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Maintenance Day for Patrice Bergeron as Bruins Get Back to Work

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

WILMINGTON, Mass. - Patrice Bergeron was the only Bruin missing from practice on Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena.

"It was a maintenance day," Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following the skate.

In Bergeron's absence, the lines were switched around a bit. Seth Griffith had originally hit the ice in a white jersey with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, and Craig Cunningham in the burgundy jersey with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell. Both Griffith and Cunningham switched into gold jerseys to skate with Brad Marchand in Bergeron's absence.

Reilly Smith skated with Lucic and Krejci. The Chris Kelly, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson line stayed intact.

Smith could be reunited with Bergeron when the center returns, or he could stick with Krejci, as in Sunday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"He had some chances. We had some good chances there on that line and he hit the post there late in the third," Julien said of putting Smith with Lucic and Krejci. "But you make changes when you feel you have to, so I thought that was a change that would maybe work. Again, I thought that line had a few chances, some pretty good chances to score."

The right winger missed an open net, hitting the post off a backdoor feed from Krejci.

"I just missed the shot. I had a similar chance in the first period and I didn't bear down on the puck enough," said Smith.

The Bruins only fired 20 total shots on goal in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Hurricanes. Smith and Lucic accounted for eight of those shot. Smith alone had 12 shot attempts, with five hitting the mark, six blocked, and one leading to that miss.

"Krech does a good job of finding you in the perfect spot so the best thing for you to do is get open," said Smith. "Krech is unbelievable at that and he's able to slow the game down and make unbelievable passes."

"I definitely watched Jarome [Iginla] a lot last year and he had a lot of success with him, and I think Krech is such a good player that he's able to put the puck in your wheelhouse, no matter where you are."

For Smith and the Bruins, though, it's incumbent that they bury those chances.

"Definitely lost sleep last night over it, but it's something, you've just got to work to forget about it because the chances are there," said Smith. "Still a good sign."

Prior to Sunday's game, Smith had only gotten one other look with Krejci for the most part, in the game against Detroit on Dec. 29 when Bergeron and Lucic were both sidelined with day-to-day situations. Griffith, Cunningham and Eriksson are among those who have seen time on Krejci's right side. Smith has been with Bergeron for nearly all of his time in Black and Gold.

"I though there'd always be a possibility of that, just because of shuffling lines around and trying to create chemistry," Smith said of playing with Krejci. "Last year with March and Berg, everything kind of was working out perfectly all the time, so in a realistic world that's not going to happen two seasons in a row, so I figured it would probably happen sooner or later or at sometime."

"You know, it comes at a bad time when we're tight for goals and we're squeezing our sticks tight right now and if switching the lines up a little bit can get more wins, then I think that's what we're going to do."

The Bruins have picked up a point in each of their last three games, losing twice in the shootout and once in overtime. The frustration is at an all-time high around the team, for every player - the type of frustration leads to players losing sleep over missed chances.

"Right now, frustration is a real big part of where some of the issues are and I think our challenge right now is to focus on doing the right things here and having a real determination to make things right," said Julien. "And confidence as we all know plays a big role in success and right now, I think frustration has taken over the place of the confidence."

"So we've got to try and switch that around and we're going to work on certain areas of our game and to right the ship."

"Confidence versus frustration is [what] we need to look at right now."

Practice Lineup 1/5

White Jerseys: Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Reilly Smith

Gold: Brad Marchand - Craig Cunningham - Seth Griffith

Gray: Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Burgundy: Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Jordan Caron

Defense: Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg

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