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Bear Essentials: March 25th

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Late Update...

Chuck Kobasew is scheduled to return to the fold on Thursday. Today was another "maintenance" day for the forward, according to Coach Julien.

Julien also spoke to the mood of the team.

"No, never bored," said the coach in answer to a media member's question about the team getting bored over the break. "There’s always work to do and things to improve."

First up: a matchup in Toronto on Saturday.

"They might be a little looser, with not as much pressure on them, but I still think that they are playing pretty well," cautioned Julien. "And yesterday, they got themselves a shootout win against [Washington]."

But the Bruins bench boss insisted that there was no reason to prepare differently for Toronto, as opposed to say, New Jersey.

"I don’t think that we have to prepare differently for any team," said Julien. "We used to say that at the beginning of the year, that if we take care of our own game, it normally takes care of the outcome.

'I think that’s what we have to do here from here on in."

Julien didn't say it, but one gets the impression that the B's are preparing to start their playoffs, early.

"Those loosey goosey teams that have nothing to lose become strong challengers," said Julien. "The teams that are trying to survive are also strong challengers. And then you’ve got teams that are trying to get to the top.

"So I don’t find at this time of the year that there are that many easy games.

"We need to prepare as if those are all important games for us and how we play is the most important thing right now," he said.

So, instead of a day off, the B's worked extremely hard at practice.

"We just keep hammering at different areas of our game," said Julien. "Today it was different game situations…all the little areas we are trying to tweak and improve.

"Overall, our guys are pretty focused and they seem to have some good jump. And that is the important thing and that’s the thing that we seem to have found since last week."

10:44 a.m.

Forward Chuck Kobasew is the only Bruins player missing from practice this morning.

But everyone else is present and accounted for, with Montador returning to the D-corps after a day of impersonating Kobasew, as Bryon Bitz took the former BC forward's spot.

Both David Krejci and Kobasew had Tuesday off for what Bruins head coach Claude Julien called "maintenance."

Good to see former Bruins forward Ted Donato, now head men's ice hockey coach at Harvard University, here at the Arena with assistant coach Sean McCann.

For the record...
Donato was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft (98th overall), and he signed with his hometown club in March 1992 following the Olympic Games. His 13-year pro career included stops in New York (with the Rangers and Islanders), Los Angeles, Ottawa, Anaheim and St. Louis. He returned to the Bruins as a free agent in July 2003.

His NHL career spanned 796 games, in which he scored 150 goals with 197 assists for 347 points. Donato had eight goals, 18 assists and 26 points in 58 career Stanley Cup playoff games. He scored 25 goals in 1996-97, becoming the first U.S.-born player to lead the Bruins in goals in a season.
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