It’s always nice to have something to believe in. If we can get people’s minds off what happened even for a few hours and basically play for our city… And that’s what we have to do.
BOSTON, MA - A nice sight this morning to see Brad Marchand back skating with the team during morning skate at TD Garden for the first time since April 10, when he sustained a “mild concussion” in New Jersey. The B’s held a pregame skate prior to facing off against the Senators tonight in their fifth and final meeting on the season.
Though the forward is not yet taking contact, that will be the next step in his recovery, as he has been skating and “feeling good.”
“I feel pretty good. Today is my first team practice, and I felt pretty good out there,” said Marchand post-skate. “I’m not really sure when I can be back. I’m still going to talk to the trainers after the practice here today and kind of see where we’re at, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
“I skated yesterday and I felt pretty good, and then today. I haven’t really been off that long, so I mean it’s, my hands and everything have still got it, but I felt pretty good, so again hopefully I’ll continue to get better.”
Patrice Bergeron joined in line rushes for the first time today, centering Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic. He remains a possibility for tonight’s lineup, as the center, coaches and B’s training staff will all be exercising caution with his insertion back into game action. Bergeron has missed six games since he first sustained a moderate concussion back on April 2, the last time the B’s faced Ottawa.
As on Saturday morning in Carolina, when Patrice spoke to media for the first time, he said this morning he was “feeling good” and felt close to a return, but was going to leave it up to Coach and the doctors to determine if he would be back or not.
“I obviously want to get back out there. I feel good. I feel confident,” said Bergeron. “I don’t feel cautious. We’re taking our time and there’s a reason for that, so that I’m not hesitant and I feel good.”
“The doctors and the trainers have always done a great job with me and all the other guys as well,” he added.
“It’s one of things it’s always hard to go through. I’ve had enough of it,” said Bergeron, on the frustration of being out. “It’s one of those things where at the same time, they said I was optimistic because of the way that I felt, and the Bruins did a good job of making sure I was taking the time to heal properly.”
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off at morning skate, after goaltending coach Bob Essensa worked with both netminders for a while during the practice. As for the Senators, the B’s should expect to see Craig Anderson between the pipes for the first time this season against Boston, as he’s been back from since injury and most recently, put up a 33-save shutout performance on Friday in a 2-0 win over New Jersey.
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton, after being a healthy scratch the past two games to get rest and get a different perspective of the game from up top, will be back in the lineup tonight. Coach Julien said that with nine healthy defenseman, he plans to “rotate some players in and out here” heading down the final seven-game stretch. Andrew Ference will be the healthy scratch tonight.
Following the rest, Hamilton said, “I feel refreshed and eager to play.”
“Just to be able to sit up there and learn and watch with Jarvy [Coach Jarvis], it was good. So just a different perspective, and obviously, it’s a lot more fun playing and being in the room and I guess being part of the team, but it was good for me.”
Projected Boston Lineup
-Caryn Switaj ^CS