NEWARK The Bruins have both Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley back with the team, and the speedy, gritty wingers are prepared to help make a difference against a New Jersey Devils squad thats on a roll.
Peverley said it was difficult watching the games against Florida and Tampa Bay that he missed while dealing with personal matters. His speed and skill will be welcomed with open arms by a Bruins team that has looked increasingly stagnant against the competition on the road.
Im not sure its missing guys as much as its an overall team attitude thats been dragging us down for quite some time now, said Peverley. Im excited to be back. I missed the games and Im excited to be around the guys again.
Its overall energy and bringing speed to the game. Thats obviously something thats been hurting us. Its moving the puck quickly and keeping your feet moving. When were doing that were playing at our best.
Peverley appeared to be skating with Benoit Pouliot and Chris Kelly during pregame skate at the Prudential Center, but Claude Julien has mentioned several times he may start tweaking the lines if things dont improve.
Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice and Julien confirmed following morning skate that hell get the starting nod against the Devils. Thomas is coming off a blah effort in a defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He allowing four goals amid the chaos in front of his net, but Julien is showing some confidence in his 37-year-old netminder to go back to him Thursday.
Julien may also be inching toward handing Tuukka Rask a very big start on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden against the New York Rangers a team that Rask has played well against in the past. Here is the projected lineup for tonights tilt against the Devils: