By Danny Picard
BOSTON -- Tim Thomas was the first Bruins goaltender off the ice during Monday's morning skate and will probably get the start tonight when the B's host the New Jersey Devils at the TD Garden.
Both David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk skated with the team again, and Marc Savard and Marco Sturm hit the ice prior to the team's skate.
Krejci said he is looking forward to some more testing this afternoon. Coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate that Krejci is "doing much better, quicker" than Patrice Bergeron and Savard in the weeks following their concussions, and that right now he's symptom free.
"As long as we're telling you that we're moving forward with him, it's because those symptoms have slowly gone away, and he's passed the different exertion tests, and so on and so forth," said Julien. "So he's heading in that direction, and I think he mentioned to some of you guys anyways that he'll be seeing a doctor again today, and hopefully taking another step forward."
Boychuk had his hard cast removed from his broken left forearm yesterday, and has replaced it with a stiff removable cast. He still wears it under his glove, while on the ice, and said that it's "the same as having a cast" except it can be removed.
Needless to say, he still needs a few more days of practice until he can return to the lineup.
"I feel good enough, but I still have to practice with the team a couple more times," said Boychuk after Monday's morning skate. "Whenever the doctor lets me play, then I'll get to play."
Boychuck's presence with the team makes for seven defensemen on the ice. Adam McQuaid has filled in since his injury, and with Boychuk returning soon, somebody is going to have to be the healthy scratch.
Julien dropped a slight hint on Monday, not about McQuaid's toughness, but also about him being the only right-handed defenseman on the Bruins, until Boychuk comes back. That could mean someone like Matt Hunwick, who hasn't looked good as of late, could be the temporary odd-man out.
"When we make that decision, we've got to kind of balance everything, and what we need in our lineup," said Julien. "And again, it's not like we've got a ton of right-handed shots, either. That certainly will come into play at some point. We know Seidenberg can play the right side very comfortably, but I think this is where the competition part comes in, and who's playing well, and who should be in and who shouldn't. But those decisions will come when they come."
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard