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A Garden Party on Sunday

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
4:49 p.m.

Claude's content?

Coach Claude Julien sounded pleased with his club's condition after the first day of official practice.

"It’s good, it’s good," he said. "I think somebody asked me a question yesterday about the condition of the team and our guys are in pretty good shape.

"We got the things that we wanted to accomplish done and hopefully we’ll keep moving forward tomorrow."

A very good question was asked regarding the competition level in Training Camp '09 -- with so few spots to fill, how will the coaching staff keep the intensity high?

"Well [the players] don’t have to look too far back because every year we’ve had those situations happen where again, two years ago [Milan] Lucic made his way in," explained Julien. "Blake Wheeler, we had basically thought he was going to start in the American League last year and work his way up, but he proved us wrong.

"Last year it was Peter Schaefer that ended up getting sent down. Peter [Chiarelli] said all along, as an organization, we’re going to do what we have to do to make this team the best team possible."

Julien refused to give any hints on his darkhorse candidate for an upset.

"Well I think that’s again, probably early after the first day," he said. "But the exhibition games will probably open some eyes a little bit and that’s where...guys like Luch [Milan Lucic] and [Blake] Wheeler, showed us as they got closer to the end.

First three exhibition games, it’s basically half-and-half, NHLers and other junior competitors, and as you get near the end everybody’s getting closer."

4:32 p.m.
Equipment sale a success
The Boston Bruins put a bunch of their used equipment on sale today and raised $19,000 - a portion of which will go to the Boston Bruins Foundaton.

Over 600 items sold and over 500 people attended, with gloves, bags and helmets going fastest (45-minutes).
Some of the items sold were:
Lucic worn skates
White Practice jerseys - Lucic, Chara, Thomas, Sturm, Bergeron
Skates - Savard, Kobasew, Ference
Chara gloves
Hockey bags:  Bergeron, Sturm, Thomas, Wideman, Kobasew
Marc Savard helmet

fun fact: Over 400 pairs of game used socks went for $5 each!

4:25 p.m.
Rask is on task
Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33) congratulates goalie Tuukka Rask (40) following their 1-0 win over the New York Rangers in an NHL hockey game, Saturday Jan. 31, 2009 in Boston. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
Tuukka Rask looked very comfortable on the Garden ice today, and looked just as comfortable in front of reporters off of the ice, too.

"I feel pretty good," said Rask. "I could have been better, could have stopped more pucks, but you know first practice with the team and it’s good to improve from that."

Rask continues to work hard on his physical conditioning and admits that he is not done working toward perfect frame.

"No, not even close," was what he said when asked if he were satisfied. "That’s the one thing I have to work hard on. I’m looking forward to doing that this year and get some more weight on, and some more muscle too."

Rask believes he is ready for "the show."

"I feel more ready to play in the NHL than I felt two years ago, obviously," he said. "In the first year it was kind of a learning experience for me, and last year I knew what was going to happen.

"I went down there [to Providence] and really improved from the first year and this year might be one step forward too."

And what was he thinking when he was sent south on I-95?

"Well you never expect that to happen, but it happened, [and I] took a couple of days to get over it," said Rask. "But I got over it and played good down there and tried to be the guy that a team can trust and I think I did that."

It was all part of Tuukka's path to the NHL.

"I think I got more mature during the two years and just got more focused on the real things like hockey," he said. "I feel I’m ready but I’m still a young guy and I have a lot of improving to do."

4:11 p.m.
The festivities are over for the day, but we are still (always?) working.

Crash the net over at for the most up-to-date B's videos.

12:36 p.m.
The second group is hitting the ice.

12:23 p.m.
Brad Marchand checked in with the press, too.

He gave a rookie perspective on this morning's action.

"The first day is always rough," said Marchand, "[But] I'm a little more comfortable now, and I'm not as nervous when I get here to the rink."

A certain amount of nerves or anxiousness is permissable -- even a veteran like Marc Savard admitted as much -- but the difference between Marchand now and Marchand then is the ability to focus on what is important.

