GLENDALE — When the Bruins end their two game road trip on Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes, Brad Marchand could make his return to the lineup.
The forward shed the green no-contact jersey on Friday for practice at Gila River Arena.
He suited up in his usual gold jersey, taking contact and taking reps with linemates Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson. Brett Connolly, who has been filling in for Marchand while the winger works his way back from a concussion sustained on Oct. 10 against Montreal, also practiced in a gold jersey.
Marchand has missed two games while recovering from the concussion — Oct. 12 against Tampa Bay and Oct. 14 against Colorado.
“It was good to get out there and be in full practice with the guys,” said Marchand.
“I have to be cleared, so I’m still trying to figure that out, so we’re just taking it step by step and right now it’s just kind of day to day.”
While the Bruins were able to pick up their first win of the season on Wednesday with a 6-2 victory over Colorado, they will always welcome a healthy Marchand back to the lineup.
DENVER — When the final buzzer sounded at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night, the Bruins had their first win of the 2015-16 season: a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Tyler Randell’s first NHL goal in his first NHL game stood as the game-winner. He became the first Bruin to score in his first game since 2008.
Jimmy Hayes set a career high with four points in a single game, thanks to his first goal as a Bruin and three assists.
Kevan Miller, Chris Kelly and Ryan Spooner joined Randell and Hayes as scorers, all netting their first goals of the season. Zdeno Chara picked up his first two assists (and points) of the season. Colin Miller notched his first NHL/Bruins assist and point. Adam McQuaid and Brett Connolly notched their first points of the season with an assist apiece.
Jonas Gustavsson made his Bruins debut between the pipes, making 20 saves on 22 shots. He had to be solid, especially early on when Boston had to kill a penalty just 31 seconds into the game.
David Krejci sealed the 60-minute effort with an empty-netter.
“I think the focus and the determination of our group was really good,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame from the Pepsi Center. “We were giving up too many goals and that we had to [re-establish] the part of our game without the puck.”
DENVER — The Bruins’ matchup with the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night could feature a pair of NHL debuts, with defenseman Tommy Cross and forward Tyler Randell getting into their first action with Boston.
Cross was recalled from the Providence Bruins on Tuesday, in light of blueliner Joe Morrow battling the flu. Morrow was place on Injured Reserve Tuesday and did not travel with the team.
Boston was left with two left shot defensemen in Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug, prompting Cross’ first NHL recall. The 26-year-old left shot has suited up in 155 AHL games with Providence since making his pro debut in 2012 following his senior season at Boston College.
During Wednesday morning’s pregame skate at the Pepsi Center in Denver, right shots Colin Miller and Zach Trotman rotated sides, both getting reps on their off sides, but it appears that Cross will get the nod with Trotman sitting out.
“There’s a good chance, yeah,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said, when asked if Cross would be making his debut. “I think right now, I told him to be ready for tonight. Unless something happens where I change my mind, there’s probably a good chance you’ll see him tonight.”
WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand practiced with the team on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena for the first time since sustaining a concussion. He was set to travel with the team on their two game road trip against the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes.
Marchand skated on his own prior to practice and then joined the group for the full skate, taking no contact. The forward suffered the concussion late in the third period of Saturday’s game against Montreal (Oct. 10), when he took an inadvertent elbow to the head.
“I feel pretty good. Now it’s just about trying to get back as fast as I can,” said Marchand, who wore a green no-contact jersey during the skate.
He’ll return as quickly as he can, while following the League’s concussion protocol.
“It’s early in the year and I’m not going to rush back because of the results now — I’d rather miss another game or two, than miss potentially a couple of months if I get hit again,” said Marchand, who is happy with how he’s been feeling and didn’t experience any symptoms following the collision.
WILMINGTON — Brad Marchand is out with a concussion, according to Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien.
Julien updated reporters on the forward’s status following Sunday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.
“March suffered a concussion,” said Julien. “We’re going about it with the League’s protocol with concussions and his return will be dictated by how quickly he recovers…so we have no timetable for him.”
Marchand appeared to receive an inadvertent elbow to the head from Montreal’s Dale Weise with 5:24 left in the third period of Saturday night’s game against the Canadiens at TD Garden. Weise was trying to corral a pass up the boards in the Bruins’ zone as Marchand skated in from the blueline and leaned in to hit Weise.
