McQuaid, Kampfer 'ready for the battle'


McQuaid, Kampfer 'ready for the battle'

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 Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind


Saturday, Oct. 1: Vesey's New York state of mind

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while gearing up for Big Papi weekend.

*A “behind-the-scenes” look as Jimmy Vesey was sold on the New York Rangers, but there’s not too much detail about the pitches from the other teams. Feels pretty apparent at this point that Vesey wanted to live, and work, in New York City.

*Damien Cox says that the World Cup of Hockey better get it right the next time, or else…or else what, Damien? You’re going to block them on Twitter?

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban making their preseason debuts on Saturday. David Backes and David Pastrnak will play their first preseason games for the Bruins as well.  

*It’s a complicated, strange story with Vladimir Sobotka, the KHL and the contract he seemingly can’t get out of to again play for the St. Louis Blues.

*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is ready to get back to work with the Arizona Coyotes after his World Cup experience.

*San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier is out for the next month with mono, which is definitely worse timing than Zach Senyshyn getting hit with the mononucleosis bomb over the summer.

*A quick look at the Philadelphia Flyers in advance of their preseason meeting with the Black and Gold tonight, which won’t be televised.

*For something completely different: there will be some pretty funky stuff happening on The Walking Dead this season.



Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

Claude Julien on David Ortiz: 'Finishing in style, you don't see that very often'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It hasn’t been difficult to spot Claude Julien randomly at Fenway Park on a nice summer night in Boston over the past ten years. The Bruins coach doesn’t hide his affection for the Old Towne Team. 

So, Julien didn’t waste much time before sharing his thoughts on the final season for David Ortiz and the celebration of his Hall of Fame-worthy career that’s going on at the Fens this weekend.

It might have been a chore when the rest of the Team Canada coaching staff was watching the Toronto Blue Jackets during the World Cup of Hockey, but Julien never strayed too far away from his Red Stockings.

“He’s finishing in style, and you don’t see that very often,” said Claude Julien of Big Papi, who was sitting with numbers of .316 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI that border on the ridiculous at 40 years old. 

“A lot of times when people retire the game has caught up to them big time. Not him. He doesn’t seem to have missed a beat here. I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled this year, and what he’s done. If I’m correct he just hit the home run last night for the game-winner.

“But as you know I was in Blue Jays land for about two weeks, so I had to keep a low profile. They were watching the Blue Jays and I’m Canadian too...but I was watching the Red Sox. So, it was healthy competition for our [World Cup] coaching staff.”

The most intriguing part about all is that the best is still yet to come for Ortiz in his farewell tour as he gets one more chance to clutch up in the postseason. It'll give Julien more to marvel at over the next few weeks while showing again why Big Papi will go down as the greatest clutch hitter in the history of Major League Baseball.