The Boston Bruins were back on the ice on Saturday as they prepare for their first-round playoff series against the Florida Panthers.
As our pals at Boston Hockey Now point out, the Bruins had a mixed bag of injury news.
The good news (for Boston): Veteran center David Krejci and defenseman Derek Forbort returned to practice in full-contact jerseys. Krejci missed the final six games of the regular season; Forbort has been out since March 16.
On the bad side, captain Patrice Bergeron missed practice and Brad Marchand left early.
Coach Jim Montgomery did not seem too concerned.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Alex Lyon is flying high these days and, well, why not?
It looks like Florida’s ‘Lyon King’ is going to be the Game 1 starter on Monday night.
His legend started against the Bruins and, if it continues, it will do so against the Bruins.
- The Panthers were back on the ice in Coral Springs on Saturday and had a full contingent save for Sam Bennett. He will not play Monday but is on the trip. We’ll see.
- Patric Hornqvist has not been in the Florida lineup since December after suffering two concussions within the span of a month. Hornqvist, nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, has an uncertain future and perhaps has played his final NHL game.
- The Panthers did not win their regular-season finale on Thursday and will have to open with the NHL’s best. They do not seem all that scared of the big, bad Bruins.
- Still, Florida went 6-1-1 in the final eight to make the playoffs. They had to win their way win. Could that be an advantage?
- The NHL finally announced the schedule for the first-round series. The Panthers will be home next Friday and Sunday. Full schedule is below.
- The Heat and the Panthers are back in the playoffs, together, again.
- Sergei Bobrovsky has not played for the Florida Panthers since the team lost what was their fourth consecutive game in Ottawa back on March 27. How does Bobrovsky feel about Alex Lyon leading the Florida Panthers into the playoffs? He talked about it with Florida Hockey Now on Wednesday.
- Video from Paul Maurice, Aaron Ekblad and Carter Verhaeghe following Saturday’s practice in Coral Springs is up on the FHN YouTube Channel.
- You can click the embedded videos below or click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place. If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.
NHL/NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Columbus Blue Jackets will have a new coach next season as the team fired Brad Larsen after two seasons behind the bench.
Larsen was an assistant under John Tortorella and took over for him last season.
The Jackets also fired goalie coach Manny Legace.
There are a few veteran coaches out there looking for work.
- Jonathan Huberdeau vows to bounce back after a tough first season with the Calgary Flames.
- The Colorado Avalanche should be healthy when the playoffs kick off against Seattle.
- Sidney Crosby is not used to being off this early but says his Pittsburgh Penguins did not earn the right to be in the playoffs.
- Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde would love to be playing right now, but was honest in saying his team just is not there yet.
- A preview of the Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS, ROUND 1
BOSTON BRUINS (ATL1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
- GAME 1
- When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: Boston Garden
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN/ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM/WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Season Series (Tied 2-2): @Boston 5, Florida 3 (Oct. 17); @Florida 5, Boston 2 (Nov. 23); @Boston 7, Florida 3 (Dec. 19); @Florida 4, Boston 3 OT (Jan. 28)
- Last season: Boston won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Boston leads 60-38-6, 6 ties
- Playoff History (Florida leads 1-0): Panthers 4-1, 1996 (first round)
- First Round Schedule — Game 1: Monday, 7:30 (ESPN); Game 2: at Boston, Wednesday, 7:30 (ESPN); Game 3: at Florida, Friday, 7:30 (TNT); Game 4: at Florida, Sunday, April 23, 3:30 (TNT); Game 5*: at Boston, Wednesday, April 26; Game 6*: at Florida, Friday, April 28; Game 7*: at Boston, Sunday, April 30.