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Pregame vs Colorado: Soderberg Joins in Skate but Not Ready for Games, B's Looking Sharp for Avs

Thursday, 10.10.2013 / 3:22 PM ET
By Caryn Switaj - / Bruins Blog
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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."

Soderberg Back Skating with Team

As we've been following along with Carl Soderberg's recovery from his ankle injury, the forward got to join his teammates on the ice for the first time Thursday morning.

He's been skating on his own (well, with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides) since Monday.

"I think it’s a start," said Julien. "It was good to see him out there and doing at least some line rushes. So he’s progressing well but obviously not ready to play."

"Some guys, they can practice with you, how much contact they can take is another thing and our trainers will kind of give us a heads up on that tomorrow [Friday] morning."

Campbell Hasn't Missed a Beat

Two games into the season, and it's as if both Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell have easily slid back into game action. Not surprising, considered their high standards and dedication to their respective recoveries.

"He’s been fine, haven’t seen a difference in him as far as his game is concerned," said Julien of Campbell in the first two games. "He’s fully healed and whether he still feels something or not, he’s 100 percent ready to go."

Avalanche Outlook

The Bruins haven't faced Colorado since October 10, 2011 when the Avs handed them a 1-0 loss at TD Garden. In fact, the B's are winless in their last seven meetings against Colorado at home, with their last victory coming over the Avalanche in a 4-1 win on March 30, 1998.

That doesn't mean much other than getting to change the stats tide, but still, it's notable.

Since the 2011 meeting, Colorado has a fairly different dynamic. Core players like Captain Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly, Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson, along with both Avs' goalies, were in Boston for that showing, and are have all taken on more leadership roles with the team.

"I say ‘young’ but a lot of them aren’t that young in terms of experience. They’ve been in the league a long time and you look at their captain – I think he’s the youngest captain in NHL history," said Bruins center Chris Kelly pregame, on the Avs.

"So obviously he’s got a lot of leadership qualities and you see how those guys have come into the league and blossomed to turn into really good players."

"They have some good leadership roles – veteran guys on that team that help those guys. So you need to know when certain guys are on the ice."

"What I see is there’s a lot of young players that are starting to come into their own," added Julien. "Tremendous speed up front; they will challenge you with their speed. And then with the experience and the skill level, they’re making plays."

Through three games, the Avs have outscored their opponents 11-3, with three of those goals coming from PA Parenteau and two from Jamie McGinn, both players on Colorado's third line centered by the highly-touted Nathan MacKinnon, selected first overall in the 2013 draft. He has four assists in his first three NHL games.

"We know that they have a lot of skilled forwards and that if you give them their time and space they’re going to capitalize so we need to do a good job at eliminating that," said Kelly.

And with a new head coach like Patrick Roy behind the bench, Colorado has made changes to their system, like a real aggressive forecheck.

That puts an even greater emphasis on the Bruins' support and transition game.

"I think you need to be available for one another and help each other out, work as five-men units out there. When a team comes hard at you on the forecheck, you want to make the simple plays and the close short passes, opposed to trying to stretch it out and leave guys vulnerable in certain spots."

Goalie Match-Up

Expect tonight's goalie duel to be Tuukka Rask vs. Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Rask has only played Colorado twice in his career, both losses. Giguere is 2-2-1 all-time against Boston.

Projected Boston Lineup

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron-Chris Kelly-Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Chad Johnson

*Matt Bartkowski looks to be the healthy scratch tonight.

Projected Colorado Lineup

Gabriel Landeskog-Paul Stastny-Alex Tanguay
Ryan O'Reilly-Matt Duchene-Steve Downie
Jamie McGinn-Nathan MacKinnon-PA Parenteau
Cody McLeod-John Mitchell-Patrick Bordeleau

Jan Hejda-Erik Johnson
Cory Sarich-Andre Benoit
Tyson Barrie-Nate Guenin

Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Semyon Varlamov
O.R.G. Packaging




1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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