Bruins notes: Julien moves Recchi to third line

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Bruins notes: Julien moves Recchi to third line

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- Claude Julien likes what he sees out of his top line, but the second and third lines haven't produced as much lately. As a result, the Bruins' coach made a minor adjustment at Wednesday's practice, in preparation for Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden.

Julien took Mark Recchi off his usual line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and put him on the wing with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder. Rich Peverley replaced Recchi on the wing with Bergeron and Marchand.

The B's coach called it a "normal adjustment through the course of the year."

"I don't think there's too much to make of it, more than a little tweak here and there," said Julien. "Because I think, right now, we're getting Krejci's line to produce for us, but the other two lines have been a little bit quiet."

Injured defensemen Andrew Ference (lower body) and Steve Kampfer (concussion) were the only Bruins players missing from Wednesday's practice, but Julien said afterwards that both are progressing as expected.

Ference skated on his own on Wednesday, prior to the team's skate, and depending how his solo session goes on Thursday, he could stay on the ice for the team's morning skate at the TD Garden.

Kampfer continued to go through the normal protocol for concussions on Wednesday, as he rode the stationary bike, and Julien said there's a possibility that he could skate on Thursday as well.

In case there was any concern regarding Tim Thomas and a possible injury, the Bruins' goaltender was on the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday.

Rask's start on Tuesday night in Montreal caused some concern about the health of Thomas, but he took just as many shots as Rask on Wednesday.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was sporting a vicious black and swollen left eye on Wednesday, after his long fight with Montreal's Ryan White, who instigated the fight with Boychuk, after the Bruins' defenseman missed a big, open-ice hit on P.K. Subban in the opening minutes of Thursday's game.

Boychuk had a full practice on Wednesday, and was in good spirits afterwards.

"I didn't really have my gloves off before he came after me, but it was a good fight," said Boychuk after practice.

Julien addressed his team's struggles on the power play as of late, even after the addition of Tomas Kaberle, who was acquired to become the power play's "quarterback."

The B's coach pointed out that Kaberle has improved the man advantage, but said it's now up to the forwards to finish the plays that the guys up top make.

"We've got to be a little hungrier around the net, and jamming that net, jumping on the loose pucks," said Julien. "I think that's the main thing, because we're getting scoring chances, but we're not getting goals. There's a reason for that, and sometimes it's about being a little hungrier down low. It's about maybe being a little bit better on those loose pucks and those rebounds.

"Every team has it's challenges, and right now, our challenge is our power play."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

Cassidy: Bruins 'will be fine' if they simply take care of business

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins took Wednesday off and returned Thursday with assurances they weren’t thinking about history repeating itself for a third straight season. 

The easy parallels are there, of course. 

The Bruins lost 9 of their final 14 games and missed the playoffs by a point two years ago. Last season they went a pathetic 3-8-1 in the final 12 games and once again missed the postseason by a single point.

So their recent three-game losing streak has set off some warning bells and whistles, as has the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have passed them and pushed the B’s into the second wild-card position. Boston holds a slim two-point lead over the New York Islanders for that final playoff position, and is facing huge games against the Tampa Bay Lightning (tonight) and the Isles (Saturday).

So with all that in mind, has interim coach Bruce Cassidy’s message changed at all to his players? 

“These are teams [close to the Bruins to the standings, so the games] get more magnified and rightfully so,” said Cassidy. “We accept that and we know what’s at stake. The last two didn’t go the way we wanted them to, but the things we do well, we need to keep doing well. We’ve created some looks at the net. We’re generating some offense. We need to finish a little better, and those pockets of the game that get away from us . . . we need to minimize those. We had a few too many of those [moments] against Ottawa. 

“We’re aware of it. We know who won and who lost last night. But we need to take care of our business. If we do, we’ll be fine. We really will. If we take of our business, it doesn’t matter what this team does or what that team does.

"That’s a fact. That’s the message. It’s quite simple. If we take care of business, we’ll be fine. If we don’t, then we’re hoping.”

Clearly taking care of their business includes dispatching both the Lightning and the Islanders. Hoping is what the Bruins ended up doing in each of the previous two seasons, and it left them fully out of luck once the music stopped.


 
 

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Thursday, March 23: Sidney Crosby, junk dealer

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while having never said “break a leg” for good luck to fellow Stoneham, Mass., native Nancy Kerrigan on social media, or otherwise.

 *A brief video history of Sidney Crosby spearing, or otherwise targeting, opponents in the crotches prepared with care and thought by the Puck Daddy himself, Greg Wyshynski.

*Elliotte Friedman has his 30 thoughts for the week and a few of them centered around new Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.

*Could the NBA’s star-resting phenomenon reach into the NHL when it comes to getting in-season time off for the superstars?

*Give the Leafs credit because they picked up coach Mike Babcock when he made a rare screw-up against the Blue Jackets.

*Check out the sick USA/Russia skating kicks on Alex Ovechkin, who had them custom made for a charity event.

*Speaking of Ovechkin, could T.J. Oshie and not Ovechkin actually lead the Capitals in scoring this season?

*For something completely different: Hide the women and children, the Scorpions and Megadeath are going on a North American tour together.