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Bear Essentials: February 11th

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Evening Update...

(No) Nokelainen News
“No update to give you guys, yet,” said Coach Julien at the end of an uneventful practice session. “I think [Nokelainen] is seeing some doctors today and if there is anything else, I guess that Peter [Chiarelli] will address that later on.

“I know he got hit in the eye -- it’s pretty obvious from the replay.”

11:51 a.m.
It's very quiet here at Ristuccia. Word is that we won't have more than a half dozen players on the ice for practice and that the rest of the crew will work off the ice.

Manny Fernandez, Mark Stuart, Bryon Bitz, Matt Hunwick, Blake Wheeler are on the ice with Bob Essensa, Craig Ramsay and Doug Houda.

10:06 a.m.
I'm on my way out to practice.

Thus far, there are no updates from the Bruins on their injured players, but postgame, Coach Julien did give a short update.

"I think in the second period, obviously we lost [Petteri] Nokelainen in the first with the high sticking incident, so he was done for the night," said Julien. "Then we lost Kobasew for a good portion of the second period, so you know we got thin pretty quick."

Why wasn't there a call on Boyle for the high stick that caught Nokelainen high?

"Well, the explanation is nobody saw it," said Julien. "They thought it was a puck that hit him in the eye.

"That’s the explanation I got."

Last night, Julien said he had little to say about the extent of Nokelainen's injury.

"He’s at the hospital," he said. "It’s an eye injury and, again, I don’t think it’s looking very good right now."

And Chuck?

"Well what happened in the third was a different thing [injury] than the second," said Julien. "There was a lower-body injury then there was an upper-body injury so [we] pulled him out."


8:51 a.m.

"You got to lose to know how to win…"
Aerosmith, Dream On

Yesterday, in a disappointed Boston Bruins locker room following the Black & Gold’s 5-2 setback to the San Jose Sharks, Tim Thomas – a locker room philosopher if ever there was one – said it best:

“We learn something every game, the whole year. I think, overall, we’ve done very well, so there’s a lot of positive things, but obviously we can play better …[and] there’s room for improvement.”

The clear sentiment around the room was something along those lines and defenseman Aaron Ward, who has been a part of three Stanley Cup championship teams, spoke to the night as a teaching experience.

“Yeah, we can reflect as a group and understand that at this point, it’s simple,” he said. “If we have to prove things to ourselves based on experience, there it is.

“Replay that third period on video and we can see that we’re pretty ineffective when we sit around and watch other teams play.”

Forward Marc Savard wore his disappointment like a necklace of bricks.

“I mean, we played two periods of it,” said Savard.  “We had the lead, we outplayed them most of those two periods and we go out in the third and have a bad period.

“We know we can play with them. We know that now and obviously we just have to know we need sixty minutes against these [elite] teams."

The 60-minute effort seems to be the last piece of the Bruins puzzle.

“Seems like in the last while, that’s been our Achilles Heel right now, we go out and play two good periods -- whether it’s the first and the third, second [and] third, it’s just a mix-up right now – and we’re not sure what period we’re in," said Savard. "We have to play sixty strong minutes or this is going to continue to happen."

Informed of his players’ reaction, Bruins head coach Claude Julien looked pleased.

“That’s the way our players react,” said Julien. “They look at it as lesson learned, and I think they were disappointed because...we went into the third period with a lead and thought we could continue to compete.

“But it took a few mistakes and, again, just not having enough…energy to push back.

“And unfortunately against a team like that it’s already pretty hard to play against them with a full lineup and when you have to shorten your bench because of injuries, [that] certainly doesn’t help matters,” said the coach.

Julien added the following coda.

“Give them credit, guys, they played a real good game. They played a patient game,” said Julien of the Sharks. “We had a good first period, but as the game went on they started picking up their game and we had our hands full.”

Forward Milan Lucic, who seemed to have tired of all the talk about the Sharks prior to the game, and who, with his two goals, carried the Bruins for much of the game against San Jose summarized the night.

“It’s a tough one because it’s a big game,” he said.  “You put a lot of energy…into the game.

“I think, obviously, you have to be disappointed about it right now.

“But, you just have to turn the page and learn from your mistakes and try to get better tomorrow,” he said.

“Tomorrow” starts this morning at Wilmington’s  Ristuccia Memorial Arena at 11:30 a.m.
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