BOSTON, MA - Loui Eriksson will be in the Bruins lineup tonight at TD Garden when he faces his former team, the Dallas Stars. It marks his first game back since suffering a concussion on the illegal hit to the head by John Scott in Buffalo on October 23.
Eriksson missed five games as a result. He's had a steady recovery, with no setbacks, after a couple of tough days immediately after the hit. On Monday, he passed the final testing that deems him cleared to play.
On the back end, the Bruins will likely see Johnny Boychuck return to game action. He stayed back in Boston when the B's traveled to Long Island to play the Islanders on Saturday night.
He's been recovering from what he labeled "back issues" after awkwardly crashing into the boards in the second period against Anaheim at TD Garden on October 31 (he left the game and did not return). When he had gotten up after the crash, there was a pain down his back, causing him to not put any pressure on his right foot.
BOSTON, MA - Loui Eriksson joined the Bruins on the ice again Monday morning, as he continues to make his way back from a concussion sustained nearly two weeks ago on October 23 in Buffalo.
If the starts align, and Eriksson becomes officially cleared for contact and game action, he could be facing his former team on Tuesday night at TD Garden.
After the seven-player trade between Boston and Dallas, this game will mark the first meeting of the new-look teams, with Eriksson and Reilly Smith facing off against their former squad, and Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley back in Boston on the other side.
"I’m more excited to maybe have the opportunity to see Loui back in our lineup," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told media following Monday's skate, when asked about Seguin coming back to town.
"That’s more where my thought is on tomorrow."
BostonBruins.com - Dougie Hamilton has been a Boston Bruin for barely a year.
Since arriving on January 12, 2013, the defenseman has played in just over 50 NHL games and helped the Black & Gold reach their second Stanley Cup Final in three years after being drafted ninth overall in 2011. The 20-year-old Toronto area native has had to mature quickly, but surrounded by veterans like Zdeno Chara, he has been eager to learn every step of the way.
Now in his second season, the 6-foot-5, 212-pound blueliner has eight goals (and 20 points) through his first 53 NHL games, with half of them coming on the power play, an area where he gets to utilize one of his best assets - his offensive intellect.
He came into the season fresh, after a year that had included a slate of close to 90 games with the Bruins, Ontario Hockey League's Niagara Ice Dogs and Team Canada. He was stronger and quicker, and put more emphasis on his stickhandling and skating.
UNIONDALE, NY - Saturday night on Long Island didn't not go the way the Bruins had planned.
The focus was a strong start, and finding a way to win, no matter what the B's faced from a New York Islanders team on their second leg of a back-to-back.
The result was a 3-1 loss, with the lone goal coming from Dougie Hamilton on the power play, and a locker room full of frustrated Bruins searching for answers.
Head Coach Claude Julien, none too pleased with the effort, pointed to the inconsistency in his team, which dropped to 8-5-0 on the season.
"I don’t know what you want to call it but I call it 'not good enough,'" Julien told reporters postgame from the Nassau Coliseum. "There’s no way in the world you should come in here and play the way you play. We’re not competing hard enough."
UNIONDALE, NY - The Bruins are set to face the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night, looking to improve to 9-4-0 on the season against an Isles team that comes in at 5-5-3.
When the puck drops, the B's will be without Johnny Boychuk on defense.
"Last minute decision on him not bringing him. He was better suited to stay back home and get some treatment there," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following the team's pregame skate.
Boychuk is still day-to-day after crashing into the boards early in the second period against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday and could play on Tuesday.
In the meantime, though, and against the Islanders, Matt Bartkowski will get into the lineup, having been a healthy scratch for the past eight games.
"He’s worked hard. He’s a guy – he’s been patient – and I think we all know that probably on any other team he’d be playing on a regular basis and then could basically be a top four," said Julien.
UNIONDALE, NY - When the Bruins traveled to Long Island to face off against the New York Islanders on Saturday night, defenseman Johnny Boychuk did not make the trip.
"Last minute decision on him not bringing him. He was better suited to stay back home and get some treatment there," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following the team's pregame skate Saturday morning at the Nassau Coliseum.
The good news is that Boychuk is still "day-to-day."
UNIONDALE, NY - It was a welcome sight Saturday morning, when Loui Eriksson joined the Bruins on the ice for their pregame skate at Nassau Coliseum before facing the New York Islanders.
After traveling with the B's to Long Island, it marked the first time that Eriksson skated with his teammates since suffering a concussion in the game against Buffalo on October 23, in which he left the third period after an illegal check to the head by Sabres forward John Scott.
On Friday, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had said that Eriksson had passed his exertion test, which cleared him to begin working out.
The winger did not take contact during the morning skate in New York. When the B's began battling drills, he worked on stickhandling between the bluelines, before Julien called him over to join in for a few circuits, though with a strict "don't hit Loui" rule.
WILMINGTON, MA - Johnny Boychuk left the second period of Thursday night's eventual 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim at TD Garden, and did not return to the game.
"He got hurt when he crashed into the boards and I think everybody saw that, so right now he wasn’t able to come back and from what my trainers have told me," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the game.
It's good news, though, that when the Bruins reported to Ristuccia Arena on Friday morning before jetting off to Long Island, that the Bruins' blueliner was at the rink.
According to Julien, the defenseman was "feeling better" and deemed "day-to-day." He was "more than likely" going to make the trip to Long Island on Friday afternoon, as the Bruins get set to face the New York Islanders in their third game in four nights.
The exact injury is unknown but Boychuk's final shift of the game ended 5:21 into the second period. He played just 2:01 in that frame before leaving the bench.
PITTSBURGH, PA - The Bruins knew the Penguins would have extra motivation when the puck dropped at CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday night, with the teams meeting for the first time since Boston's sweep in the Eastern Conference Final.
The game was never out of reach, even in the dying seconds, but the Black & Gold were uncharacteristically outmuscled and outbattled, en route to a 3-2 loss to mark the first time they have lost two straight this season. The B's record falls to 7-4-0.
"This is where as players and as a team you have to take responsibility," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, who didn't think his team's compete level was up to par for the full 60.
"You build your team around a certain identity and one of them is being big and strong on the boards and winning battles, but that wasn’t the case tonight."
"Give them credit, they were a determined team. For at least two periods, they were the better team when it came to that."
BostonBruins.com - Jarome Iginla has been around the league for a while.
Since 1996, the winger has been making his way through NHL cities, scoring 532 goals and 1,114 points in the process.
After 16 seasons, Iginla is known for his lethal shot that propelled him to 12 straight seasons of 30 or more goals. But he's also predominantly remembered for something that would be concerned an "intangible" amidst hockey conversation.
With Iginla and the Bruins in Pittsburgh to face off against the Penguins for the first time since the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night, his former teammates and coach - albeit for only a brief stint - gave their thoughts on what it was like to have the future Hall of Famer around.
"That would be it, being a consummate professional and all-around pro," said Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma, on what he took away from the experience.
"There's that, and his shot, were the two things that left a mark on me."