WILMINGTON, Mass. — Far be it for me to expect Bruins head coach Claude Julien to take my advice.
But after practice today at Ristuccia Arena, Julien sounded like a coach ready to get his entire team, including the perennial scratches, game-ready for the playoffs over the final seven contests of the regular season.
That could mean rest for the weary and ice time for the seldom-used among the Bruins, who wrapped up their fourth straight playoff berth Sunday night.
“I think down the road, you’re going to see us moving some of those guys in there and we’re going to try to make sure we keep everybody more or less in the loop,” said Julien. “But at the same time, you want to make sure that you have a roster that you feel comfortable with. We’re going to try to balance that out – whether it’s goaltenders, whether it’s Ds or even forwards for that matter.”
Julien might not go to the extreme I suggested and rest every defenseman at least once over the final two weeks of the season. But he obviously has a plan in mind for rookie Steven Kampfer and veteran Shane Hnidy, who hasn’t played all season, to get into some game action. Michael Ryder, who Sunday was a healthy scratch for the second time in three weeks, should also expect some playing time and a chance to earn back his job among the top 12 forwards.