Thomas among the absent at B's optional skate

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Thomas among the absent at B's optional skate

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs

An optional skate for the Bruins on Saturday morning which meant that players like Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara werent full participants at the game day practice prior to tonights game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Shawn Thornton also enacted his veteran option to skip the morning skate. Thomas' absence is interesting when determining the goaltender for tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rask would seem ready to receive the starting call if it truly is a situation with two No. 1 goaltenders sharing time until one of them develops the hot hand, but it would also be logical to save Rask until the Monday afternoon game against the Colorado Avalanche.Perhaps sensing that the emotion of the last few days had taken a bit of a toll on the players, Julien gave some slack on the reigns prior to Saturday nights match against last years Eastern Conference rivals. The Bs coach seemed to intimate that an opponent like evil genius Guy Boucher and the Lightning should be able to get the Bruins playing their style of hockey after an aberrational opening night.

Its probably a good thing for us. We might as well face the kind of opponents that we think were going to be facing for most of the year, said Julien. Its a good way to get us focused on the game tonight.

Its about understanding how good we have to be and how hard we have to work. I dont mind that at all. Right now our team has to focus on the way were playing the game and not so much on the outcome. Theres a lot of focus on the outcome and winning game, or whether were going to struggle to win games. Our focus has to be more on how we want to play, and let that dictate whether we win or lose games.

One player that appears ready to go for tonights match against the Bolts is Adam McQuaid, who has sufficiently recovered from a virus that landed him in sick bed for a couple of days.
McQuaid took part in the optional skate, felt fine afterward and should be the most obvious change for the Bruins from their season opener to Saturday night. Tuukka Rask took part in the optional skate and it would appear that Thomas is going to get the starting nod against Saturday night with Rask perhaps ready to go on Monday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche.

I feel pretty good and I feel a lot better than I did a couple of days ago, said McQuaid. They said it was a virus. Really bad headache and so exhausted I literally couldnt even get out of bed. No fun at all.

No Dwayne Roloson for Tampa Bay during a very limited morning skate for the Lightning, so it looks like Mathieu Garon will be getting the start between the pipes against the Bruins. Roloson backstopped the Bolts to their first win of the season last night over Carolina, so it should be interesting to watch Tampa Bay playing the second night of back-to-back games.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.