Marchand slowly got himself to his feet 10 seconds later and needed helping from Colin Miller getting onto the bench. He was helped down the tunnel by Bruins physical therapist Scott Waugh. Play continued on the ice for another two minutes.
BOSTON — Thursday night’s season opener at TD Garden didn’t play out like the Bruins wanted it to.
It started like they wanted it to, with high energy, plenty of chances, a strong power play and David Krejci putting them up 1-0 over the Winnipeg Jets just 5:36 in.
It ended with a 6-2 loss in Game No. 1, a result of defensive breakdowns and poor decision making.
Krejci’s emphatic fist pump following the first goal of 2015-16 felt like a precursor of how the game would ensue. His pace controlled the opening frame. The Bruins asserted themselves, forechecked hard and caused turnovers like the one that led to Krejci’s tally, courtesy of David Pastrnak’s work along the boards. They outshot the Jets 14-6.
The rest of the game, however, did not trend in that direction.
“It would’ve been nice to come out of there with a better lead than we did after the first,” Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame from TD Garden. “With the type of opportunities that we had, it should’ve been a two- or three-goal period, but we misfired or missed those opportunities and allowed them to stay in the game.”
BOSTON — The time is winding down until puck drop on the Bruins’ 2015-16 season.
Are you ready? The Bruins are.
In the hours leading up to their matchup with the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden at 7:00 p.m., the players were impatiently awaiting Game No. 1 of the journey.
“It’s the best,” David Krejci smiled following the B’s pregame skate on Thursday morning. “Opening night, it’s the best. Looking forward to it, looking forward also for the fans, to feed off their energy, it’s going to be awesome — it’s going to be a fun night.”
“Really excited,” said Patrice Bergeron. “Every year — it doesn’t get old, to start the season, especially at home in front of our fans.”
The atmosphere around the team has been optimistic since the first day of training camp. With three weeks of preseason action in the past, it’s finally time for the Black & Gold to display its pride on the ice.
“Everybody’s excited,” said Head Coach Claude Julien. “When you go through training camp and play those preseason games and finally at the end of the preseason, you still you’re still here and you’ve got an opportunity to play for this organization, I think it’s great for the players, it’s great for us as coaches to get the season started.”
BOSTON — Captain Zdeno Chara will not be in the Bruins’ opening night lineup on Thursday, when they host the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden at 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
“He’s out,” Head Coach Claude Julien confirmed following Boston’s morning skate.
All signs are still positive, though, in Chara’s recovery from an upper-body sustained during the preseason on Sept. 24.
“It’s getting better every day,” said Julien. “It is. There’s no doubt today [Thursday] he felt better than yesterday [Wednesday], so we’re hoping that it’s going to be sooner than later and that could be next game for all we know.”
Boston will next host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. But first, the Jets are on tap for Thursday’s opener, and the Bruins will make do without their Captain.
BOSTON — From the start of training camp, the Bruins made it clear that their team would be a hard working one.
“That’s what kind of team we’ve got, we’ve got a hard working team, trying to play physical, in-your-face style of hockey, that’s going to be a trademark of our squad this year,” Jimmy Hayes said Wednesday from TD Garden, on the eve of the Bruins’ home opener.
“As you see in preseason, the team’s a close-knit group that’s come together pretty quickly.”
As the team held their final full practice on Wednesday before Thursday night’s season opener at TD Garden against Winnipeg, every Bruin was impatiently awaiting the drop of the puck on 2015-16.
“That first shift [Thursday] night, it’s going to be a whole nother level from preseason,” said Matt Beleskey, who can hardly be considered a new face anymore, having been inbred with his teammates now for a month and a half. “So I’m excited for that, [let’s] get back to NHL hockey.”
BOSTON — The Bruins were back to work on Sunday morning for practice at TD Garden after a day off on Saturday.
The B’s wrapped up their preseason on Friday night in Washington D.C. against the Capitals. The 2-1 shootout loss put them at 4-3-1 through their seven exhibition games.
The real season begins this Thursday, Oct. 8 when the Bruins host Winnipeg. They’ll get another day off on Monday, before convening for two more practices in advance of the opener.
“I think it’s a luxury to have this situation because again, we’re able to work on our game and after the last game in Washington, it was pretty obvious to us watching our team that there’s some parts of our game that need some work,” Head Coach Claude Julien said Sunday from TD Garden. “And that’s what we’ve got the opportunity to do this week before the opener, is to work on those parts of our game that’s going to make us better.”