WILMINGTON, MA -- Plenty of good news on the injury front for a Bruins team that got pretty banged up last week while picking three wins out of four games in six days.
The best news of all might just be that Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton skated on his own prior to Mondays practice after passing the bike fitness test on Sunday with no return of his concussion symptoms. Thornton was memorably dinged up during a fight with 6-foot-8 Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott in a loss to the Sabres last week.
Thornton isnt going to play against the Canadiens on Wednesday night. But Bruins officials seem to be very encouraged by the quick progress Thornton is making from the concussion, and it doesnt appear like hell be out beyond the 7-10 days originally set as a timetable.
Hes going really well. There are no issues there, said Julien. Hes feeling really good. Hes been great and symptom-free for a few days now. He biked yesterday and skated today, so things are going well. But theres a protocol to follow and were going to follow that to the letter.
Brad Marchand is progressing very well from an upper body injury suffered in Bostons 1-0 win over the Leafs over the weekend, according to Julien, but Marchand missed Monday mornings Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Marchand was injured when he tripped over goaltender James Reimers equipment on a drive to the net, and crashed into the end boards. The Bs agitator skated a couple more shifts in the game, but appeared to be in visible pain before leaving the bench for good at the end of the second period.
Marchand hasnt been ruled out for Wednesday nights tilt against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, but Gregory Campbell was skating in his spot on the left wing alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin.
Well make those decisions tomorrow, obviously, before we leave about who can and who cant play Wednesday against the Canadiens, said Julien.
Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering exactly what “semi-exact” means.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper has a piece on Jumbo Joe Thornton bringing an ageless energy to Team Canada.
*If you’re wondering where former B’s farmhand goaltender Jeremy Smith ended up, he’s now with the Colorado Avalanche.
*The Hockey News believes that the Bruins will be back in the playoffs this season after a two-year absence.
*While I appreciate the Hockey News linking to my work, I feel like it’s a key piece of info that I’m the Bruins Insider for CSN New England and not NESN.
*Is Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger the man with the plan to defeat a Team Canada juggernaut in the World Cup of Hockey.
*Dustin Byfuglien had an interesting take on the World Cup after flaming out with Team USA: “It is what it is. I didn’t really enjoy it.”
*For something completely different: this is not your father’s Converse, but it’s a sleek look that the kids are gonna love.
BOSTON – It was an excellent night for the many varied Bruins prospects in the preseason opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The B’s eventually dropped the game in a 3-2 shootout loss at TD Garden, but not before some of their young players showed exactly what they can do.
“For sure it’s a lot of fun. Coming in here everybody’s a little nervous, but it was, once you’re out there, it’s just fun. It was good to see the young guys out there,” said former University of Denver standout Danton Heinen, who scored the tying strike in the third period on a redirect. “It was definitely adjusting. You don’t totally know what to expect and then once the game went on I kind of felt a little more comfortable. We started playing better as a team.”
Former first-round pick Jake DeBrusk set up the B’s first goal with Jimmy Hayes by executing a nifty give-and-go at the Columbus net, and young skaters Jakub Zboril and Austin Czarnik made the initial transition passes that led up to the goal. In the third period Danton Heinen redirected a Brandon Carlo point shot from the slot area, and scored in his first career game played at TD Garden in an impressive show of hand-eye coordination.
Carlo, Czarnik, DeBrusk, Zboril and Heinen all had strong performances on the score sheet and at both ends of the ice, and that’s exactly what the Bruins coaching staff wanted to see with NHL jobs potentially up for grabs in main camp.
“A lot of young players in the lineup, I won’t go through all of them, but I thought quite a few of them acquitted themselves well,” said Bruins assistant coach Bruce Cassidy. “They were given opportunities to do that. I think some of them certainly took advantage of it, and did a nice job.”
It was good that the young players stepped up and made a nice impression in the preseason debut because the veteran players will cut into their opportunities once the World Cup of Hockey crew gets sprinkled into the mix starting this week.