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Marchand Back at Practice, Morrow Battling the Flu as B’s Travel to Denver

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

WILMINGTONBrad Marchand practiced with the team on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena for the first time since sustaining a concussion. He was set to travel with the team on their two game road trip against the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes.

Marchand skated on his own prior to practice and then joined the group for the full skate, taking no contact. The forward suffered the concussion late in the third period of Saturday’s game against Montreal (Oct. 10), when he took an inadvertent elbow to the head.

“I feel pretty good. Now it’s just about trying to get back as fast as I can,” said Marchand, who wore a green no-contact jersey during the skate.

He’ll return as quickly as he can, while following the League’s concussion protocol.

“It’s early in the year and I’m not going to rush back because of the results now — I’d rather miss another game or two, than miss potentially a couple of months if I get hit again,” said Marchand, who is happy with how he’s been feeling and didn’t experience any symptoms following the collision.

“It is very tough every time you sit out, especially if the team loses, but at the end of the day, it’s more beneficial for the team and myself if I come back 100 percent and if I don’t get injured again.”

The Bruins will first face the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday night, before playing the Coyotes in Glendale on Saturday.

There’s a chance that Marchand could return on the trip, if he passes the different levels of testing.

“It’s protocol and following that, he’s feeling better so he’s able to skate,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following Tuesday's practice. “We’ll work on that progression and hopefully have him soon.”

“There can always be setbacks but right now, everything’s going in the right direction.”

Morrow Battling the Flu

Defenseman Joe Morrow missed Tuesday’s practice due to the flu. Morrow’s absence left the Bruins with six blueliners on the ice and just two left shots during the skate.

When Julien addressed reporters right after practice, he said there had not yet been a decision made on whether there would be a callup from Providence making the trip.

“Haven’t made a decision on that yet. We’ve been talking about that and we may, may not, depending on the situation,” said Julien.”

Only Way to Go is Up

An 0-3 start with 16 goals against isn’t exactly the way the Bruins envisioned the beginning of their season.

“It’s been tough. The first couple of games, we didn’t really play how we should have,” said Ryan Spooner. “Last game [against Montreal], I think they had 23 shots on net which isn’t bad, they’re a fast and skilled team, so I think for us it’s going to be about just bearing down on the defensive side right now.”

As the Bruins focused on in Tuesday’s practice, they’re looking to clean up their neutral zone, moving the puck up quicker on the attack and slowing down the opposition between the bluelines. Defensively, they have been collectively "shooting themselves in the foot." Mistakes are leading to the opposition scoring in bunches.

“This is where we’ve got to get better," said Julien. "Our starts in all three games have been good — I think where we’ve had some trouble is through the course of the game, there’s times when other teams get a little bit of the momentum and we’ve broken down and we’ve given up those goals.”

“That’s an area that’s a mental thing, and we’ve just got to overcome that.”

The Bruins have shown some promise — if they can string it together for 60 minutes.

“This is three games in the year — there’s been a lot worse starts than this, and teams have had good seasons,” said Marchand. “So we know we’re not in the best situation right now, but there’s a long season ahead of us, and all we have to do is work on the little things that are going to make us better.”

“We will improve. We have a lot of young guys, a lot of new guys, and the only way for us to go is up right now. We’re confident in our team and our ability and we’re going to be better.”

Hitting the Road

With a two game trip and five days on the road, getting out of town could benefit the team — both on and off the ice.

“It’s something that we all know, the team’s together all day long, they’ll travel together, they’ll eat together and a lot of times, a good portion of your focus is definitely on winning hockey games,” said Julien. “So this is hoping that our team takes advantage of that.”

“I think it’s a good time to spend a lot of time together,” said Marchand. “It could be a great time for us to get away and be by ourselves for a bit and just have some bonding opportunity. Even throughout camp and being home all the time, it is different — guys have families and different things going on — so when you get on the road, you’re just together and it could be a really good opportunity for us.”

This group gets along — chemistry was easily established during the preseason and training camp. But the extra time spent together will hopefully transfer to results on the ice.

“I think it’s going to be big for our team, just to be around each other more and get to know each other more and more,” said Jimmy Hayes. “It’s still early in the season, but you want to get results and it’s a big trip for us as a team, getting wins and feeling more comfortable with one another.”

Practice Lineup 10/13

Gold Jerseys: Loui ErikssonPatrice BergeronBrett Connolly

White: Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak

Gray: Chris KellyRyan SpoonerJimmy Hayes

Merlot: Zac RinaldoJoonas KemppainenMax Talbot/Tyler Randell

Green: Brad Marchand

Defensemen: Zdeno Chara, Colin Miller, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Jonas Gustavsson

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