Bruins notes: Julien moves Recchi to third line

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Bruins notes: Julien moves Recchi to third line

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- Claude Julien likes what he sees out of his top line, but the second and third lines haven't produced as much lately. As a result, the Bruins' coach made a minor adjustment at Wednesday's practice, in preparation for Thursday night's game against the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden.

Julien took Mark Recchi off his usual line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and put him on the wing with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder. Rich Peverley replaced Recchi on the wing with Bergeron and Marchand.

The B's coach called it a "normal adjustment through the course of the year."

"I don't think there's too much to make of it, more than a little tweak here and there," said Julien. "Because I think, right now, we're getting Krejci's line to produce for us, but the other two lines have been a little bit quiet."

Injured defensemen Andrew Ference (lower body) and Steve Kampfer (concussion) were the only Bruins players missing from Wednesday's practice, but Julien said afterwards that both are progressing as expected.

Ference skated on his own on Wednesday, prior to the team's skate, and depending how his solo session goes on Thursday, he could stay on the ice for the team's morning skate at the TD Garden.

Kampfer continued to go through the normal protocol for concussions on Wednesday, as he rode the stationary bike, and Julien said there's a possibility that he could skate on Thursday as well.

In case there was any concern regarding Tim Thomas and a possible injury, the Bruins' goaltender was on the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday.

Rask's start on Tuesday night in Montreal caused some concern about the health of Thomas, but he took just as many shots as Rask on Wednesday.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk was sporting a vicious black and swollen left eye on Wednesday, after his long fight with Montreal's Ryan White, who instigated the fight with Boychuk, after the Bruins' defenseman missed a big, open-ice hit on P.K. Subban in the opening minutes of Thursday's game.

Boychuk had a full practice on Wednesday, and was in good spirits afterwards.

"I didn't really have my gloves off before he came after me, but it was a good fight," said Boychuk after practice.

Julien addressed his team's struggles on the power play as of late, even after the addition of Tomas Kaberle, who was acquired to become the power play's "quarterback."

The B's coach pointed out that Kaberle has improved the man advantage, but said it's now up to the forwards to finish the plays that the guys up top make.

"We've got to be a little hungrier around the net, and jamming that net, jumping on the loose pucks," said Julien. "I think that's the main thing, because we're getting scoring chances, but we're not getting goals. There's a reason for that, and sometimes it's about being a little hungrier down low. It's about maybe being a little bit better on those loose pucks and those rebounds.

"Every team has it's challenges, and right now, our challenge is our power play."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Saturday, Jan. 21: McKenzie on Julien's job security

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while proud of my wife and daughter participating in today’s Women’s March.

*This is from a few days ago, but Bob McKenzie weighing in on the prospects for Claude Julien and his job security is always worth checking out.  

*The New York Rangers have themselves a rookie named Pavel that’s doing a pretty darned good job for the Blueshirts.

*What should the St. Louis Blues do with Kevin Shattenkirk as the trade deadline approaches and the seven-year, $49 million contract waiting for him in free agency is pretty daunting?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Allen has a list of underperforming NHL stars, including Jamie Benn and Jonathan Toews, that may have been impacted by the World Cup of Hockey. Certainly Patrice Bergeron could have made this list as well.

*Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling may be earning some more playing time after the way he performed against the Bruins, according to Pro Hockey Talk.

*Good news with Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson set to return to the team in a couple of weeks after tending to his wife in a battle against cancer.

*The struggles of Anthony Duclair with the Arizona Coyotes mirror the team’s issues this season as well. It’s interesting that Duclair has popped up in trade rumors with the Desert Dogs this season.

*For something completely different: the final Wolverine movie with Hugh Jackman is going to be extremely emotional with its characters.


 

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

Both Millers missing from Bruins practice, but trending toward return

BRIGHTON, Mass – While both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller were missing from Bruins practice on Saturday morning, both injured Bruins defensemen could be rejoining the team soon.

Colin Miller skated on his own prior to Saturday’s team practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the second or third time since suffering a lower body injury in the win over the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien said his presence on the ice was proof that the puck-moving defenseman is “definitely on the mend”, and could be nearing a return to practice soon with Sunday marking the sixth straight game that he’ll have missed.

Kevan Miller is out with a concussion suffered last weekend in the win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and the B’s current three-game losing streak has coincided with his absence from the lineup.

Julien said Miller has actually been away from the team for the last couple of days while dealing with a virus, and that his recovery from the concussion symptoms was good prior to being knocked down by the illness.

“Kevan was actually feeling really well and then he got hit by a virus that’s kept him in bed for the last two days,” said Julien. “It’s nothing to do with his original injury. There was a possibility he could have been ready very soon, but that’s set him back a bit.”

Both are obviously out for Sunday’s matinee against the Penguins, but a return to practice at some point next week seems like a good bet for both players. Here are the line combos and defense pairings from Saturday’s practice with the Bruins focusing on getting a good result in Pittsburgh with the hockey club on a “mom’s trip” with 22 of the players’ mothers traveling with the team to and from the game:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Blidh/Beleskey-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

Rask

McIntyre