchand Saturday

The Bruins had all of their injured players back taking normal line rushes for a Friday morning practice on the TD Garden ice with the hope that some if not all would be ready to return Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Brad Marchand skated as the extra forward on the white line with Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Milan Lucic while Rich Peverley donned a yellow practice jersey while skating with Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton.

Both Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton were wearing their normal merlot practice sweaters, and Jamie Tardif had pushed up to the right wing on the gray line alongside Chris Kelly and Chris Bourque. Bruins coach Claude Julien wasnt sure if he was going to keep those practice lines intact when the puck is dropped against Tampa Bay, and some of it will depend on exactly who is available to play.

I can honestly tell you that Im not 100 percent on those lines right now, said Julien. There could be some changes. There are players were going to have to make decisions on tomorrow whether theyre in our out. Those lines could change.

Well see how Marchand is tomorrow after practicing, and Paille and Thornton are in the same boat. In this season its not such a bad idea to put different players with each other just to see what might happen.

Paille has now practiced for several days and appears the closest to returning to the Bruins lineup, but Julien was careful to say he hasnt yet been medically cleared to play after taking a high-stick in the left eye area last week vs. Buffalo. The Bruins fourth line winger

At this point in time I dont necessarily know, said Paille when asked if hell play vs. Tampa Bay. I feel really good. When I practice I dont have any visual problems, but Ill have to speak with Claude and the training staff today to see if its the right decision.

Thornton will have missed two games and been out nine days since he got dinged in a brawl with Buffalo enforcer John Scott last week, and was sharing time with Lane MacDermid on the right wing during practice. Just in case youre sensing a pattern here, Thornton also wouldnt reveal how close he is to returning to the Bruins lineup after skating with the full team for the first time since suffering his injury.

This was the first time skating with the boys in a week. It was a long week of skating with myself and Daniel Paille, said Thornton. I have no idea if Im playing tomorrow. I guess well find out tomorrow.

Marchand looked spry and energetic hopping on into line rushes and drills with his Bruins teammates, but sounded like somebody that might be sitting for another game following Fridays practice

Guys play through things all the time and that wouldnt be an issue. I just want to make sure this isnt something that could reoccur. Im not going to put myself in a vulnerable position, said Marchand. You dont want to be a liability and be just floating around. Its frustrating when youre out there and youre not your best, so you might as well wait until you can help the team.

The best educated guess as to who will play and who wont based on how they looked at practice: it appeared Paille was the closest to coming back, and that both Thornton and Marchand might get at least one more day or two before theyre slotted back in the Bs lineup.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.