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Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton Join Practice; Adam McQuaid Still Day-to-Day

Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 4:18 PM ET
By Caryn Switaj - BostonBruins.com / Bruins Blog
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Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton Join Practice; Adam McQuaid Still Day-to-Day

WILMINGTON, MA - The Bruins were back to work on Thursday morning at Ristuccia Arena, after two days off amidst a rare four days hiatus from game action.

There were also welcome additions to practice.

Chris Kelly, who has been skating for a few weeks now, joined the Bruins at practice for the first time since suffering a broken right fibula back on December 7 against Pittsburgh. He skated in the third line gray jersey, along with Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Ryan Spooner.

"He's going to make the trip," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien following the skate. The Bruins head to Philadelphia on Friday, in advance of their two-game road trip against the Flyers on Saturday and the New York Islanders on Monday.

"I don't know when he's going to be back. Hopefully, within the week," said Julien, of any timetable on his return. "He's been cleared to practice. Today wasn't full contact for him but I think he's going to progress hopefully quickly and we'll see where he is by that time."

As for where Kelly would slot back into the lineup, Julien stayed along the mantra of crossing that bridge when he comes to it.

"He's going to make the road trip with us. When is he going to play? When I'm told that he's been cleared, and then when that comes, we'll make that decision," he said.

The Bruins have had to fill the void of Kelly's absence on the ice, but there are many intangibles he brings off the ice that are irreplaceable.

When Julien was asked which aspect of Kelly's game he missed the most - leadership, work in all three zones, etc. - the bench boss opted for another response. "All of the above?" he suggested.

"I think when you look at his experience, faceoffs, good two-way player, reliable, and, you know, his leadership I think has been missed," said Julien. "But the other guys have stepped in and I think have done a pretty good job."

Along with Kelly, Dougie Hamilton rejoined the group for practice on Thursday, after missing four games in recovery from a concussion. He too had been skating apart from the team in his recovery.

As of Thursday, Julien deemed the defenseman a possibility for traveling with the team on their road trip to Philadelphia and New York.

"Possibly, since he's practicing with us but I don't know whether he'll be cleared to play," said Julien, of Hamilton's status. "Still very light contact right now, not allowed to have the heavy contact. He can go in there and kind of battle, but hasn't been cleared yet."

While Kelly and Hamilton have taken visible strides forward, Adam McQuaid's leg injury is harder to judge. The blueliner remains out "day-to-day."

"His injury is an injury that's really hard to assess," said Julien. "That's why I'm giving you that day-to-day thing, because nobody, even medical staff, has been able to pinpoint a time, so it's day-to-day. It depends how he heals and could be shorter, could be longer, we've just got to go about it on a day-to-day situation."

In December, the influx of injuries and players out of the lineup may have caught the Bruins off guard, in terms of quantity and timing.

But now, towards the end of January, with players like Kelly missing sustained time and Dennis Seidenberg out for the season, the Bruins (like every other NHL team) have learned to solider on.

It's hasn't been easy, but the Black & Gold picked up five out of six points in the most recent games against Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles by executing their "team game" and showcasing a better all-around defensive effort.

Kelly and Hamilton would be welcome additions to the lineup, no doubt, but the emphasis for the Bruins remains on building consistency, no matter who suits up for game action.

"[We're] slowly getting back to our regular lineup I guess and I think right now, our guys are really focused on our team as it is, and just going out there every game, competing," said Julien.

"And if those guys come back, it's great. And if not, then we've just got to keep doing the job we've been doing there in the last three games."

Practice Lineup

White Jerseys: Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla

Gold: Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Gray: Carl Soderberg - Ryan Spooner/Chris Kelly - Loui Eriksson

Merlot: Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton, Jordan Caron

Defense: Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Chad Johnson

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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