Thomas among the absent at B's optional skate


Thomas among the absent at B's optional skate

By Joe Haggerty Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs

An optional skate for the Bruins on Saturday morning which meant that players like Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara werent full participants at the game day practice prior to tonights game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Shawn Thornton also enacted his veteran option to skip the morning skate. Thomas' absence is interesting when determining the goaltender for tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rask would seem ready to receive the starting call if it truly is a situation with two No. 1 goaltenders sharing time until one of them develops the hot hand, but it would also be logical to save Rask until the Monday afternoon game against the Colorado Avalanche.Perhaps sensing that the emotion of the last few days had taken a bit of a toll on the players, Julien gave some slack on the reigns prior to Saturday nights match against last years Eastern Conference rivals. The Bs coach seemed to intimate that an opponent like evil genius Guy Boucher and the Lightning should be able to get the Bruins playing their style of hockey after an aberrational opening night.

Its probably a good thing for us. We might as well face the kind of opponents that we think were going to be facing for most of the year, said Julien. Its a good way to get us focused on the game tonight.

Its about understanding how good we have to be and how hard we have to work. I dont mind that at all. Right now our team has to focus on the way were playing the game and not so much on the outcome. Theres a lot of focus on the outcome and winning game, or whether were going to struggle to win games. Our focus has to be more on how we want to play, and let that dictate whether we win or lose games.

One player that appears ready to go for tonights match against the Bolts is Adam McQuaid, who has sufficiently recovered from a virus that landed him in sick bed for a couple of days.
McQuaid took part in the optional skate, felt fine afterward and should be the most obvious change for the Bruins from their season opener to Saturday night. Tuukka Rask took part in the optional skate and it would appear that Thomas is going to get the starting nod against Saturday night with Rask perhaps ready to go on Monday afternoon against the Colorado Avalanche.

I feel pretty good and I feel a lot better than I did a couple of days ago, said McQuaid. They said it was a virus. Really bad headache and so exhausted I literally couldnt even get out of bed. No fun at all.

No Dwayne Roloson for Tampa Bay during a very limited morning skate for the Lightning, so it looks like Mathieu Garon will be getting the start between the pipes against the Bruins. Roloson backstopped the Bolts to their first win of the season last night over Carolina, so it should be interesting to watch Tampa Bay playing the second night of back-to-back games.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Former Bruins star Ray Bourque 'in unfamiliar territory'


Former Bruins star Ray Bourque 'in unfamiliar territory'

ANDOVER, Mass. — Former Boston Bruins star Ray Bourque, who's facing a drunken driving charge, says he accepts the responsibility of his actions.

Bourque was charged Friday night with operating under the influence of alcohol and following too closely. He posted bail and was released.

"For the first time in my life, I find myself in unfamiliar territory," Bourque said in a statement released Sunday. "I am not happy about the situation I put myself into."

Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe said the 55-year-old Bourque was arrested about 11:30 p.m. after his Mercedes-Benz rear-ended a minivan in a construction zone in the city. No injuries were reported.

Bourque is to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court. Police haven't provided a date.

According to The Boston Globe, Bourque currently owns Tresca, a restaurant on Boston's North End.

'Everything is on track' with Bruins prospect Zboril


'Everything is on track' with Bruins prospect Zboril

Little more than a year after he was drafted in the middle of the first round by the Boston Bruins, some are whispering that 19-year-old Jakub Zboril isn’t going to live up to advanced billing. Clearly the Czech defenseman took a step back for the Saint John Sea Dogs after being taken 13th by the Bruins in last year’s draft, and dropped to six goals and 20 points in 50 games in the QMJHL while watching second round pick Jeremy Lauzon pass him by on the prospect hype chart.

Perhaps the more concerning thing have been the whispers about an erratic work ethic and bad habits in Zboril’s game, a couple of criticisms that haven’t exactly gone away since the Bruins signed him to a contract last summer following development camp. Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley was asked about those concerns with the young D-man as he heads into an important training camp with Boston this fall, and didn’t seem all that concerned about his first round pick being a “bust.”

“I think his offensive production was down, and that he struggled a little bit coming out of the gate” said Bradley of Zboril, who had 13 goals and 33 points in 44 games during his first season in the Quebec Major Junior League prior to getting drafted by Boston. “But he had a strong playoff. Everybody forgets that he’s a gritty guy, and a strong player that moves the puck. The thing that stands out about him are that his numbers are down from last year.

“But everything is on track with him. He’s going to come to camp and hopefully shines, and has a good year this year…patience.

“I think it’s great if the second rounders are on par with him: the [Brandon] Carlos and the [Jeremy] Lauzons. If you look at the whole of our draft last year you can’t rule out the first eight picks that they might play [in the NHL]. We’re excited. Donnie and I were at the Memorial Cup, and Lauzon raised our eyebrows every night that he played. You’d come away with a good feeling like this kid plays hard, plays the Bruins style, moves the puck and is tough. Obviously [you had to like] what Carlo did when he was brought in [to Providence] at the end. It just bodes well for what we have coming this year. Zboril and Lauzon are probably going back to junior, but Carlo is going to get a long look.”

The young Czech D-man is still at a point where his stock can still shoot higher than it’s ever been with a good showing at training camp, and a strong season for the Sea Dogs entering into his professional hockey career. But he can’t afford to go through another down season, or that talk of him being a first round bust is only going to get louder and stronger.