Thornton skates; Marchand not yet ruled out for Habs


Thornton skates; Marchand not yet ruled out for Habs

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.

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today: