It was a usual workaday practice for the B’s this morning at the TD Banknorth Garden, punctuated with just a few more whistles and yells than usual.
For whatever reason, the coaches just seemed a bit more intense today -- while the players looked as relaxed as they have in weeks.
Only two skaters were missing: Andrew Alberts and Glen Murray.
"We didn’t have Albie today, he had a touch of the flu," said Lewis. "So we meshed as good as we could with five (defensemen)."
As for Ference’s future spot on the back line, Coach is not sure how it will fall.
"We’re talking," said Lewis of who Ference will end up paired with. "We’ll see how it goes. (At this point) I don’t know."
"We’re just going to throw them into the fire and see."
As he sees it, Ference brings a major plus to the table.
"He’s a great competitor," said Lewis, having scouted Ference in the past. "I think that’s his biggest asset."
"He competes hard and he’s always in the mix," he said.
As far as Murray and his injured groin, only time will tell.
"He skated this morning, on his own, prior to us practicing," said Lewis. "He’s going to skate tomorrow morning, if he feels ok.
"And then, if he feels ok skating on his own, he’ll probably do some line rushes with our group.
"That’s going to be a judgment tomorrow morning," he said.
So what will the lines look like?
"Right now we have 12 (healthy) forwards, so everybody is going to play," said Lewis. "And, you don’t necessarily replace the player, you put somebody in a different position."
"So I’m trying the lines today, and we’re just going to see how they look."
Coach Lewis was asked if Mark Mowers might find him in roles traditionally held by Wayne Primeau.
Coach was noncommittal as to what everything would eventually look like, but said that could be the case -- Mowers is the ultimate Swiss Army Knife in skates.
"He’s a utility guy," he said. "He can play left wing, right wing, center. He can move up and down the line.
"I guess most consistently for us he’s been a penalty killer and he’s been that versatile guy that can bump up to play 15 minutes or play eight to 10 minutes."
Lines Four Bruins were wearing red jerseys, with tiny red dress patches sewn on them, in an effort to support American Heart Association’s "Go Red" campaign to promote women’s heart health.
The jerseys will be auctioned off at the Garden on February 26th when the Bruins face Atlanta.
So, the jersey colors set up strange lines: Red: Chara, Bergeron, Axelsson, Savard White: Phil Gold: Sturm - Bochenski Gray: Reich - Mowers - Donovan Teal: Chistov - Boyes - Tenkrat Black: Allen, Mara, Ference, York and the goalies.
At one point during the practice, Patrice put on a Gold jersey to fill out that line. Which would leave Axie and Savvy for the first line and Chara with the D.