The Bruins featured the same lineup theyve tossed out over the last three days of practice, and appeared quiet and focused in the TD Garden home dressing room as they readied for tonights Game 1 playoff match.
Thats not the normal vibe you get in the Bs room, but this is the playoffs after all. So it remains to be seen whether quiet meant tight or focused for the Black and Gold as they embark on their journey to win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Adam McQuaid (upper body) wasnt present on the ice for the morning skate and hasnt been seen on the frozen sheet since last weeks win over Ottawa. Tuukka Rask (groin)was the third goaltender out onto the ice for morning exercises and admitted after the skate he wouldnt be dressing tonight. So that means Anton Khudobin will back up Tim Thomas on Thursday night in his first taste of Stanley Cup playoff action, and the rest of the lineup looks the same as its been over the last three days.
Claude Julien said Johnny Boychuk (knee)is a game-time decision, but he's expected to play after practicing all week.
Here is the projected lineup for tonight:
Scratches: Caron, Mottau
On Wednesday, the Patriots media room was festooned with AFC Championship Game adornments. A big red backdrop behind the podium, Patriots and Steelers helmets arranged on a table facing each other with the Lamar Hunt AFC Champion Trophy in the middle.
Bill Belichick, who's not big on festoons, noted the helmets during his press conference and deadpanned, "So exciting...". That clip got some run.
On Friday, when asked to recall his first Conference Championship as a coach, he mentioned the 2001 AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh and the fact that Belichick, Lawyer Milloy and Tom Brady were all required to fly to Pittsburgh on the Friday before the game to do media duties.
"That was awesome," Belichick snarked. Then, looking to the area where the display was on Wednesday, Belichick smiled and said, "Where's all the stuff from Wednesday? Did it get thrown out?"
He is the turd in the NFL's punch bowl and it's endlessly amusing.
FOXBORO -- During a dinner for donors at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on Thursday night, Donald Trump name-dropped Bill Belichick on two separate occasions. It marked what might've been the first time a president-elect publicly shouted out an NFL coach on the eve of his inauguration in the office's history.
Trump and Belichick have a long-standing friendship, Belichick explained back in November. Still, on Friday morning, the Patriots commander-in-chief had little reaction to his name being mentioned by Trump the night before.
"We've got a big game," Belichick said matter-of-factly.
There was little chance Belichick would utter anything else. He's still in preparation mode, still trying to out-work the Steelers in order to have his team at its best Sunday night.
It's that approach that urged Trump to mention Belichick in the first place.
"I out-worked everybody" during the election, Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."
Trump also mentioned the four-time Super Bowl-winning head coach while in the process of pointing out Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft during the dinner.
"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob."