Seidenberg appears ready to return vs. Isles

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Seidenberg appears ready to return vs. Isles

Dennis Seidenberg has returned to the ice for pregame warm-ups and it appears hes headed for a return to the Bruins lineup after missing two games with a lower body injury. The German defenseman hasnt missed a practice and Claude Julien said he was more optimistic than pessimistic that Seidenberg would play in tonights rare Friday night tilt vs. the Islanders after missing games against Winnipeg and the Rangers.

It also appears Seidenberg is back paired with 19-year-old Dougie Hamilton after the rookie defenseman had three different D partners in the first three games.

Its been more about circumstance. As you know, the other night with the Rangers lineup, they put all their eggs in a basket with the Richards, Nash and Gaborik line. We certainly wanted experience and certainly didnt want to expose Dougie to that yet, although the way he played he probably couldve handled it well, said Claude Julien. Our teamand Ive said that from the beginningour pairs arent necessarily set in stone. A lot of that from our backend is related to the other teams lineup sometimes, and sometimes its related to certain players playing better with certain partners. Dougie has had that experience of playing with all three guys, and so far hes passed the test.

Tuukka Rask led the Bruins out onto the ice for pregame warm-ups and will get his fourth start in a row to begin the 2013 season. Here are the line combos and defensive pairings based on pregame-warm-ups:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin
Bourque-Kelly-Peverley
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-Hamilton
Ference-McQuaid

Rask

"Everything is on track" with Bruins prospect Zboril

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"Everything is on track" with Bruins prospect Zboril

Little more than a year after he was drafted in the middle of the first round by the Boston Bruins, some are whispering that 19-year-old Jakub Zboril isn’t going to live up to advanced billing. Clearly the Czech defenseman took a step back for the Saint John Sea Dogs after being taken 13th by the Bruins in last year’s draft, and dropped to six goals and 20 points in 50 games in the QMJHL while watching second round pick Jeremy Lauzon pass him by on the prospect hype chart.

Perhaps the more concerning thing have been the whispers about an erratic work ethic and bad habits in Zboril’s game, a couple of criticisms that haven’t exactly gone away since the Bruins signed him to a contract last summer following development camp. Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley was asked about those concerns with the young D-man as he heads into an important training camp with Boston this fall, and didn’t seem all that concerned about his first round pick being a “bust.”

“I think his offensive production was down, and that he struggled a little bit coming out of the gate” said Bradley of Zboril, who had 13 goals and 33 points in 44 games during his first season in the Quebec Major Junior League prior to getting drafted by Boston. “But he had a strong playoff. Everybody forgets that he’s a gritty guy, and a strong player that moves the puck. The thing that stands out about him are that his numbers are down from last year.

“But everything is on track with him. He’s going to come to camp and hopefully shines, and has a good year this year…patience.

“I think it’s great if the second rounders are on par with him: the [Brandon] Carlos and the [Jeremy] Lauzons. If you look at the whole of our draft last year you can’t rule out the first eight picks that they might play [in the NHL]. We’re excited. Donnie and I were at the Memorial Cup, and Lauzon raised our eyebrows every night that he played. You’d come away with a good feeling like this kid plays hard, plays the Bruins style, moves the puck and is tough. Obviously [you had to like] what Carlo did when he was brought in [to Providence] at the end. It just bodes well for what we have coming this year. Zboril and Lauzon are probably going back to junior, but Carlo is going to get a long look.”

The young Czech D-man is still at a point where his stock can still shoot higher than it’s ever been with a good showing at training camp, and a strong season for the Sea Dogs entering into his professional hockey career. But he can’t afford to go through another down season, or that talk of him being a first round bust is only going to get louder and stronger.

Morning Skate: Stamkos destined to wind up somewhere new

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Morning Skate: Stamkos destined to wind up somewhere new

Here are the links from all around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while happy to be back in the city of Boston.

*The Buffalo Sabres don’t sound happy about the accusations against Evander Kane that cropped up during NHL Draft weekend, why would they be?

*NHL teams can now start discussing free agents, exchanging ideas with them and start the chase up to July 1.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the biggest winners in the 2016 NHL Draft. Here’s a shocker: the Bruins aren’t among them.

*A good piece from Alex Prewitt on the importance of the land line phones on the draft floor during NHL Draft weekend.

*The Edmonton Oilers are another team that didn’t come out of draft weekend with a defenseman, and are still in search of their back end help.

*A nice piece on Philadelphia Flyers draft pick Pascal Laberge, who could have been plucked by the Bruins at No. 29 rather than Trent Frederic.

*Bruce Garrioch has his Sunday NHL notes, and says that Steven Stamkos appears destined to play somewhere other than Tampa Bay.

*For something completely different: Jonah Keri has TV critic Alan Sepinwall on his podcast, and one can only hope it’s to explain how and why he could have disliked last week’s episode of Game of Thrones.