Boston -- The Bruins held their first game day skate of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday morning at TD Garden and the players were thrilled to finally be getting back into their game day routines. The Bruins haven’t played a game since sweeping the Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals May 6. It’s been quite the wait but their series with Tampa Bay, for the right to play for the Stanley Cup is here, and head coach Claude Julien and his players couldn’t be happier.
“I think it’s the same way for everybody. Aren’t you guys excited,” a smiling Julien asked the assembled media after the skate. “So it’s pretty well the same. I think that players, when they get to this stage are excited to play. A rest is always a good thing, but at the same time I think we all enjoy the rhythm that we get into when we are in the playoffs and to be able to start that again tonight s great for everybody. I know I am excited and I was up early without being forced out of bed. And I think the players were the same way.”
Defenseman Adam McQuaid -- who hasn’t played since spraining his neck in Game 2 of the Flyers series on May 2 -- will be back in the lineup and was happy to finally partake in a morning skate again and go home to take his game day nap.
“It’s great! I can’t wait to get that nap in because I was pretty anxious last night so I didn’t sleep well,” McQuaid said. “It’s just good to get back in the swing of things and start doing those things we always do on game days. And obviously I am excited to be back in the lineup.”
“It was nice to get some rest and get some practice in but we love to play and that’s what we do,” Kelly said. “Enough practices, it’s time to play!”
Here’s what the forward lines and defense pairings should look like for the Bruins when they take to the ice for Game 1 tonight.
Brad Marchand-Chris Kelly-Mark Recchi
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid