TAMPA BAY, FL - After missing all of the Bruins' first six games of the season, it appears that Carl Soderberg may get his opportunity in the lineup on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Following practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday afternoon, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said that Soderberg has been cleared to play.
Friday marked his third straight day taking full contact with the team. He's been out of game action since suffering an ankle injury in the B's final preseason game on September 27 in Saskatoon.
"Carl is ready to go," Julien said following practice. "He’s been cleared so there’s a possibility there."
"I know it’s kind of a question if we feel that he’s going to be in tomorrow; there’s a good chance he will be. He’s been cleared so now it’s up to me to make that decision."
SUNRISE, FL - The end result earned the Bruins two points on Thursday night in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers and former Boston goaltender Tim Thomas.
Reilly Smith added the late finish with just 58.7 on the clock, after a quick 2-0 start for the B's in the first period, thanks to Daniel Paille beating Thomas short side off a defense to offense rush, and Dougie Hamilton firing in his first goal of the season on the power play.
"We stressed that before the game," said Smith. "Just getting the first goal because that hasn’t happened the last couple of games. So it was big, it definitely gave us a little boost and energy to start."
His goal came against the Panthers' top line of 2013 Calder Cup winner Jonathan Huberdeau, Scott Gomez and Kris Versteeg.
SUNRISE, FL - Boston had a quick start, and a swift finish, as Reilly Smith scored his first as a Bruin with just 58.7 seconds left in the third period to lift the Black & Gold to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on Thursday night.
After a Patrice Bergeron faceoff win, Johnny Boychuk kept the puck in the zone, sending it along the blueline to Torey Krug at the right point who fired it in deep. Smith first tried to set up Bergeron in front, before making his way around Tim Thomas' net and backhanding in a loose puck that trickled in.
"Yeah it got close at the end there; we didn’t want that [comeback] happen. It’s a great feeling being able to score and help the team out and get the win," Smith said postgame, of his first in the spoked-B.
"And then we started maybe letting up a bit and probably got away from our game as well and started getting a little cute and gave them an opportunity to get back into the game," said Head Coach Claude Julien.
SUNRISE, FL - The Bruins will be facing off against the Florida Panthers and former Boston goaltender Tim Thomas tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET at the BB&T Center. That is, in case you hadn't heard.
When the B's held their pregame skate this morning, Tuukka Rask was first off the ice, indicating he'll likely be the starter tonight for the Black & Gold.
The Thomas vs. Rask and the Bruins match-up may be sending the hockey world - and New England - abuzz, but what's really at stake for the Bruins against this Atlantic Division squad, is the two points.
"We still have a game to play, we still have a game to win. So we did turn the page on that," said Head Coach Claude Julien following morning skate. "And today, we move on."
With Coach keeping his focus, those in the spoked-B - who are 3-2-0 on the season and lost their last game, 3-2, to Detroit on Monday - are keeping that mindset as well.
SUNRISE, FL - With the Bruins preparing to face off against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, it appears that Tim Thomas will be between the pipes.
The Panthers announced via their Twitter feed on Wednesday, just as the B's finished up practice at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, that the former B's goaltender "will play against his previous club" on Thursday.
Thomas had been out with a groin injury since October 8 against Philadelphia and did not make a recent road trip with the Panthers to Nashville, but his progress appears to be on track for him to play tomorrow night.
Though confirmation from Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien on his starting goaltender won't come until after morning skate on Thursday, we can expect to see Tuukka Rask starting in goal, making what years ago would have been an unlikely reunion at opposing ends all but inevitable.
SUNRISE, FL - The Bruins traveled to Florida Wednesday morning for a two-game road trip against the Panthers on Thursday night and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
It marked his first full contact practice since injuring his ankle on September 27 in the third period of the Bruins' final preseason game in Saskatoon. The pain and swelling around his ankle is gone.
Following the skate, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said that Soderberg was probably a game or two away from being available for game action.
"I think we're getting close to that," said Julien, who would like to try and get him back in the lineup when it gets to that point.
"I think it's important that we get players in. He had a really good camp and it's unfortunate he got hurt then. When the time comes, I'm going to have to make that decision. And if I can't take anybody out, I can't but I certainly would like to get him in there if I could."
BostonBruins.com - You'll often hear Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien say phrases like "Tuukka's been Tuukka" and "Bergy was Bergy" to gathered reporters, like he did amidst the start to the season, with Tuukka Rask being his sharp self and Patrice Bergeron appearing to have not missed a beat.
The remarks come because of the expectations placed on those in the Black & Gold, knowing what defines these B's personalities and how that translates onto the ice.
And right now, Coach is likely looking forward to the next postgame press conference when he can say "that's the Brad Marchand the we know."
"Brad competed harder tonight and seemed to be a little bit better for me," Julien told the press, following the Bruins' 3-2 loss to Detroit on October 14, which marked Marchand's second straight game playing on the third line with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.
Marchand fired four shots on goal, including two right at the start, and was pegged to fill in for Milan Lucic for a shift late in the game when the left winger's skate needed a repair.
And when it's on, it's on.
So, right now, the inches separating the right winger from his first goal as a Bruin feel more like feet.
"I had some great looks tonight, I’ve had great looks for a few games," Iginla said following the Bruins' 3-2 loss to Detroit on Monday afternoon. He's recorded 19 shots on goal through his first five games in the spoked-B. He has one assist, but no G's on the stat sheet. Against the Wings, he fired 11 attempts.
None more lethal than when he readied for the one-timer from the left circle.
During a 5-on-3 just five minutes into the third period, with the Bruins trailing 3-1 and maintaining possession in the offensive zone, Iginla was at the ready.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins had all watched the comebacks from their Boston sports counterparts the Patriots and Red Sox on Sunday.
"Obviously we have a lot to live up to," Milan Lucic said before facing off against the Detroit Red Wings in a matinee at TD Garden on Monday.
oston set themselves for their own rally, falling down 3-1 in the second period. Lucic, in Game 7 against Toronto fashion, made a late bid, powering in the 100th goal of his NHL career to bring the B's within one with 1:20 to go in regulation.
But the bid fell short, as the Black & Gold fell to the Wings, 3-2. Loui Eriksson had the other Bruins goal, his second in as many games.
"Yeah, we would have liked to be that; definitely had an opportunity," said Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the locker room postgame. "In the third period we got some emotion, we got some power plays, we were really just shooting the puck and pushing them, and that’s our game."
"And, you know, it almost paid off, but not quite."
BostonBruins.com - Chris Kelly has two goals in four games to start off the 2013-14 season.
"Yeah, better than last year," the dry humored centerman remarked to reporters following the Bruins' 3-1 win over Columbus on Saturday, in which he scored the equalizer that set his team up for three straight unanswered goals.
"Last year wasn’t the best year. But every year is a new year and you want to come in and play to your capabilities and you try to learn from previous years and move on," Kelly said of his clean slate.
Last season may not have been his best showing; but the way he ended the year certainly was.
After not getting his first playoff point of 2013 until Game 2 of the Final, he then put up two goals and an assist in the series, anchoring the B's best line.