During today’s morning skate, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg took most of their shifts together on the No. 1 pairing. For parts of the last two practices, they had been separated. Chara had been with Johnny Boychuk. Seidenberg was paired with Matt Bartkowski.
We’ll have to wait until the game to see the final pairings. The guess here is that Chara-Seidenberg will stick, most likely against the No. 2 line of Jarome Iginla, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal. The Chara-Seidenberg whole is better than its parts.
Andrew Ference took some reps with Boychuk this morning. Ference could be close to returning. It’s likely that Bartkowski will dress for Game 1 as Boychuk’s partner.
“You think about it all week and you talk about it,” Claude Julien said of personnel decisions. “Eventually you make a decision. But just because you make a decision doesn’t mean you stick with it. You have a decision, but you also have Plan B if you need to adapt.”
Tonight’s expected lineup:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski-Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid