SUNRISE, Fla. — J-F Berube backing up Thomas Greiss for Game 1 wouldn’t be news, but this is the playoffs and it’s not as if Greiss is the unquestioned No. 1 goaltender.
So having Berube back from a lower-body injury that kept him out for the final week of the season was a boost for the Isles. The 24-year-old goaltender made only seven appearances this season, but that’s enough to qualify as experienced with Jaroslav Halak still sidelined.
And Berube had no concerns about being called upon after not playing for nearly two weeks. After all, he was healthy and didn’t play a game for nearly two months while Halak and Greiss were both healthy.
“You just try to stay ready and I know I am,” Berube said on Thursday. “I’ve learned this season how to prepare with long breaks.”
Boychuk, Thornton old playoff pals
Johnny Boychuk and Shawn Thornton won a Stanley Cup together with the Bruins in 2011 and now they’re face to face this series while their old club missed the playoffs for a second straight season.
“We’re friends. We won’t be once it starts tonight,” Thornton said. “I love him and we had some great success together. He’s on the other side now though.”
Boychuk said if either were still a Bruin this could be more difficult. “Definitely easier now that we’re both on different teams,” Boychuk said. “It’s always fun playing against your old teammates in the playoffs. We both know what we’re up against.”
Jagr still gets butterflies
At 44 and in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, Jaromir Jagr is not taking the seen-it-all attitude one might think.
“Of course you do, when you really care about something,” he said about getting nervous before a playoff game. Thursday night was the 203rd of his career, 18th all time. “I’m still human, I’m not a machine. When you really care about something, of course you’re a little bit worried.”