By Danny Picard
WILMINGTON -- With only two regular-season games remaining, the Bruins have some decisions to make from now until the first playoff game next week regarding who will earn the final spot in the team's postseason starting lineup.
That decision can obviously fluctuate during a playoff series, but the initial move should indicate the direction that B's coach Claude Julien is leaning towards throughout the entire postseason.
After Friday's practice, Julien wouldn't tip his hand on which forward would be the healthy scratch entering the playoffs, and also pointed out that the talk of Tyler Seguin beginning the postseason in street clothes is nothing more than "speculation".
"I guess when the time comes, we'll make those decisions," Julien said. "Even if I had or we had made our decisions, I don't think I'd be here speaking about it.
"You guys are speculating that Seguin is fighting for a playoff roster spot, whether he's in or out," Julien later added. "Understandably, I'm just saying, for me, those are tough questions to answer, because you guys are all looking for what is my possible scenario. And I'm going back to the same thing again, we don't know what's going to happen until Monday. And then Monday, we'll find out where he stands, and where the rest of the team stands."
The Bruins host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, and the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Until then, the B's have their eyes on what's going on in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference ladder. But they made it a point on Friday to say that they're not concerned with who they'll play in the first round.
"That's a lot of thinking, and a lot of unnecessary thinking, in my mind," Julien said. "We know that the possibilities are there. We've just got to sit back and watch, and stay on top of things. The teams that are possible opponents, we've been watching for a while now. We've just got to wait and see what it's going to be. And when it is decided, I know that we're ready for either or, as far as our scouting and everything else is concerned. So, we've just got to sit back and watch.
"I don't care," he added. "To me, it's always been the same thing. If you plan on winning a Stanley Cup, you better be ready to beat anybody. If you pick and choose, it's because you don't feel confident with your hockey club. So I'm just waiting to see who we're going to play, and then be ready for the challenge."
The other aspect of Julien's roster management over the next two games has to do with the defense. Rookie Steve Kampfer was recently sent down to Providence, but the Bruins' coach said on Friday that the move was made only to get both Kampfer and Shane Hnidy some playing time, just in case their services are needed in the playoffs.
Because Hnidy can't be sent down to Providence, the move to send Kampfer down to the AHL, was, according to Julien, "two birds with one stone."
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.