Game-time decisions for Paille, Thornton, Marchand Saturday

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Game-time decisions for Paille, Thornton, Marchand Saturday

The Bruins had all of their injured players back taking normal line rushes for a Friday morning practice on the TD Garden ice with the hope that some if not all would be ready to return Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Brad Marchand skated as the extra forward on the white line with Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Milan Lucic while Rich Peverley donned a yellow practice jersey while skating with Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton.

Both Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton were wearing their normal merlot practice sweaters, and Jamie Tardif had pushed up to the right wing on the gray line alongside Chris Kelly and Chris Bourque. Bruins coach Claude Julien wasnt sure if he was going to keep those practice lines intact when the puck is dropped against Tampa Bay, and some of it will depend on exactly who is available to play.

I can honestly tell you that Im not 100 percent on those lines right now, said Julien. There could be some changes. There are players were going to have to make decisions on tomorrow whether theyre in our out. Those lines could change.

Well see how Marchand is tomorrow after practicing, and Paille and Thornton are in the same boat. In this season its not such a bad idea to put different players with each other just to see what might happen.

Paille has now practiced for several days and appears the closest to returning to the Bruins lineup, but Julien was careful to say he hasnt yet been medically cleared to play after taking a high-stick in the left eye area last week vs. Buffalo. The Bruins fourth line winger

At this point in time I dont necessarily know, said Paille when asked if hell play vs. Tampa Bay. I feel really good. When I practice I dont have any visual problems, but Ill have to speak with Claude and the training staff today to see if its the right decision.

Thornton will have missed two games and been out nine days since he got dinged in a brawl with Buffalo enforcer John Scott last week, and was sharing time with Lane MacDermid on the right wing during practice. Just in case youre sensing a pattern here, Thornton also wouldnt reveal how close he is to returning to the Bruins lineup after skating with the full team for the first time since suffering his injury.

This was the first time skating with the boys in a week. It was a long week of skating with myself and Daniel Paille, said Thornton. I have no idea if Im playing tomorrow. I guess well find out tomorrow.

Marchand looked spry and energetic hopping on into line rushes and drills with his Bruins teammates, but sounded like somebody that might be sitting for another game following Fridays practice

Guys play through things all the time and that wouldnt be an issue. I just want to make sure this isnt something that could reoccur. Im not going to put myself in a vulnerable position, said Marchand. You dont want to be a liability and be just floating around. Its frustrating when youre out there and youre not your best, so you might as well wait until you can help the team.

The best educated guess as to who will play and who wont based on how they looked at practice: it appeared Paille was the closest to coming back, and that both Thornton and Marchand might get at least one more day or two before theyre slotted back in the Bs lineup.

Haggerty's Morning Skate: Two AHL teams recreate Slap Shot on the movie's anniversary

Haggerty's Morning Skate: Two AHL teams recreate Slap Shot on the movie's anniversary

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while so glad to see Dave Strader getting the play-by-play call in this afternoon’s national NBC broadcast of Stars and Bruins from Dallas.
 
-- Jeremy Roenick weighs in with some trade possibilities involving Avalanche and Blues players in what could be a blockbuster at the deadline.
 
-- Antoine Vermette acknowledges his wrongdoing in making a statement about his 10-game suspension for slashing an official, but feels like the punishment was too severe.
 
-- Don Cherry wishes a happy 40th anniversary to Slap Shot while wearing a Charleston Chiefs jersey as he hosts Coaches Corner.
 
-- Speaking of Slap Shot, what an Old Time Hockey fight between the AHL's Iowa Wild and Chicago Wolves. It spilled into the hallway afterward . . . that’s when things get real.

-- I've been asked multiple times about the white Boston hat David Pastrnak is always wearing in the Bruins dressing room, so here it is.

 -- Here’s all the Dallas Stars info you need ahead of this afternoon’s 11:30 a.m. local start in Dallas for the Stars and Bruins.

-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning indicating that the mumps outbreak for his team won’t impact the trade deadline.
 
-- For something completely different: the headline seems a little click baity to me, but I’ll read about anything involving Homer Simpson and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: So long, Wings' streak

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Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: So long, Wings' streak

The Washington Capitals remain on top, but it's time to recognize the Red Wings' 25-year playoff streak that will come to an end this spring.