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

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.