BOSTON -- Brad Marchand took a hard hit off the dasher after a collision with towering Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers late in the third period, and immediately dropped his stick while skating hunched over toward the bench. Marchand never left the bench area, but he also never returned for the waning moments of Bostons 3-1 win over the Sabres at TD Garden.
That meant Marchand was out of the game for the final four minutes of regulation as his teammates scrambled to protect a two-goal lead with Buffalo pulling the goaltender.
The Bs agitator wasnt spotted after the game in the locker room, but Bruins coach Claude Julien said Marchand was fine following the game. He was ready to jump back into the fray, but Julien opted to drop Chris Kelly onto the Patrice Bergeron line in case there was a face-off and No. 37 was kicked out of the face-off dot.
Some thought the worst given Bostons recent string of bad luck with player injuries, but they dodged any trouble this time around.
Marchand was good to go. There was no issue there and that was a good hit. I think he was just a little stung by it and came back to the bench. But then he was good to go, said Julien. It wasnt anything to do with the hit, in case you were wondering about concussions.
He was ready to go if he didnt skate another shift. It was near the end of the game with about four minutes left. I ended up putting Kelly out there as another centerman to take the draw in case Bergy Bergeron got kicked out. Marchand never did get a chance but he wouldve been ready to go.
Overall the Little Ball of Hate was a little too quiet against the Sabres in victory and finished with only a single shot on net in 15:10 of ice time before getting parked on the pine for the final four minutes of the game.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.
*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.
*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.
*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.
*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.
*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.
*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.
*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.
*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday's practice, meaning they had all 53 players on their active roster present and accounted for at all three practices this week.
Contrast that with how things have gone for the Steelers this week, and there is a stark difference. Star running back Le'Veon Bell missed each of his team's first two on-the-field workouts this week, and several Steelers players are dealing with a bug that seems to have circulated the locker room.
The Patriots could have an interesting game-day roster decision to make should Chris Hogan (thigh), Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Danny Amendola (ankle) both be healthy enough to play on Sunday. They have not entered a game with five receivers in uniform this season but could potentially dress Mitchell, Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd.
Other players listed as limited participants in practice this week are Brandon Bolden (knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Jabaal Sheard (knee).