Carl Soderberg’s Bruins odyssey began officially just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when he finally touched a skate on Garden ice and worked out with his new club for a traditional day-of-game skate.
Asked how he would adapt to his new environs, he said, “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. It’s still hockey and it’s a great team that plays here, so hopefully it goes well.’’
Come game time, with the Sabres in town, Soderberg was back living civilian life, coach Claude Julien reluctant to toss him immediately into the NHL frying pan.
Soderberg, 27, wrapped up his season in Sweden less than two weeks ago, then needed time to clear administrative hurdles in order to make his way west. He landed in Boston Tuesday, and Julien now can figure out how and when to ease the 6-foot-3-inch, 198-pound forward into the lineup.
“He’s a big, strong guy,’’ noted Julien, who saw two of his better forwards, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, return to the lineup against the Sabres. “He’s a good skater. I saw some good things.’’
One of those positives was a look at Soderberg on a power-play drill. With the Bruins a miserable 3 for 32 on the man advantage the last three weeks, including 0 for 2 in Wednesday night’s 3-2 shootout loss, Soderberg’s offensive skills could prove vital to man-advantage renaissance.
“We’re trying to get a feel of what he can bring,’’ said Julien. “The feeling was pretty optimistic. I liked what I saw from him. Obviously, he’s got good size, he’s a big player. He normally plays center. He can play wing. So when the time comes, we’ll make that decision on where we want to put him.’’
Redden suits up
Marchand and Bergeron were not the only new faces in the lineup. Wade Redden checked in on defense as a first-timer. Obtained from St. Louis at the April 3 trade deadline, Redden spent his first two weeks on the sidelines.
Redden wore No. 6 and skated alongside Dennis Seidenberg on the second pairing. In 12:42 of ice time, Redden missed the net with one shot and had another blocked.
“He’s a good puck mover,” Julien said. “He was skating the puck up and hitting our guys in the neutral zone with good passes. He hadn’t played in a couple weeks, and I thought he did well.”
Hamilton back in
Dougie Hamilton returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the last two games. Julien said it was strictly to rest Hamilton. The rookie had two shots in 15:42 and skated with Andrew Ference on the No. 3 duo . . . Milan Lucic, a top-six forward all season, skated on the fourth line alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton, and didn’t have a shot in 10:53 of ice time. With Soderberg ready to dress for Friday’s game against Pittsburgh, Lucic could find himself out of the lineup. Lucic (two goals in his last 27 games) is in one of his worst stretches as an NHLer . . . Pandolfo, Kaspars Daugavins, Aaron Johnson, Matt Bartkowski, and Adam McQuaid joined Soderberg in the press box as healthy scratches . . . Former Bruin Pentti Lund died on Tuesday. He was 87. Lund appeared in 77 regular-season games for the Bruins from 1951-53.