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Morrow Returns to Practice after Flu Bout

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

WILMINGTON Joe Morrow didn’t envision spending the team’s first road trip of the season at home in bed.

That’s unfortunately how it panned out for the defenseman, who battled a bad bout of the flu all last week, after coming down with the illness the night of the Bruins’ matinee game against Tampa Bay on Monday, Oct. 12.

He skated with the team on Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena in their first practice after the six-day road trip that saw them pick up wins in Colorado and Arizona.

“I got really sick, I couldn’t really sleep,” said Morrow, who said he spent about eight hours straight from midnight on that Monday until eight in the next morning — let’s just say, not feeling too great.

“I lost a lot of weight, a little bit of strength, too, so I’m just trying to get that back right now and just trying to take it day by day,” Morrow said. “It wasn’t fun by any means, especially to miss a trip like that with the whole crew.”

Morrow eventually went to the hospital and received IV therapy. Bedridden for about three days and barely able to eat or drink, he lost about 10 pounds throughout the week.

“I was pretty sore from throwing up and stuff and not being able to do anything,” he said.

“I’m sure everybody knows it’s a little easier to put on weight than lose weight so we’ve got a couple of jealous guys in here, lose 10 pounds, look pretty good around the dressing room,” Morrow joked, making light of his situation after the fact. “But I definitely have to put that weight back on. It’s not going to help me anywhere else.”

In his 22 years, Morrow had never been that sick.

“That’s the first I’ve ever had it. I don’t usually get sick — you know, growing up on a farm [in Edmonton], you eat dirt for fun,” he laughed. “I never get sick, but that was pretty bad. I pray that that never happens to anybody.”

While the timing wasn’t great for Morrow in terms of the trip, he admitted it was probably lucky for the team that they were away from him.

“I feel a lot better now, being able to get back into the swing of things and being able to skate and be around all of the guys. It’s kind of like a morale boost, too, so it’s been fun,” he said.

Morrow still feels weak, but it won’t take long for his muscle memory to kick in.

He may not be ready to go for the Bruins’ next game on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden, though.

“This was his first day practicing with the team — he started skating just a few days ago, and you can tell he’s got to regain his strength,” said Julien. “Obviously, his weight — when you lose close to 10 pounds, it’s a lot of weight for a player — so he’s got to find his strength and again, not skating for a week also, he’s got to get himself back into shape.”

“So we’re going to allow him to work through that, and you can’t rush a guy who’s been sick to that extent back too quickly.”

Until Morrow is ready to be taken off Injured Reserve and make his return, callup Tommy Cross will likely continue filling in on the back end after making his NHL debut against the Avalanche.

“He’s been good,” Julien said of Cross. “He’s made mistakes, I think, just like anybody else, but I think as I mentioned on the road, his hockey sense is really good. He makes good, smart decisions, and that’s been one of his strengths.”

Building Off Bounce-Back Trip

On the road, the Bruins were able to bounce back from their 0-3 start with a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche and then a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

With two days off the ice on Sunday and Monday, and a high intensity practice on Tuesday to reinforce good habits, they need to carry the momentum from the road into TD Garden on Wednesday against the Flyers.

“I had said to our guys, I thought against Tampa, we had started off well, we saw a lot of good things, but somehow we had broken down at times,” said Julien. “You’ve got to try to find the positive things out of it. We did, and we just kept building on it. It was nice to see us reap the benefits from those adjustments on the road.”

Krejci Feels Line Coming Around

David Krejci leads the Bruins with four goals and nine points through the first five games of the season, with two of those goals coming on the power play.

While his linemates David Pastrnak and Matt Beleskey have a goal apiece, they’re looking to generate more from their line — and that begins with better play in the defensive zone.

“Just kind of sorting things in the D zone and once we get on offense, the pucks aren’t going in the net for us as a unit,” said Krejci. “But we have some good rushes, good looks, so we’ve got to keep doing that, but it starts in our own end.”

“The only thing you can do is to improve and like I said, we’ve been working on it. You know, Pasta and Skee, they’re really good players so it’s just a matter of time when we’ll find the right chemistry and we’ll start putting the puck in the net as a unit.”

Krug Making Strides

Through his first five games, Torey Krug has averaged 23:08 in ice time. Only Zdeno Chara has averaged more at 23:56 through his three games.

On the offensive side of his game, Krug has six assists, with five of them coming on the power play. But his biggest stride has come at defensive end of the ice. He had to pick up more minutes in Chara’s absence and continues to do so with Dennis Seidenberg still recovering from back surgery. He’s held his own.

“He’s continued to progress every year,” Julien said after Tuesday’s practice. “He’s been asked to play a bigger role this year because of injuries, so I think he’s handled those well. He’s mastered his game to a point where he knows when it’s time to be physical and when it’s time to be smart, and I think that was a big adjustment for him.”

“It’s been good,” Krug said on the road trip, of his expanded role. “I thought especially playing consistently with Quaider [Adam McQuaid], it’s really helped me out. We have tougher matchups, tougher assignments and I think it’s a lot more fun for me personally.”

“You can see just going out there and not really thinking too much, just playing hockey and trying to keep the puck out of our net, and I think we’ve been relatively successful so far with that.”

Practice Lineup 10/20

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson + Brett Connolly

Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak

Chris KellyRyan SpoonerJimmy Hayes

Zac RinaldoJoonas KemppainenTyler Randell + Max Talbot

Zdeno CharaKevan Miller

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid

Tommy CrossColin Miller

Joe MorrowZach Trotman

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Jonas Gustavsson

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