Julien tweaks Bruins' lines again at Tuesday's practice

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Julien tweaks Bruins' lines again at Tuesday's practice

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- Claude Julien mixed up the Bruins' lines in the third period of Monday night's 3-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, and he changed them up again at Tuesday's practice at Ristuccia Arena.

Marc Savard was reunited with Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton was added to the duo's right wing. Julien also reunited the line of David Krejci, Michael Ryder, and Blake Wheeler. The trio was the team's most productive offensive line two years ago, when the Bruins were the top team in the Eastern Conference.

"You've got to try and find some solutions here, so we moved some people around and let's see if that can happen," said Julien, when asked if he hopes Krejci's line can continue what it started two seasons ago. "If it happens, great, because they were pretty successful then. And maybe we see that again."

Wheeler seemed pretty excited, after Tuesday's practice, about getting the opportunity to get the old line back together.

"I think when you struggle to score goals, it's easy to go back to the well, and say, 'You know what, we've had some success,' " said Wheeler. "So it's kind of natural to put us back together.

"We've played together so much these last few years, that we know where we're going to be when we're on the ice. We know what to expect."

All three had their highest totals, as members of the Bruins, two seasons ago, while playing together. Ryder had 27 goals and 26 assists. Wheeler had 21 goals and 24 assists. And Krejci had 22 goals and 51 assists.

"Krejci's a really fun guy to play with, because you know if you're in space, and there's an opportunity to get the puck, then you're going to get it," said Wheeler. "So more than anything, you just want to be ready to shoot, and have your stick on the ice at all times, because sometimes he sees you when you're not even expecting it."

Tyler Seguin was back skating with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi on Tuesday. Julien had moved Seguin to the line in the third period of Monday night's loss. It was the first line that Seguin played with, in the preseason, as a member of the Bruins, and by all accounts, it was a success at that point.

Seguin was removed from Bergeron's wing, in order to play center while Savard missed the first two months dealing with post-concussion syndrome.

Grinder Brad Marchand (stiffness) was missing once again from Bruins practice on Tuesday, while defenseman Steven Kampfer was present, after taking getting hit awkwardly into the boards on Monday night.

"Kampfer's not 100 percent, but he's OK," said Julien after the skate. "He's good enough to come out and practice today."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 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