Howdy from TD Garden, where the Bruins and Avalanche meet tonight in an early-season clash of unbeaten teams. The B's, off since Saturday's 4-1 victory over Detroit, are 2-0-0. The Avs started a 3-game road trip on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win at Toronto.
Game time is 7 p.m. Locally, it's on NESN and WBZ-FM 98.5
Notes from morning skates:
- Coach Claude Julien made the Bruins' skate optional. Linemates Milan Lucic and David Krejci took the opportunity to stay off skates.
- All 7 defensemen and both goalies participated, with Tuukka Rask leaving the ice first. Rask is expected to make his third straight start in goal.
- Defenseman Matt Bartkowski stayed on the ice late with backup goalie Chad Johnson, meaning Bartkowski probably won't dress for the third game in a row.
- Forward Carl Soderberg, unable to play since sustaining an ankle injury in the final game of the pre-season on Sept. 27, participated in morning skate. That's a sign of progress, as Soderberg had only been allowed to skate before practices for the previous three days.
"I think it's a start," Julien said. "It was good to see him out there and doing at least some line rushes and stuff like that. He's progressing well, but obviously not ready to play." Julien said he thinks Soderberg "is going to start practicing with us now," but wasn't sure if contact would be allowed or not.
- Julien, who fielded several questions about the long gap between games, referenced the $10,000 fine counterpart Patrick Roy was assessed for an outburst at the end of last Wednesday's NHL coaching debut. During a shouting match with Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau, Roy slammed a pane of glass between the team benches, nearly knocking it over.
"I spent the last couple of days solidifying the glas between the benches," Julien joked. "It gave me lots of time to do a lot of different things. That's the good part of having a few days off."
- Roy, told of Julien's remarks, smiled and said "I don't expect any problem with Claude Julien, to be honest with you. I have so much respect for him. He's a great coach ... Every time I speak to him -- I've asked him a few questions, called him -- he was always available and said 'Any time you want to talk with me ..."
Roy also spoke generously of Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who skated occasionally during last year's NHL lockout with the Roy-coached Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
- Jean-Sebastian Giguere, who has watched Sergei Varlamov play and win the Avs' first three games (1.00 goals-against average, .967 saves percentage), is expected to make his first start of the season.
- The Bruins are trying to start a season with a 3-0-0 record for the first time since 2001-02. The Avalanche are 3-0-0 for the first time since their franchise relocated from Quebec to Colorado for the 1995-96 season -- the first of two Stanley Cup years in Denver. (The other was 2000-01.)
- Because last season's lockout wiped out play between the Eastern and Western conferences, the B's are playing their first regular-seaon game against a Western Conference opponent since a 3-2 win at Anaheim on March 25, 2012. It's the first home game against a foe from the West since Feb. 11, 2012, when they beat Nashville, 4-3, in extra time.
- The Bruins last meeting with the Avs was a 6-2 win at Denver on Jan. 22, 2011. They're winless in their last 7 home games against Colorado (0-5-1-1), last defeating the Avs at the Garden on March 30, 1998.