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.
COLUMBUS, OH - Loui Eriksson may not admit it, but he was likely feeling pressure to get on the board as a Bruin.
He only had to wait four games, netting his first in the spoked-B on Saturday, the game-winner in a 3-1 matinee victory over the Blue Jackets in Columbus at Nationwide Arena. Boston improved to 3-1-0 on the season.
Chris Kelly netted the game-tying goal and Milan Lucic added an empty-netter, both their second goals on the season.
Eriksson's winner came just 49 seconds into the third period, with the game knotted at 1-1. After Reilly Smith tipped in a neutral zone chip-in from Johnny Boychuk, Patrice Bergeron pounced on the puck down the left side and quickly fed it through the crease to the Eriksson, who whacked in an off-angle backhander.
WILMINGTON, MA - For the first time amidst the regular season, every Bruin was on the ice for practice Friday morning at Ristuccia Arena, including Carl Soderberg.
Though, he was in a black jersey unlike his fellow forwards, as all four of the B's lines from their first three games stayed intact.
It marked Soderberg's first time skating with the team since injuring his ankle in Saskatoon on September 27. He had been working out on the ice with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides since Monday.
Head Coach Claude Julien said Thursday prior to the match-up with Colorado that joining the team was a start, and he was progressing well, but that contact was the next parameter before he could be considered game ready. Clearance from the medical staff will also need to come first.
"It’s getting better. But I’m not 100 percent yet, so hopefully I’m good soon," Soderberg said following practice.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins knew what they were facing.
On Thursday night at TD Garden, they were facing off against a fast, young, passionate Colorado Avalanche team rolling into the season on a 3-0-0 start with a fiery new head coach in Patrick Roy behind the bench.
They knew the game plan against Colorado, but didn't end up on the winning side, falling 2-0 in Game No. 3 of 2013-14. The B's now have a 2-1-0 record.
"We weren't surprised at what they were bringing. You know, the coaching staff told us what they were going to do and they came out and they did what they wanted to do, and they executed," said defenseman Torey Krug, who sent four of the Bruins' 39 shots on Avs netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
And that was the consensus throughout the room - and from Head Coach Claude Julien - following their first loss of the season.
"I think they did exactly what we talked about doing before the game," said alternate captain Patrice Bergeron. "They were moving their feet and they were first on the pucks in the first period and we were slow getting there. We gave them some life, I think, and they played a good game from the get go."
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins held an optional pregame skate on Thursday morning at TD Garden prior to facing off against the Colorado Avalanche.
It came after three straight days of practices, so Milan Lucic and David Krejci opted to stay off the ice, as did Head Coach Claude Julien, a normal occurrence for optional skates run by the assistant coaches.
Why an optional? Because, frankly, the Bruins are ready for puck drop.
"Our guys have had a lot of jump and they’ve been sharp," said Julien. "For some guys, they don’t feel the need to go on. They’ve heard me say that often – those morning skates can be put aside…and it’s hard to get that out of their heads, that they need to skate in the morning; for them they’ll tell you they feel better. So I think with time, you’ll see less and less of that."