April 11, 2012

Boychuk likely to suit up for Bruins' playoff opener

By Jesse Connolly

WILMINGTON – With just one day to go until they open the 2012 playoffs, many are still wondering who’s in and who’s for the Boston Bruins in Game 1 against the Capitals. The answer became a bit clearer following Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. 

Johnny Boychuk dished out 145 hits for the Bruins this season. (Getty)

For the third-straight day, defenseman Johnny Boychuk and Tuukka Rask fully participated in practice. Also for the third-straight day, there was no sign of d-man Adam McQuaid.

Boychuk, who suffered a mild knee sprain against the Penguins on April 3, seems likely to suit up on Thursday night.

“I think you keep seeing Johnny and Tuukka out there and they’re doing much better,” coach Claude Julien said. “Obviously, with Johnny we have an opportunity maybe to make a decision tomorrow and again, specifying the opportunity, not 100 percent but he’s feeling fairly good so we’ll want to remain optimistic with him.”

The coach didn’t sound confident that Rask would be ready to serve as Thomas’ backup in the series opener.

“If there is, I haven’t been told,” Julien said when asked if there’ll be a decision to be made similar to the one on Boychuk. “And unless somebody tells me something today or tomorrow morning, I guess I don’t anticipate having him in the lineup.”

McQuaid, meanwhile, is definitely a no-go.

“Same thing with McQuaid,” said Julien during his obligatory injury update. “He didn’t skate again today so he’s not going to be part of our lineup tomorrow.”

Sans McQuaid, it seems highly probable – based on practice workloads in the last three days – that Joe Corvo will take his spot and partner up with Greg Zanon on the bottom pairing.