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by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

I have been using so many positive adjectives for practice thus far during this training camp, that I am running out of ways to say that the Bruins are having a good time and working hard. And I am not a little worried at times that people might think I am being purposefully hyperbolic.

But believe me, today, under Head Coach Dave Lewis and his staff, the B’s had another workmanlike, professional, day at the Ristuccia Memorial Arena.

And from what I have heard in my e-mail, you folks like the practice overviews, so I am going to keep going with that for the time being. That being said, the boys were in a good mood, yelling and cheering and working hard.

It is completely unlike anything I ever expected, having witnessed other sports practice and not a few hockey practices included.

For many moments in practice, Zdeno Chara was wearing a huge smile – no doubt happy just to return to the ice after sitting out the game on Saturday. He and Patrice Bergeron went at one drill pretty hard against each other and you would have thought afterwards that they were on a pond somewhere.

The practice was so spirited, that at times it was hard to believe that just a couple of days ago they were on the wrong end of a 5-3 score versus the Rangers in their first home contest. Not that the team took the defeat lightly. Not so. Not at all, in fact.

What I mean was there was no panic evident, and the B’s were hard at work as soon as the clock struck 11 bells, just like they had been each day before.

By the end of the session at around 12:30 nobody was ready to leave the ice. Literally everyone stayed afterward, either horsing around or working on technique or what have you.

Marc Savard, in particular, seemed to be having a good time playing pro hockey as he celebrated his many goals in practice rather vociferously, with hands raised and stick in the air.

I am pretty sure everyone got a kick out of it.

Well, maybe everyone except the goalie that gave up the goal.

Speaking of goalkeepers, our goalies came out and had some extra shots previous to everyone else hitting the ice.

As usual, both Hannu Toivonen and Tim Thomas seemed intent on making each save – crisply and cleanly and worked closely with goalies coach Bob Essensa.

When they didn’t do something up to standard, you could tell, from body language, that they were very displeased with themselves and at least one goal stick suffered the consequences of an errant shot hitting twine.

The backward stick brigade was back today, with forwards forechecking with the wrong end of the stick, working on positioning as opposed to a strict focus on the biscuit.

Speaking of focus, have I mentioned that Jason York has quietly had a terrific training camp? He brings the lunch pail every day, and works hard. Period.

You can add Nathan Dempsey to that score, as well.

The Bruins also had another taste of some very physical drills in the corner; one-on-one, and two-on-two. The drill would start with the players on their knee waiting for the puck to be shot into the corner. They would race to the dashers and fight to gain control.

At on point, one defenseman got so annoyed with a smaller forward, he deposited said forward on his rear end. I’m not sure how much of that was horseplay, either, so I guess I can’t say that the entire practice was happy go lucky.

The “Lewies” were back and nobody fell behind, again. And there was no puke, either.

This particular version of the sprint seemed heinous, what with the skaters having to skate forward, then backward, then forward with every whistle, finishing with a sprint to the end of the rink.

Imagine a huge ice-bound game of red light, green light, and you’ve got the picture.

Still amazed that the goalies make it through wearing all that junk. Sometimes they remind me of tractor-trailers in a sports car drag meet.

After practice the accuracy drills were back, but this time some of the forwards wanted in on the action – and some of them had to do pushups when their offerings went awry.

No word on cuts or captains, but we expect that very soon. Like tomorrow – so keep it here my friends.

I will have the complete low down from practice tomorrow, ASAP.

Enough Miscellanies, more from the guys…
“There’s nothing you can do about it. You just go out there and keep playing…It hurts when you get hit out there, but after that it’s fine. During the game you’re so much into the game you don’t feel anything unless it’s a real good one.”
Forward, Patrice Bergeron, on taking a stick to the face in practice

“I am very confident with this team right now, and we know we are going to get better, the more we get to play [alongside each other]…Camp has been very intense and the [coaches] have been fair…and I’ve been learning a lot from the guys the last couple of weeks and…I can’t wait to learn some more on the ice and off the ice, also.”
Bergeron, on camp and the coaches

“That’s been going on since the beginning of time…that drill is done quite often, especially at the beginning of the season, when you are trying to work on position.”
Defenseman, Jason York, on the drills requiring holding the stick by the blade

“It’s exhibition, so, it doesn’t count on the scoreboard. We’re here to win hockey games during the regular season. You take things [to heart] because we’re learning, and we just try to get better as a team. They scored two 5-on-3 goals and those are hard to kill, especially with Jagr and Shanahan there, so we’ll just learn from that and bear down and not take penalties.”
Forward, Shean Donovan, on Saturday’s loss

“I thought overall that we played fairly well. We had a lot of chances in the second period. We out shot them…it’s just a difference of bearing down. I think that the guys felt good and that is positive. It was the last exhibition game and it didn’t go in the standing so that might be part of why we weren’t as down but I thought…besides penalty kill, we played well.”
Forward, Brad Boyes, on Saturday
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