BOSTON — Phil Kessel is a go.
Michael Ryder should be back.
Petteri Nokelainen, who didn’t practice yesterday, skated this morning and will be a game-time decision.
There’s a chance the Boston Bruins squad that takes the TD Banknorth Garden ice tonight against New Jersey could be the one that general manager Peter Chiarelli envisioned when the season started.
“Well, it’s good … it’s for tonight anyway. You never know what happens game after game,” head coach Claude Julien said while a handful of his players took part in an optional morning skate. “But it’s nice to see our line-up getting closer to what it should look like. I thought our guys have handled the adversity fairly well. Probably not always the greatest games as far as what our expectations are, but we always found ways to win, and that’s what you hope good teams do.
“Guys have been pretty resilient through all this and you hope we take advantage of having some healthy guys in the line-up today.”
The Bruins’ resilience has kept them atop the Eastern Conference despite 138 man-games lost to injury. And, of course, Manny Fernandez is still on the shelf and Marco Sturm is done for the season. But there couldn’t be a better time for the Bruins to get closer to full strength, as they’re in a stretch of games against the mettle of the East over the next week.