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B’s Kessel, Front and Center

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
Buffalo is on the way

Our Boys had a fairly easygoing practice as they eased into preparing for the Buffalo game on Thursday after the win over Ottawa on Saturday and their day off on Sunday.

In particular, Tim Thomas looked relieved to have gotten his first win, while Mark Mowers looked happy and ready to continue playing on one of the top three lines.

The high number of shots on the goalies continued, as did the odd man rushes and 2-on-0 breakaways. The breakaways started with one goalie passing the puck to a defenseman. The defenseman skated the puck into the neutral zone and then passed it to a couple of forwards breaking over the blue line. The forwards then took the puck in on the other goalie, with the trailing skater attempting to pick up the rebound – a very fun drill to watch, as it was done at near game speed.

There was also a modified 3-on-3 scrimmage, which created a lot of scoring chances and individual defensive efforts.

Speaking of 3’s, the lines looked like this:

Yes, it looks different.

And yes, Kessel was in the middle.

Not sure about the other centers (in terms of what wing they might end up on), but Phil was centering his line. Who knows if these will be the line combos for Thursday, but it’s something to talk about in the meantime.


By the way, the defensemen on the ice were: Dempsey, Chara, Mara, York, Alberts, Lashoff, Jurcina, and Mark Stuart.

Practice ended, and again, the team split into two squads for a competition drill. In this game, a squad won when everyone on the mini-team scored a goal against one of the goalies. This was a very popular contest with the guys, with the winning squad making a lot of noise when they won.

Even more noise was made when Coach Lewis knocked over every single stick behind the bench. A Bronx cheer went up from the group and several of the skaters clapped their sticks on the ice in appreciation of the coach’s “efforts.”

After the session, all of the players stayed after to practice shooting accuracy mid ice, take part in a half-rink forechecking game or shoot on one of the goalies with an obstacle (like a D-man) in the way.

Assistant Coach Marc Habscheid participated in the forecheking drill and when he deposited a puck into the net, he cheered as loud as Marc Savard usually does when he scores.

Afterward, the mood in the room was outstanding, so be sure to check out the BruinsCast to hear some of the fun comments from the locker room.

Happy voices in the room
“Overall [I’m feeling] pretty good. I would say that last Monday or Tuesday…I didn’t think there would be a chance that I would be playing on the weekend. To be back in the lineup, it was good overall. There were some aches and pains throughout, but I got through it and it didn’t get any worse. So I think I am moving in the right direction…The first I think we played really well. The second, there were a lot of penalties that took away from a little bit of the banging [and] the body checks. There wasn’t as much in the second. But then in the third we got back at it…I was happy.”
Forward, Mark Mowers, on his healing process and the Ottawa game

“I might have been smiling [during the fight Saturday], but I am not too sure. I was kind’ve looking forward to play Ottawa so I was pretty fired up before the game. So, I had a lot of fun with it. I don’t remember if I was actually smiling or if maybe my ‘mad’ face looks like I am smiling. I am not too sure…I do sometimes tend to grit my teeth [i.e. the mad face] when I get going.”
Forward, Wade Brookbank, on his last fight and his ‘mad’ face

“Not yet. Actually you can still try and build on the feeling you had Saturday night for a few days. The schedule allows us to do that Usually you don’t have the luxury of having a few days between games and this time we do. So I really won’t start thinking about Buffalo, personally, until about Wednesday…I don’t usually change [my routine] up, no matter who we are playing. [Although] I’d been playing soccer to loosen myself up, but before last game I didn’t – so it looks like soccer is out.”
Goalie, Tim Thomas, on Buffalo and his routine
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