BOSTON — Sunday in Detroit Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien made the decision to scratch rookie Steven Kampfer in favor of veteran Mark Stuart.
Stuart had been a healthy scratch for the previous eight Boston games, but he showed little rust with a performance that featured a couple hits and a plus-1 rating in 13:34 of ice time playing on the Bruins’ third pair alongside Adam McQuaid.
So did Stuart make enough of an impressing on Julien to earn another game tonight against Toronto at TD Garden?
“It’s kind of hard to do after one game. But I just tried to do what I do, and hopefully I did it enough to keep a spot. We’ll see,” said Stuart after the Bruins’ morning skate.
Julien didn’t reveal this morning who would be tonight’s scratch. But when asked about Stuart’s performance, he had nothing but praise for the blueliner.
“He played well. I thought he really handled himself well,” said Julien. “Obviously he was being a physical player and kept things simple. But I liked his game for someone who hadn’t played in a long time. I thought he handled it very well.”
Life as a veteran that’s lost his job to injury and is now on a nightly audition could be difficult. Stuart, however, continues to roll with the situation rather than make any waves publicly.
“You do [feel like you’re auditioning] a little bit. But it makes you play harder, or whatever, that’s fine,” he said.