Head Coach Dave Lewis met with the media this morning and discussed the state of the Bear. He talked a little bit about the Bruins 3-1 win over Toronto -- a comeback win for Boston.
"[The team] showed a lot of patience in that game -- doing the things we have to do, to win a hockey game like that," said Lewis.
"I thought we drove to the net, better," he said. "I thought we continued to make plays, even with the lead. And, we didn’t give a lot of opportunities after that."
And, hopefully that continues.
"They’ve been a well run team for many, many years now -- very disciplined," said defenseman Paul Mara of the New Jersey Devils, who will again suit up for the B’s following a nasty lower body injury. "They have good scoring up front, a good strong defense and great goaltending, back there, so they are a well rounded team.
"We’ll have to bring our ’A’ game to get a win tonight."
Bruins Center Marc Savard
, Boston’s points leader with 31, said nearly the same thing.
"They have a new coach in there," said Savard. "And I think that he’s brought a little more offensive side to this team.
"So now they are not a ’sit-back’ team like they used to be. Obviously they have one of the best goalies to play the game. So it’s going to be a good contest for us.
"It’s a good test to see where we are at," he said.
"They are a structured team and they play well," agreed Coach Lewis. "They are hard to play against.
"So they’re will be nothing unusual about that…they’re going to have their discipline, their structure, their speed. They’ve got fast guys, creative guys. And they protect the goaltender pretty well, too.
"Their systems have been pretty consistent, they’ve changed coaches, they’ve changed some players, but they still have that theme -- just a solid, consistent, high-level team that has a chance every year to win the cup," said Lewis.Lineup notes
P.J. Axelsson, who has not played since December 2 versus Carolina, will miss another game and there’s no word on when he might return.
"No idea," said Lewis of P.J.’s return ETA.
Lewis was then asked what the team has missed most since they’ve been without their Swedish star.
"Well, looking at [ice time], he was probably first or second in minutes played as a forward…and that says something about his contribution.
"Traditionally he’s been a checker, penalty killer. This year he’s assumed a bit more of an offensive role on the power play, playing on a line that is creative, to score. He’s handled that.
"We miss him," said Coach.
Wayne Primeau’s switch from left wing to center has made a difference to the B’s lineup as well.
"I think that it’s helped," said Lewis. "He came to me and said he can play wing, and he came to me and said that he’d like to get back to center.
"But at the end of [the last] game I did put him on the wing with Bergeron and Donovan for the last minute-and-a-half.
"I think he is a little bit more comfortable at center, but he’s willing to play wing, too."
Marco missed the skate this morning, but will not miss the game.
Did he have some ill effects from the Hal Gill hit on Thursday?
"Nope," said Coach.
As far as the rest of the lineup?
"Right now, the same [as Thursday]," said Lewis.
That lineup was: