Morning Skate: Tuesday, Jan. 22


Morning Skate: Tuesday, Jan. 22

Senators coach Paul MacLean has a doppledanger who is simply too awesome for words.

Former UMass defenseman Mike Kostka has taken the long road to the NHL, but its been worth it for the Maple Leafs.

Energy and excitement abounds as the Columbus Blue Jackets open for business in their home barn.

Vladimir Tarasenko is on fire to start the season for the St. Louis Blues amid a good start for the franchise.

Just when the Leafs change all the questions, Ryan Miller still has all of the answers for them.

Ryan Whitney thinks the current Edmonton Oilers bunch is a lot like the Pittsburgh Penguins teams when Malkin and Crosby were just starting out.

Alex Kovalev is happy to be in the NHL with Florida, but couldnt resist bashing Cory Clouston when talking about his time in Ottawa.

Teemu Selanne is 42 going on NHL superstar. A nice piece celebrating the ageless Finnish superstar, who continues to get the job done.

Roberto Luongo is apparently about to be traded if Vancouver likes the deal thats in place, but its not the Toronto Maple Leafs hotly pursuing him.

For something completely different: excerpts from Terry Franconas new book with Dan Shaughnessy that shed light on what it was like to manage Manny Being Manny.

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper. 

Bergeron missing from practice; Bruins call up Blidh

Bergeron missing from practice; Bruins call up Blidh

BRIGHTON, Mass – Patrice Bergeron was missing from the Warrior Arena practice ice on Friday morning after Thursday’s shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes and Swedish energy forward Anton Blidh has been called up from Providence for the first time in his pro career. 

After practice, Bruins coach Claude Julien said Bergeron will be with the team for the trip to Buffalo, where the B's play Saturday, and that injured Zdeno Chara and Noel Acciari will stay behind. 

Blidh, 21, has five goals and four assists for nine points with 22 penalty minutes and a plus-eight rating in 19 games for the P-Bruins this season, and had a pretty solid NHL camp with the Bruins this fall while showing off his hard-hitting and sandpaper style. The former sixth-round pick appeared in 65 games with Providence last season and compiled 10 goals and four assists for 14 points with 48 penalty minutes.

Ryan Spooner replaced Bergeron in between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak for practice, and Blidh took a spot on the fourth line along with Acciari as he closes in on a return to the Black and Gold. Chara also skated in his second consecutive practice and took part in battle drills at the end. 

Here are the Bruins line combos and D-pairings from Friday practice prior to the team departing for Buffalo: 








Morrow-K. Miller

C. Miller