"Before, I think I focused a lot on what other guys did, and things like that," said Marchand. "But right now I am focused on my game and doing what I can do."

On top of that, Marchand keeps one more thing in mind -- the most important thing he learned last season in the AHL.

"Act like a pro," he said. "It's a whole different game being at the pro level.

"[You have to] be able to take the ups-and-downs and bounce back from them."

11:52 a.m.

The first group is off the ice.

After practice, Patrice Bergeron came to the Will McDonough Media room to talk to the press

"There's some new players, but...there are a lot of the same guys coming back," said Bergeron. "I thought we had a good year last year [even though] it didn't end the way we wanted it to.

"And that might be a good thing looking towards this year."

Yes, the B's are pretty motivated this season.

"[It'll be] a challenge," said Bergeron. "You get into training camp with a good attitude, not over confident, but still confident that we can accomplish some good things."

10:40 a.m.
Two big hits by Blake Wheeler. This time last year I think I was talking about a couple of nice moves by #26.

10:34 a.m.
Battle drills.

10:27 a.m.

A few lighthearted moments thus far -- toe picks and the like. The real oohs and ahs came from the minor hitting going on during the Bruins first official practice.

9:44 a.m.
ST. LOUIS - DECEMBER 21:against the St. Louis Blues on December 21, 2008 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
Dennis Wideman was all smiles on Saturday, and presented a pretty sunny outlook on a very rainy day.

"Summer was good, besides that rain we had early on," he said. "As far as working out and stuff it was good. I trained pretty hard this summer.

"I’ve done the same workout for the last two seasons now, it works pretty good so I decided to keep it the same," he said.

Wideman thinks the Bruins defensive corps are shaping up nicely.

"I think our D are good," he said. "Last year we did a great job.

"Obviously, we have one of the best goaltenders in the league and our forwards help us out a lot with the system that we play and it makes our defensive jobs a little easier.

"I think with the additions of guys like Morris and guys like that -- Boychuck --we’ll be better puck moving wise," he said.

Wideman also talked about managing high expectations.

"Our expectations are a little higher this year, and there’s obviously a lot more pressure going into the season...this year than there was last year.

"[But] we didn’t listen to what people were saying last year and we just went about our business.

"Hopefully we can do the same this year."

9:24 a.m.
Team rosters for Sunday
Group A
Patrice Bergeron, Zach Hamill, Drew Larman, Jeff LoVecchio, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Kirk MacDonald, Tyler Randell, Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder, Max Sauve, Blake Wheeler
Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Button, Zdeno Chara, Rob Kwiet, Derek Morris, Jeff Penner, Mark Stuart, Andy Wozniewski
Adam Courchaine, Matt Dalton, Tim Thomas

Group B
Jamie Arniel, Steve Begin, Byron Bitz, Chuck Kobasew, Guillaume Lefebvre, Mikko Lehtonen, Matt Marquardt, Marc Savard, Vladimir Sobotka, Marco Sturm, Shawn Thornton, Trent Whitfield, Jason Wilson
Andrew Bodnarchuk, Drew Fata, Andrew Ference, Alain Goulet, Matt Hunwick, Zach McKelvie, Adam McQuaid, Dennis Wideman
Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask, Dany Sabourin

Alternate Group
Jordan Caron, Lane MacDermid, Jordan Knackstedt, David Krejci, Zach McKelvie, Kevin Regan
8:29 a.m.
Breakfast, anyone?

The Bruins will celebrate the opening of the club’s 2009-2010 campaign by offering fans free breakfast, courtesy of TD Bank, as part of the first full day of 2009 Bruins Training Camp on Sunday, September 13 at TD Garden. Today, the first day of official on-ice work for the team, fans will have access to two practice sessions beginning at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., free of charge. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and breakfast, including breakfast sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, coffee and juice, will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Equipment on sale
In conjunction with the open training camp sessions, Bruins fans will have the opportunity to purchase equipment used by Bruins players from past and present on Sunday as well.  Items that will be available include skates, socks, pads and helmets, among others. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation. The used equipment sale will begin at 8:30 a.m. for Bruins season ticket holders and 9:30 a.m. for the general public.

