Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Carl Soderberg out for Bruins
By James Murphy
BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand returned to the lineup Wednesday night for the Boston Bruins' 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Bergeron had been out since suffering what the team called a moderate concussion April 2. Marchand suffered a mild concussion April 10 when he took an elbow to the head from New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
"They both played well and they both played hard," coach Claude Julien said. "You know, it's unfortunate they didn't get rewarded with anything tonight, but they had some great opportunities."
Marchand acknowledged that the time off may have actually been good for him.
"I felt good and I felt maybe with the little rest I had, I was able to get my legs back a bit," Marchand said. "I was skating hard and didn't feel like I missed a beat. I still practiced pretty much every day and you get it back quick. So that's good."
The Bruins were without Carl Soderberg, however.
Coach Claude Julien said even though there are only six regular-season games left after Wednesday night, the Bruins don't want to rush the Swedish star's acclimation to the NHL.
"He'll do the warm-up tonight. He just [got] in last night and he'll get a chance to practice with us tomorrow," Julien said. "It's as much for him as it is for us. There's a change in time, and there's the fatigue of travel and everything else. Not knowing much about our system, he's going to have a chance to watch tonight -- and see some things.
"I think it's to his benefit and to our benefit for him to sit and watch. It's better than just throwing him out there and watching him ad-libbing. He's a big, strong guy that's a good skater. I saw some good things. We put him on the power play there at the end of practice to see how he handled the puck. We like what we see from him."
The Bruins also will do their best to make sure Soderberg knows immediately that he is part of the team's family, both on and off the ice. The core of the Bruins has done that in the past, specifically when Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley and Tomas Kaberle arrived at the 2011 NHL trade deadline and became key parts of the team's Stanley Cup run. The welcome Kelly received from his new teammates was crucial as he, Peverley and Kaberle slid into the team culture.
"It was a bit of transition for me, too," Kelly said. "But the guys here are very accepting and they made Kaberle, Rich and myself feel very comfortable when we arrived, and that has continued and will continue for whomever becomes part of this team."
Kelly, an alternate captain, realizes it's now his job to do the same for Soderberg.
"It's a huge jump and transition, not only on-ice but off-ice. Swedes normally speak English very well, so that won't be a problem, but just the culture," Kelly said. "We need to make it as normal as possible for him and make sure he feels comfortable in this room and knows we're here for him and he's part of this team now."
Soderberg already seemed comfortable Wednesday morning, and was uncertain only about adjusting to the smaller NHL rinks.
"I don't know. We'll have to see," he said in his first Boston media scrum.
But he had nothing but praise for his new team.
"Great team," Soderberg said. "They work hard, and they're big players."