BOSTON -- The Bruins' morning skate before Tuesday night’s divisional matchup with Ottawa took place with two of the team’s three trade deadline acquisitions on the ice.
Forward Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau made the turnaround to skate with the team at the Garden. Defenseman Greg Zanon also arrived on Tuesday, ahead of schedule, but did not partake in the morning session.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien expects both Rolston and Mottau to play Tuesday to bolster the dinged-up roster for its second contest in four days against the Senators. Rolston skated center alongside Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot. Max Sauve, who was recalled from Providence on an emergency basis Monday, also cycled in on the wing alongside the 39-year-old.
Julien said he wanted to give Zanon the opportunity to skate with the club before seeing action.
“The depth that we got are experienced players,” Julien said of Peter Chiarelli’s deadline deals. “Depth doesn’t mean they don’t belong in our lineup, it just means that we have a lot more options now.”
The last time Rolston arrived in a deadline day deal to Boston, it involved the face of the franchise headed in the opposite direction.
Now, 12 years later, the Flint, Mich. native is the veteran looking for one last shot at postseason glory.
“It’s a huge difference,” Rolston said of the experience of coming to Boston the second time around. “Obviously, I’m toward the end of my career and you don’t get an opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup on a yearly basis. I think if you’re lucky you do, but that’s something that I’m excited about.”
Rolston, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, suspected something might be coming after he was placed on waivers during the weekend. With little control of his destiny, he was thrilled to land back in his old haunts.
He cleared the wire just in time to be dealt to Boston on Monday.
“Any time you in a situation like that, in the last year of your contract, you’re waiting for something,” said Rolston, whose relationship with Tim Thomas goes back to the age of 6. “I couldn’t be happier this was the team that I came to.”
Rolston was asked by reporters whether he expects to see time with the Bruins’ special teams. Both in his old days with the Bruins, and more recently with the Islanders, Rolston has played the point on the power play units, in addition to penalty killing duties.
It’s a similar palate of skills to what Rich Peverley (knee) has offered the Bruins since his acquisition this time a year ago.
“I’ve always been a special-teams player my whole career and I certainly hope that I can continue to do that here,” Rolston said. “Whatever role they put me in, I’ll be ready for it, regardless of what it is.”
For now, Julien is keeping his options open.
“As I’ve often said, when it comes to that stuff, we give players time to fit in and then we kind of see where he’s going to help us best. We know he’s capable of playing the power play, he’s also capable of killing penalties.”
With Johnny Boychuk sidelined with a mild concussion, Julien expects Mottau to fill a void in the defensive pairings Tuesday night. Mottau, an Avon, Mass. native and Boston College and Thayer Academy alum, will also achieve a lifelong dream while doing so.
“I remember being able to name all the guys in the ’83-’84 media guide by number and name,” Mottau said.
Like Rolston, Mottau looks to contribute by whatever means possible, so that he too might be a part of a Lord Stanley return home.
“Wherever they need me,” he said Tuesday. “I just want to get on the ice and do what I can for the stretch run.”
Julien was asked by Ottawa media whether Shawn Thornton (flu) would return to the lineup.
The B’s bench boss fired back with a half-cracked smile.
“What, you guys worried?”
No. 22 returns tonight.