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.