Print and Go Back ESPN.com: BlogsColumns [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Marchand back on the ice


WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Wednesday morning's first of two practice sessions at Ristuccia Arena more resembled a Providence Bruins workout than a Boston Bruins session, but there was still some news that could impact the parent club down the road.

For starters, winger Brad Marchand got back on the ice after missing the better part of the last three days with a strained muscle in his leg. He was able to go full-tilt during the practice, which featured mostly rookies and AHL veterans plus Bruins goaltender Dany Sabourin.

"I was scared to push it the first half of practice," Marchand told ESPNBoston.com. "Toward the end I was feeling good and able to go top speed."

Early in camp and through the first two preseason games, Marchand looked like a challenger for one of the final two forward spots on the NHL roster. But he hasn't played since last Wednesday and now this injury knocked him a little off track.

"It's just a little setback," said Marchand, who estimated he spent 10 hours a day icing his leg since he injured it. "(Camp) is by no means over."

The Bruins have three games in three nights starting Thursday, and Marchand hopes to resume his pursuit of a roster spot.

"I'll play all three if they want me to," he said, half joking.

Others progress
Rookie defenseman Zack McKelvie practiced with his teammates for the first time since shoulder surgery four months ago. The former Army star, who had surgery on the same shoulder a couple years ago, signed with Boston as a free agent after his collegiate career ended. He has been skating on his own or in a small group since camp opened.

"It was all right. I've got a lot of work to do -- I was a little rusty with the passes and shots," said McKelvie, who's still three weeks away from taking contact. "It's going to be a lot different once I get hit."

Because of McKelvie's commitment to the Army, there's no telling if he'll be able to continue his pro hockey career beyond this season. So it has been extra frustrating for the 24-year-old to be on the sidelines.

"It's frustrating being a rookie and not being able to participate in camp," he said. "But I think I just have to be patient and do what the trainers tell me what to do."

Meanwhile, goaltender Kevin Regan, who had offseason hip surgery, continued to progress -- so much so that he's now been cleared to play in a game. Regan was assigned to Providence on Wednesday and figures he'll get into a preseason game this weekend. Jamie Arniel, Andrew Bodnarchuk and Jeff Penner were also assigned to Providence.