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:




Tuesday's Red Sox-Rockies lineups: Shaw sits out for first time all year


Tuesday's Red Sox-Rockies lineups: Shaw sits out for first time all year

BOSTON -- For the first time since last season, Travis Shaw is not in the Red Sox' lineup.

Shaw, suffering from a minor left-hand injury, will sit out Tuesday night's game against Colorado, snapping a string of 76 consecutive starts. Josh Rutledge will play third base in his place.

The lineups:

Charlie Blackmon CF
Trevor Story SS
Nolan Arenado 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Carlos Gonzalez RF
Ryan Raburn DH
Gerardo Parra LF
Dustin Garneau C
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Jorge De La Rosa P

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
David Price P

Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal


Bruins sign Kevan Miller to four-year, $10 million deal

BOSTON -- The Bruins locked up a piece to a blue line that was godawful last season in announcing they’d signed Kevan Miller to a four-year, $10 million contract.

They also retained one of their own young restricted free agents, center Seth Griffith, by reaching agreement on a one-year, two-way deal with an NHL value of $625,000 per season.

Miller, 28, played in a career-high 71 games last season -- his third with the Bruins -- and established career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He also posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (plus-15) and generally seemed to be playing his best hockey down the stretch.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller was also forced into playing 19:04 of ice time per night while oftentimes serving as a top-pair D-man alongside Zdeno Chara. That resulted in a high number of mistakes and turnovers at critical times against the opposition’s best offensive players.

The rugged, hardnosed Miller obviously isn’t going to be judged solely by the numbers. He's also evaluated by the big hits, blocked shots and air of intimidation in the defensive zone. That said, a four-year contract is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that Miller wasn’t expected to command that kind of deal as an unrestricted free agent on the open market.

That four-year deal, which carries a yearly cap hit of $2.5 million, would also seem to hint at the impending exodus of Adam McQuaid or Dennis Seidenberg, or both, given the number of limited stay-at-home defensemen on the roster now making decent NHL money.  

The bottom line: Miller’s contract will be a good one if he can settle into a steady, top-four role. But it will be another overpay if he winds up being the bottom-pairing D-man many see him as at the NHL level.

Griffith had 24 goals and 53 assists for 77 points in 57 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and also had an assist in four games for Boston. He'll get another chance this year to compete for one of the winger jobs at the NHL level with plenty of competition.