WILMINGTON, MA - Following Thursday night’s 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the B’s made their way through the snow to hold a full practice Friday at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. With the compact schedule, the Bruins have held optional skates, but had not had a complete practice with all B’s on the ice since February 27.
The Black & Gold were happy to get the two points Thursday night and get back to their Boston Bruins style of hockey, with a strong forecheck, battles on pucks and steady defense. And they'll be taking the positives into Saturday's game against Philly.
"I don't really look at it like that," said Shawn Thornton, when asked if the win over Toronto had taken away any worries the B's had after the two straight losses to Montreal and Washington.
"There's some ups and downs during the season, but we didn't blow a lead. That was a positive. We were noticing things we need to work on. We went over them in the morning, and I thought we did better last night, but we can always get better."
"It's a long season. There's going to be some ups and downs."
It was announced by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli around 12:30 p.m. that Jordan Caron had been recalled from the Providence Bruins and he joined the big club on the ice today in a grey jersey. Also announced was that Chris Bourque had cleared waivers and was assigned to Providence.
Practice kept a high-energy tempo throughout, with ample skating and scrimmaging, along with breakout drills and work with odd-man rush situations, complete with battling, net-front work, and some shootout skills on display.
Lines in Practice:
Merlot: Paille-Campbell-Thornton, MacDermid
All seven defensemen were also on the ice, with Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask, who had some extra work with goalie coach Bob Essensa before practice had started.
"We haven’t practiced much and that eventually catches up," said Coach Julien, on being able to work on their game more in-depth Friday. "There’s things that we talked about defensively, we’re a little better. We’re still in our own end, as you saw today, working on that part of it. Our neutral zone, I thought we lost a little bit of speed there with our transition game. We worked on that again today."
"Whenever you get practice time, there’s things that are going to be efficient for your hockey club. We’ve got three games in the next four days, so we certainly don’t want to be out there too long, but what you do out there has to be something that’s needed for your hockey club. I thought neutral zone we could gain a little bit more speed."
Next up, the B’s face the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time this season, in a tilt at TD Garden Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (ET), and know the history of the two teams is enough alone to provide for a tight game.
"It’s a team that we always have good games against," said Coach Julien. "It’s a team that matches up well against us."
"They’ve got pretty good skill, but they’ve always been a pretty gritty team as well," Coach added on the match-up. "They’ve had their ups and downs this year, but like I said, it’s a tight schedule and there’s a lot of things happening right now."
"You watch games and big leads are blown and everything else and all of a sudden another team catches fire. We’ve always taken them very seriously, as far as knowing that we’ve always had to be at our best to beat them."
"They’ve been some interesting games, and I think both teams don’t mind playing each other because there’s, not necessarily the rivalry that we have against some other teams, but there’s certainly something there that makes these two teams a good match-up."