The Boston Bruins have headed up to the Canadian province of Manitoba to get ready for tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. While the B’s get ready to get back on track after their disappointing loss to new divisional arch nemesis Buffalo, Milan Lucic will not be among them. While Lucic did go the Winnipeg, he had to return to Boston shortly thereafter. When asked about the sudden return Coach Claude Julien addressed the issue briefly.
“It’s personal reasons. He’s gone back to Boston. So it’s those things that seem to happen every once in a while. We’re all humans here, so there’s personal reasons that happen, so he’s just gone back to Boston.” The last time a player left for personal reasons was Adam McQuaid following a death in the family. Everyone here at Causeway Crowd hopes that the matter is not too serious, and we’ll have Lucic back in the line up soon.
With Milan Lucic temporarily out of the line up, Coach Julien modified the lines to make up for this deficiency. Rich Peverley, who has been playing some impressive two way hockey as of late has been given the temporary bump up to the first line. His pairing with Nathan Horton and David Krejci should provide a new perspective and quite possibly open a few more scoring chances. The third line has Daniel Paille moving up to join Chris Kelly and Chris Bourque. Daniel Paille responded well the last time he was in the third line and this also looks very good for the Bruins. Replacing Paille is BU alumnus and long time veteran Jay Pandolfo. Pandolfo joins Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton on the Merlot Line. They will benefit from Pandolfo’s career experience, and a certain extra level of physicality.
The Bruins (8-2-2) are currently in second place in the Northeast Division, a single point behind the Montreal Canadiens. Winnipeg (5-7-1) are tied at the bottom of the Southeast Division with Washington Capitals. After Friday night’s third period collapse, no outcome is certain. However, the intensity of the practice Coach Julien put the team through tells this writer that he is pushing hard to correct deficiencies. The Bruins should be ready to get themselves their first victory in their five game road trip.