Kampfer back in B's lineup; Thomas expected to start

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Kampfer back in B's lineup; Thomas expected to start

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Claude Julien knew he would eventually run into this type ofissue. When Mark Stuart returned from a broken hand in January, and with his teamplaying well with youngsters Steve Kampfer and Adam McQuaid on the back end,the Bruins coach realized it wouldn't be an easy decision as to who'd be the healthy scratch for each game.

Stuart played three consecutive games in January, and hada goal, an assist, and was a plus-three. He was scratched for the nexteight games, and then got thrown back into the Bs lineup on Sunday in Detroit.

"Right now, it's turned into a bit of a competition, ifyou may," said Julien after Tuesdays morning skate. "I think lately,our back end hasn't been as consistent as it had been in the past, so weobviously made a move last game and brought Stuart back in the lineup. This isjust something that you knew eventually would happen, and we're dealing withit."

Kampfer was the healthy scratch in that game, but said afterTuesdays morning skate, that hed be back in the lineup against the MapleLeafs.

"Unless something changes by seven o'clock, I'm intonight, said Kampfer.

Kampfer was disappointed to be scratched for Sundays lossin Detroit, seeing that hes a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan. But heunderstands why Julien made the move.

"It was for good reason, said Kampfer. I wasn't happywith my game, as well. It's to help me out in the long run. One game's not goingto hurt, sitting out. I've got to get perspective on sitting out and watchingthat game. Hopefully we'll be able to go tonight.

"I don't think I was really slipping, I just don't think I was doingthings with a sense of urgency, as much as I was in the beginning stages. Yourealize that maybe when you sit back and you try to make the outstanding playinstead of the easy play, your game starts going that way. And I think that'swhat I was trying to do. I was trying to force things too much, instead ofplaying the simple, easy way that I was when I got up."

"He really felt he got a lot from sitting up there and watching the game,said Julien. We've said it a million times before, it never hurts, once in awhile, for a young player to get up there and see what's going on."

Also returning to the lineup is Daniel Paille, who hasfinished serving a four-game suspension for an illegal hit on Dallas RaymondSawada on Feb. 3. He said after Tuesdays morning skate that, because hesplaying on a checking line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, he cantchange the way he plays.

Obviously Ill think about certain plays, but Im going totry and stay physical, especially playing with the line Im with now, saidPaille. Thats how I have to play. I just have to be aware of certain plays,and try not to extend the arm out maybe.

Tim Thomas was the first Bruins goaltender off the ice onTuesday, and is expected to start against Toronto.

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.

Young Bruins 'really excited' for preseason opener tonight

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Young Bruins 'really excited' for preseason opener tonight

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins aren’t going to have anything resembling an All-Star lineup when they take the ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night at TD Garden for their preseason opener. But they'll take a long, lingering look at their future with a game-night roster full of prospects and young players who still get butterflies at the thought of putting on an NHL sweater for an Original Six club.

Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Jakub Zboril, Robbie O’Gara, Peter Cehlarik and Brandon Carlo are among the top B’s youngsters that will be in the lineup, and will be cranking up the energy prior to puck drop against the Blue Jackets.

“Everybody is really excited. I woke up this morning with a big smile on my face knowing that I get to put the B’s jersey on and get to go out [on the ice] at TD Garden,” said Brandon Carlo, who will be paired with John-Michael Liles as he has been throughout the start of training camp. “I probably won’t have much of a nap today because I’m so amped up.

“I feel like I’m moving my feet out there, and I want to show that I’ve gotten better at things I worked on over the summer like moving the puck. I definitely want to show a little bit of physicality out there as well.”

The young players are the ones who also provide the most unknown variable for the coaching staff at this point. So the first preseason game is largely about how those hopefuls respond to faster, more physical and intense competition.

“You’re looking to see effort and energy tonight. If the effort and energy is there everything else will take care of itself,” said assistant coach Joe Sacco. “You don’t really want them to think too much out there tonight. This is a game where players are trying to showcase their talent, and we want them to do that.”

Sacco said Anton Khudobin will play the first two periods and Zane McIntyre will wrap things up. Here are the line combos and D-pairings expected to take the ice against the Blue Jackets:
 
DeBrusk-Czarnik-Hayes
Cehlarik-Kuraly-Mueller
Heinen-Nash-Griffith
Hargrove-Cave-Randell
 
Zboril-Miller
Liles-Carlo
Morrow-O’Gara
 
Khudobin
McIntyre

Backes doesn't back down from criticism of those who ripped Team USA

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Backes doesn't back down from criticism of those who ripped Team USA

BRIGHTON -- He may not get the chance, since he's now 32 and has thrown (and taken) plenty of hits during his 11-year NHL career, but new Bruin David Backes said he hopes to play for Team USA again to “have a nice taste in my mouth”.

Clearly, his last experience left a bad taste: The Americans finished dead last in the World Cup of Hockey, which is winding down now with Team Europe and Team Canada playing for the championship.

What also left a bad taste for Backes were the passive-aggressive Tweets sent out by U.S.-born players like Phil Kessel and Bobby Ryan after the Americans lost all three games they played in the World Cup. And he isn't about to back down from the pointed criticism he directed at them.

“I was one of the guys called upon to go to the rink on a day off after we were eliminated . . . . one of four to stand up and answer the questions,” said Backes, who certainly showed his personal accountability by showing up to answer questions after Team USA had flopped on the world stage. “Rather than defer and plead the Fifth, I thought it was something we needed to address. I think it’s easy to sit back and sling mud . . . when you’re not a part of it.

“[You can] kind of make yourself feel good about it (by criticizing Team USA) for a second, but if I wasn’t selected for the team, or if I’m not selected to the Olympic team in two years, I’m still American, I’ve still worn that jersey, and I’m going to root for those guys and hope everything goes well. If it doesn’t, I’m going to be crushed like I was on the team. That’s how I think as a team guy and as a guy that’s worn that jersey proudly and how much it means to me.

"I just hope and wish the other guys had those same feelings. If you’ve got some vindication not being on the team, and the team failing or not accomplishing the goal, then you should internalize that and use it as motivation going forward. You don’t need to join in with the chatter that’s negative and keeps piling on. Those are my visceral thoughts on the subject.”

Backes was a healthy scratch for Team USA’s final game against the Czech Republic, a listless defeat that dropped the U.S. to the bottom of the World Cup standings. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for a competitor who clearly understands the importance of representing one’s country.

So it’s no surprise the Bruins center hopes he gets a chance to redeem himself by making the 2018 Winter Olympics team. Backes has skated for the U.S. in each of the last two Olympics.

“I hope (the World Cup isn't the last time I play for my country), but that’s out of my control,” said Backes. “If my services seem like I can help a team be successful, I’d love to put that jersey on and have a nice taste in my mouth for the last time I use it, or the next time I use it. But there are a lot of great players that are Americans, and the next GM, or whoever it is constructing the team, will have decisions to make. Whoever they pick, I hope [the team] goes and puts us back on top of the pedestal for whatever competition it is.”

Clearly the Bruins hope that as well, since it would be a clear indicator Backes is performing at an elite level a couple of seasons into his five-year, big-money contract with Boston.