Seguin sits for the Bruins in Game One


Seguin sits for the Bruins in Game One

By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON The Bruins have completely fortified their walls for the invading Habs now that their series finally gets going Thursday night at TD Garden, and the Boston lineup has taken full shape. While Chris Kelly was among a scarce number of Bs regulars getting some last loops around the ice during a sparsely-attended optional skate before Game 1 opens up the 33rd matchup between the Big Bad Bruins and the High Flying Canadiens, the rest of the Bruins were getting their playoff minds right.Our emotions have nothing to do with, to me, with the physical part of the game, Claude Julien said. We need to play within the rules no matter what. And I dont know if its emotion more than its discipline, and its about focus. So theres no doubt, theres two teams that are here today that are very excited about starting these playoffs, and were one of those teams.Rookie wunderkind Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch as expected, and Claude Julien said the Bruins have decided on the 20 players theyll be going with for tonights Game 1 statement. The team will make adjustments accordingly. Shane Hnidy and Matt Bartkowski will be the healthy scratches for the Bruins on defense with Steve Kampfer working his way back from a knee injury suffered last weekend.
The scratch isnt such a bad thing for the 19-year-old Seguin to sit and watch the playoff-level of intensity to start things off, but theres a very good chance theyll need him on the power play before its all said and done in these Stanley Cup playoffs.Theres no logic here, Julien said. I think its just weve got twenty guys in our line-up tonight that we feel is the line-up we want to go with. Concord, Mass. native, Boston Bruins and Providence College alum Hal Gill is a key statue-like figure for the Montreal Canadiens given his defensive shutdown capabilities and his 6-foot-7 size at defenseman. His size, strength and courageous willingness to block shots means Gill will get the call time after time against the Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton line.Gill admitted the Bs first line had a little bit of everything with size, speed and scoring ability, but said the Habs focus will be on simply executing the speed transition game plan rather than exacting revenge or taking numbers.We need to start off winning a game," Gill said. "Thats what were focusing on. Its not about revenge or anything else other than focusing on the task at hand. I dont think you can look at any of the CharaPacioretty stuff and carry it around with you. We need to simply rely on the fact that we can move a level up in the playoffs. Tim Thomas wasnt on the ice for the Bs optional skate, but is expected to get the call from now until their final postseason game this spring.Marc Savard is still resting and recuperating from a concussion suffered back in January against the Colorado Avalanche, and Julien said he hasnt really made any marked improvement since initially suffering his fourth head injury.Ive kept in contact with Savvy every week or so," Julien said. "We communicate, and things havent changed in his case, and its unfortunate for him, Im sure hes going to be sitting at home and watching these games and wishing he could be part of it because as a player that part of you will never leave. This it the most exciting time of the year, and I know he loved the times that he was in the playoffs. And he was obviously a pretty important part of the success of our hockey club. So will we miss his play? Absolutely. You dont lose an elite player like him and not feel it. Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri definitely busted out an outlier amid his remarks while discussing the Habs 7-0 loss to the Bruins the last time the team came to TD Garden to play, and must have done well on the SAT verbal portion of the test.We didnt get any revenge," Cammalleri said. "We didnt show up. Those ones are easy to put out of your mind and completely bury. It was an outlier and we treated it like that.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

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.