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.

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 

 

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.