Marchand, Peverley set to return for B's

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Marchand, Peverley set to return for B's

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:

Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin
Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Pouliot-Kelly-Peverley
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-McQuaid
Ference-Corvo

Thomas
Rask

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

FOXBORO  -- To think there’d be no further questions about the Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo dynamic when Brady’s four-game suspension ends would be moronic.

Bill Belichick won’t like them. He’s destined to give them the verbal Heisman. But there are aspects to the story which demand further interrogation.

So there’s those questions. And then there’s baiting for the sake of baiting, which is what happened Friday morning.

A reporter asked Belichick, “You said Tom will start when he’s eligible. Can you think of an occasion when you named a Week 5 starter in July?”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said.

“What happens if Jimmy plays better?”

“Look, I told you what’s gonna happen,” Belichick answered.

Pressing on, the reporter began, “So there’s no, there’s, there’s . . . ”

At that point, with Belichick reacting like he’d come open a month-old-corpse and muttering, “Jesus Christ," the reporter cut himself off.

I’ve been trying to steer clear of the media ombudsman business. But this stuff makes it hard. The first question was obtuse in the extreme. I don’t even know how that gets formulated.
This is not a Brady-Bledsoe scenario.

You have the best quarterback of his generation who – 17 months ago – took down what was supposed to be one of the great defenses in NFL history in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. A guy who got smashed all over the field in Denver at the age of 38 and still almost pulled out a win last January.

When that guy’s cleared to play, you sprint him onto the field regardless of the circumstances.

“If Jimmy plays better . . . ”? Better than what? Better than 11 touchdowns, no picks, 116-for-160 and 1,547 yards, which is what Brady did in the first four games last season? Better than Brady played in Denver while getting his head caved in every other play?

I understand that sometimes you have to ask the dumb question to get something on the record, but this was not that. This seemed like someone who really thought he was onto something. Was going to paint Belichick into an uncomfortable corner and hang him with his own words.

Sorry, counselor.

Now, you and I can sit on the front stoop and wonder what happens if Garoppolo plays ridiculously well then Brady comes back and spends four weeks playing like he’s never been on a field before and is clearly an impediment to the team’s success.

Won’t happen. But we can talk about it.

Asking Belichick if he’s gonna go with the hot hand when two days prior he told you what he was going to do is asking for a JC response.

Belichick probably figured that stating Brady was the Week 5 starter before he was asked was the best way to defuse idle speculation. “We’ll see . . . ” or “We always do what’s best for the football team . . . ” would have ignited a thousand hours of conversation about the budding quarterback controversy in New England.

Belichick now knows that the speculation and scenario spinning is coming anyway. JC may hear his name muttered a few more times from the podium between now and October.