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Canucks on their way...

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
The Bruins were not in a very talkative mood today.

No wonder, considering their travel schedule.

And as a result, no doubt, of some tired legs, the practice only lasted 35 minutes or so.

Paul Mara, Jason York and Wayne Primeau took the session off, but were seen around the facility. P.J. Axelsson skated previous to the regular practice and looked pretty good.

The Bruins split up into forwards and defensemen with Tim Thomas going to one end with the D and Hannu Toivonen drawing the forwards on the other end of the ice. The skaters took a bunch of shots at both ends, with Thomas seeing most of his from the blue line and Hannu "enjoying" successive two-on-0’s.

After practice Thomas began the traditional four-on-four game with a punt of the puck, which he kicked straight up into the ceiling of the Ristuccia center.

Soon afterward, perhaps for his own protection (from Marc Savard’s nasty snipers), coach Lewis kicked Thomas off the ice.

In the locker room, Tim was asked if he had enjoyed last night -- a night where the offense did their jobs very well and only his most spectacular saves were noticed?

"Yah, that’s nice to watch from my end, too," agreeing with the assessment that it was a great game to watch. "It’s nice to get a nice lead like we had last night. Although based on history and the new NHL, you don’t ever want to let up and let them get back into games."

As far as having his highlights being relegated to the second reel, Thomas did not care one iota.

"I guess I always know I am doing my job when I start being ’taken for granted,’" he said. "That’s kind of happened on a lot of teams I’ve played on in the past.

"That year that I was MVP in Finland it was kind of that way. But that is a good thing because it means that you are bringing ’it’ consistently enough that people just expect that kind of a showing every time."

Asked to explain the drills in his end this afternoon, Thomas pointed out that he was not screened on the shots and was able to get a good read on them as they left the blue line.

"I think the coaches were actually trying to get me to save my legs and to be able to see the pucks from the point," he said. "You can get on a roll in practice where you are just doing the regular shooting drills where the only shots you see are from 10 feet away, right in the slot area."

And if you don’t change it up goalies can get into bad habits.

"Then you get point shots and it feels awkward in the game because you don’t practice it very much," said Thomas. "So, I like that kind of practice because that’s more of the shot I am going to get in the game, most of the time.

"And then I just work on controlling rebounds and getting square to the shooter. You get time to really set up and you can make it into a game-like drill."

Controlling a rebound almost led to an assist for "Double T." Thomas took a shot from Ottawa’s Patrick Eaves and turned it into a scoring opportunity for Boston.

"Actually I made the first save with the blocker," said Thomas. "Then I poked it with my stick to the corner because the guy was still coming, so I didn’t want to let him get the rebound.

"I had no idea that Paulie (Mara) was going to be able to pick it up and pass it to Savvy (Savard) who would pass it to Muzz (Murray) who would then score. I didn’t know that, I was just trying to make a big save early in the game," said Thomas.

"Ottawa is a good team that has shown some signs of playing better lately and I did not want to give them any momentum and let them start to believe in themselves."

So, it was just "that kind" of night for the Bruins. Let’s hope that it turns into "that kind" of week.

What kind is "that kind?"

The winning kind, of course!
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