McQuaid out for Game 1; Rask, Boychuk practice


McQuaid out for Game 1; Rask, Boychuk practice

WILMINGTON, Mass. The Bruins roster picture is taking shape with their first playoff tilt against the Capitals scheduled for Thursday night.

Johnny Boychuk and Tuukka Rask both practiced fully with the Bruins at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday morning, but once again Adam McQuaid was missing from practice with an upper-body injury.

Claude Julien confirmed that McQuaid is definitely out for Game 1 against the Caps with an injury stemming from the charging hit he took from Caps forward Jason Chimera at the end of March.

McQuaid didnt skate today, so hes not going to be a part of our lineup tomorrow, said Julien.

Rask seems a very big question mark. It looks like he's not going to be ready to begin the playoffs while recovering from a groinabdomen strain. That leaves the door open for Anton Khudobin as backup to Tim Thomas.

Johnny Boychuk (left knee) is trending toward inclusion in Thursdays pregame warm-ups and a spot in the lineup, but Julien indicated that decision wont be made until Thursday.

We keep seeing Johnny and Tuukka out there on the practice ice and we have an opportunity maybe to make a decision on Boychuk. I stress opportunity because its not 100 percent, said Julien. Hes doing fairly well, so we want to remain optimistic about him.

Unless somebody tells me something about Rask today or tomorrow, I dont anticipate having him in the lineup for Game 1.

The lineup at practice remained the same as Tuesday:




Whether Goodell visits Foxboro or not, Patriots players say they don't care


Whether Goodell visits Foxboro or not, Patriots players say they don't care

FOXBORO -- Roger Goodell will reportedly be in Atlanta for the NFC Championship Game this weekend and therefore will miss the AFC title game between the Patriots and Steelers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. His absence will mean he hasn't been to a Patriots game in more than two years, when he was present for the AFC title game in 2015 -- the birth of Deflategate. 

It's news that broke on Tuesday and sent some Patriots fans into an uproar. Patriots players, though, sound like they're having a hard time caring one way or the other.

"He’s the commissioner, so obviously whatever he wants to do, he can do," Tom Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Monday. "If he wants to come, that would be -- yeah, he can come."

In the Patriots locker room on Tuesday, others struck a similar tone.

"I could care less," said Patriots receiver Chris Hogan. "I'm focused on Pittsburgh and their defense and studying them as much as I can this week, watching them as much as I can so that I can go out there on Sunday and be prepared."

Special teams captain Matthew Slater was similarly disinterested in the discussion.

"The game's going to be played," he said. "Whoever's in attendance is in attendance. We'll just worry about trying to play well."

Hogan 'feeling good' as he recovers from thigh injury


Hogan 'feeling good' as he recovers from thigh injury

FOXBORO -- Patriots wideout Chris Hogan indicated after Saturday's divisional round win over the Texans that he'd be OK, and he doubled down on that stance when meeting with reporters Tuesday. 

The veteran receiver, whose first season with the Patriots has brought his first career postseason experience, injured his thigh against Houston. He left in the third quarter and did not return. 

"Feeling good," Hogan said. "Just had a little minor setback in the game. I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day."

Hogan had an awkward collision with Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the first half on a play at the goal line. To that point, he had reeled in four passes for 95 yards as the team's primary deep threat. With Hogan out, Brady relied upon Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd as wideouts.

Hogan explained that he was expecting to practice this week.

"I'm just gonna go day by day," he said. "Come in here tomorrow. Everything's been feeling better day by day. I'm looking forward to getting out there and practicing this week."