Josh Hennessy looked at the No. 62 on his jersey and helmet Tuesday morning and laughed, "That's the least of my worries. They could give me 102 and I wouldn't care."
That's undoubtedly the attitude Hennessy will have tonight in Winnipeg if Bruins coach Claude Julien asks him to move from center to wing.
Hennessy, the 27-year-old Rockland native recalled Monday night from the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League), is expected to make his debut as a Bruin against the Jets. The B's, who recalled Hennessy as insurance in case a forward got hurt during a six-game road trip, had to send winger Rich Peverley back to Boston Thursday to have a knee injury examined.
"You'll probably see (Hennessy) play," Julien said Thursday in Montreal, where the Bruins opened the trip Wednesday night with a 4-3, shootout victory. "If there's somebody (new) that's going to be in the lineup, he's the guy that's here - unless (Peter Chiarelli) pulls a rabbit out of someplace."
Chances are greater that Hennessy will play and that he'll do so as a winger.
"If Tyler (Seguin) can go to wing, I think so can Josh," Julien said, referring to Seguin's move from his natural position over his two-year career. "At one point, if you want to play, you've got to play where the areas are open."
The coach won't keep Hennessy, a seventh-year pro who has spent the bulk of his career in the AHL, on the wing if it doesn't work.
"If we feel that (another center) can play the wing and (Hennessy) really needs to play at center, we'll make that adjustment," Julien said. "I can't tell you for sure because I haven't seen Josh play enough. I'll move him in the slot where I think he's best at, as long as it doesn't affect the other players . but everybody has to suck it up a little bit here."
Julien expects Hennessy, who was leading Providence with 15 goals and second in points with 30, to do everything possible to make things work. The Milton Academy product, who played last year in Switzerland, has played only 20 NHL games - none since Dec. 21, 2009, when he took seven shifts for Ottawa in a game against the Bruins .
"He's a great person," the coach said. "He has a great attitude.
"He's played in the NHL before. I'll certainly try to use him to our advantage, and give him the best chance possible . If he does well, who knows what can happen?"
Wednesday's win at Montreal, where the B's gave up a 3-1 third-period lead, gave them three wins in their last five games. They've been more porous than usual lately (15 goals against in the last four games), though, and haven't won consecutive games since Jan. 10-12. Boston is 7-7-1 since then.
With Nathan Horton (mild concussion) about to miss his 10th straight game and Peverley all but certain to be unavailable, LW Milan Lucic and C David Krejci will play with their third right wing in less than a month. Krejci has slumped badly - just 1 assist in the 9 games Horton has missed, no points in his last 7 games.
Captain Zdeno Chara is struggling, too - 2 assists and minus-6 over the last 4 games.
They scored a 4-3, shootout win Thursday night at Minnesota, where the top line of Evander Kane (team-leading 20th and 21st goals, plus an assist and the shootout winner), Alexander Burmistrov (goal, assist) and Kyle Wellwood (assist) led the attack, with help from D Dustin Byfuglien (2 assists; 8-23-31). Ex- Bruin Blake Wheeler added to his team- and career-high assist total with his 29th; he's the Jets' scoring leader with 39 points.
Winnipeg, 27-26-6 overall, is 16-9-2 at home. Backup Chris Mason played against the Wild, so the B's are all but certain to see Ondrej Pavelec (20-20-6, 2.78, .909) for the fourth time this season.
The Bruins lead a pretty memorable series, 2-1-0, earning both wins at TD Garden. The B's dropped a 2-1 decision on Dec. 6 in their first visit to Winnipeg since 1995-96 - a game that stands out for two other reasons: It ended Boston's 14-0-1 unbeaten-in-regulation streak and Julien scratched Seguin for missing a morning meeting.
The 4-2 (Nov. 26) and 5-3 (Jan. 10) wins at the Garden both came after the Bruins fell behind, 2-0. Last month's victory included a penalty-shot goal for Shawn Thornton, and three goals in the first 6:41 of the third period (Horton, Seguin, Benoit Pouliot).
Mike Loftus may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org