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Friday's Practice Was Picture Perfect

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Friday, after team photographer Steve Babineau orchestrated the club's updated team photo, the Boston Bruins prepared for their Saturday tilt with the Atlanta Thrashers with an intense 11:30 a.m. practice at TD Garden.

After his charges finished their on-ice work, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien didn't say too much about the uptick in hits.

"I think [it's by design]," he said. "We try to keep our practices short, but we try to keep it intense.

"And that’s what our focus is."

At times during the Bruins shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, focus and intensity were not at its apex for the B's and today's practice seemed to reflect a desire to return to Bruins hockey.

Asked about the heavy dose hitting and teaching on Friday, left wing Daniel Paille said that the B's definitely needed to work on some things, including their defensive zone play.

"We kind of got away from our game a little bit," said Paille. "So we’re just trying to be aggressive as much as we can.

"We have to work on the things that need it and obviously that type of practice was a little needed [to prepare] for tomorrow."

Center Chris Kelly said that even with five games to go, there's plenty that can be taught.

"I think everyday coming to the rink you’re learning," he said.

"I’m sure I can learn a lot off of everyone here, including my linemates.

"If you’re not learning coming to the rink then I think you’re not getting better," he said.

Of the physical play during the B's battle drills, Kelly explained, "I think it’s good, good healthy battles out there and we’re just trying to make each other better.

"And I think when you can go and practice with a purpose and intense I think it follows through in the games. So I think it’s great to have those kinds of practices."

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg agreed.

"We want to go out there and...we want to work as hard as you can and get as much work done as possible," he said.

NOTES: Defenseman Zdeno Chara was the sole man missing from today's practice at TD Garden, but Coach Julien told reporters not to read into the absence. "He had the day off today, he'll be in tomorrow," said Julien...Julien said that there had been no final decision on the return of defenseman Shane Hnidy versus Atlanta, but said, "There's a good chance you'll see Hnides in."...Injured forward (stitches) Shawn Thornton practiced, but his status for Saturday also remains unknown. "Still day-to-day," said Julien. "I haven't gotten the clearance from the medical staff that he's good to go. Obviously the swelling has gone down but...we have to be cautious with that situation and I think that our trainers are looking at it that way."...Lines: 17-46-18, 63-37-28, 49-23-20, 20-11-73/22.
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