BruinsAvalanche: 5 from the First

BruinsAvalanche: 5 from the First

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comDENVER Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Avalanche by a 2-1 score at Pepsi Center after 20 minutes of play in the Mile High City.1)Much better first period on Saturday afternoon from Milan Lucic and David Krejci after invisible games against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. The two struggling forwards combined on Bostons second goal when Krejci stuck with the play after his first shot on net deflected, and he flipped a pass in front that somehow got through to Lucic in the slot. Lucic now has a career-high 18 goals this season.2)Huge hit near the blueline by Brad Marchand on Colorado leading scorer Matt Duchene, and the Avalanche do little to respond after the mighty mites body check. Looks like the Bruins are playing with swagger and a touch of intimidation against a young Colorado team thats backing down.3)Speaking of Marchand, he has 11 goals on the season and 21 points with his first period score off a good pass to the front of the net by Mark Recchi. Who wouldve that would have been possible little more than halfway through the hockey season? Marchand is proving to be a very valuable player in what the Bruins are doing. Have I mentioned that Mike Felger was dead wrong in his early season assessments of Marchand in every way, shape or form?4)Good job by Gregory Campbell of keeping the focus where it needed to be when he dropped the gloves with Cody MacLeod in the first period. Campbell was taking on a tough customer, and making a statement to the rest of his teammates that it was time to step up with the Bs trailing by a 1-0 score at that point.5)Two assists for Mark Recchi on both of Bostons goals, and hes now tied with Milan Lucic and David Krejci for second on the Bs in scoring with 32 points (9 goals, 22 assists) this season. Add in his five game-winning goals this year and were all witnessing something pretty special from a guy thats turning 43 in a couple of weeks.

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Monday, Dec. 5: Craig Cunningham's recovery

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.

*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.

*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?

*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.

*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.

*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.

*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.

*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Schaller-Krejci-Backes

Spooner-Nash-Czarnik

Blidh-Moore-Hayes/Acciari

Chara-Carlo

Morrow-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Rask

Khudobin