Monday's Session Open to the Public
Please note that Monday’s training camp practices at the TD Garden will be open to the public. Group B will practice at 10:00 a.m. while Group A will practice at 12:30.

7:43 a.m.

When GM Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media on Saturday morning he explained that during his season opening speech to the team he had talked about expectations.

"We talked about the attitude, the day-to-day attitude, [and] the day-to-day preparation," he said. "Last year we exceeded our expectations, this year...I have seen some reports that we’re going to do well, and I have seen some reports that we aren’t going to do as well.

"We are going to be in a different dynamic this year, and I just want the guys to go into this with the proper mind set day-to-day.

"I just said make sure to focus at the task at hand. Let’s be aware of our expectations and also let’s be aware of our standards. We want to maintain our high standard but also keep it at even keel," said the GM.

The press noted, and Chiarelli agreed, that there is little time for the team to get into a proper state of mind -- games start on Tuesday.

"Well, you schedule it your own way," he said. "Part of it is out of necessity, because of the other teams scheduling.

"It’s a compressed like time to practice, you like time to go over systems, [and] you like time to tweak certain things. Obviously, game readiness comes from playing games, [although] a tough grind for eight days."

During those eight games (and the six contests between September 19 and 26) the newest version of the Boston Bruins will take shape. New faces will emerge and veterans will establish themselves again. However, before a single blade hits the ice, the B's physical testing will begin to shape the squad.

"That was another thing we talked about this morning, which is the significance of testing and what we do to people who do not test well. It is important, because while it used to be you come to camp to get in shape, now it’s you should be in shape here," said Chiarelli.

Injuries may play a role, as well.

"We have a couple of guys who are questionable, firstly from the rookie camp, it’s day-to-day for some of these guys," explained the GM. "[Jamie] Arniel has a tweaked knee, [Kevin] Regan is still recovering from his surgery, [David] Krejci I would say is day-to-day, as far as being fully involved.

"[Levi] Nelson broke his collarbone, so he will be out for a while.

"I’d say [Lane MacDermid] is day-to-day too. He has the high ankle. I might be missing one or two other guys but, we may have more to give you later on, but there is nothing of significance."

Boston's first round draft pick Jordan Caron will be in town, but...

"We brought him in; he won’t be participating. He is progressing well we just wanted to make sure that he was a part of camp. We brought him in to just experience camp and he will probably stay about a week and then go back [to juniors]," said Chiarelli.

The Bruins GM also thinks that another Quebecer, veteran forward Patrice Bergeron, is poised for an offensive comeback.

"This year he is back to his weight," said Chiarelli. "By all accounts...all accounts there’s jump in his step. So I think the recovery time is obviously important.

"With Phil [Kessel] not being here there might be pressure to produce, but we have other guys that put the puck in the net. I am confident that Patrice [Bergeron] will go back to where he was."

Speaking of Kessel -- um, er, are we speaking of #81?

"I am not commenting on either trade speculation or contact negotiation," said Chiarelli, before somewhat lightheartedly asing, "Does anyone want to talk about the team?"

And they did.

Morning reading
Sturm brings a healthy outlook (F. Shinzawa, The Boston Globe)
Sounding the attack at camp (K. Dupont, The Boston Globe)
Solid roster leaves fewer shots for Bruins’ prospects (S. Harris, The Boston Herald)
Welcome back: Mark Recchi, (M. Kalman, The Bruins Blog)
Bergeron looks to return to form (B. Barth, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette)
Bruins begin work towards lofty goals (D. Flynn, The New England Hockey Journal)
Julien getting a contract extension is best ‘feel-good’ story of off season (R. Fisher, The Montreal Gazette)

Dyan LeBourdais contrbuted to today's blog.
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