By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON The Bruins are fully healthy along their blueline for the first time this postseason as Bs coach Claude Julien declared young defenseman Steve Kampfer and Adam McQuaid ready for battle following a solid Thursday practice at TD Garden.With both of their top eight defenseman healthy and practicing again, both Matt Bartkowski and Colby Cohen werent present with the rest of the Bs skaters when they showed up for 11 a.m. practice Thursday.Kampfer has been out a month with a knee injury, but has been cleared for contact over the last several practices with good results. Hes doing well actually," said Julien of Kampfer, who played in just one NHL game after making a couple of key late mistakes in a March 17 loss to the Nashville Predators. "Hes been cleared to battle and everything else. But he is still continuing more on his conditioning right now than anything else. We are still cautious with that injury, but its gone far enough that he capable of handling some contact and some battles.Likewise McQuaid said he felt way better on Thursday after skating the last few practices while coming back from a sprained neck suffered in Game 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The rugged blueliner is looking like a go for Game 1 on Saturday night, and that would relegate Shane Hnidy to healthy scratch status after playing in the final two wins over the Flyers.Were pretty confident that McQuaid will be ready," Julien said. "We can make that decision on Saturday. But he is feeling better. Hes had some time obviously to heal. Hes in practice doing all the thing hes supposed to do.Unless there is a setback, I dont see any reason why he wouldnt be a possibility for Saturday.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are ever going to poop, or get off the pot.
*John Tortorella wants everybody to know that he thinks there isn’t a chance that Lebron James could play hockey.
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about whether or not Claude Julien should be fired after back-to-back bad losses against the Islanders and Red Wings.
*How did Shane Doan arrive at an unhappy place with the Arizona Coyotes where he now is open to moving elsewhere ahead of the trade deadline?
*Henrik Lundqvist’s season is entering a crisis level based on what he’s done, and the diminished performance level he’s showing as a more mature goaltender.
*A nice piece with a Canadian hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser, who recounts some of the legendary moments of her career through a series of pictures.
*I totally respect the work that Travis Yost does, but stating the Bruins should stick with Claude Julien because their shooting percentage is bound to turn around isn’t good enough grounds to keep a floundering situation intact, in my opinion. You need to check where the shots are coming from and how many of those shot attempts are completely missing the net to get a better grasp on some of the reasons behind Boston’s dreadful 10-year low shooting percentage. That would also explain some of the reason why Julien needs to be replaced coaching a team that’s largely content on perimeter shots to do it for them while also only sporadically showing the effort required from a middle class talent type of team.
*The Lightning are struggling at Joe Namath levels right now without Steve Stamkos in their lineup, and they need that to change.
*For something completely different: congrats to the Boston boys in New Edition for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.