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Need to Know: Bruins at Avalanche

Bruins trying to pick up the pace ahead of first road trip

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - Following Monday's 4-0 loss to Colorado, Bruce Cassidy took to the podium and revealed his displeasure with the Bruins' lack of execution while preparing for their matinee affair with the Avalanche.

The poor practices, he believed, carried over into Boston's struggles in the first loss of the season. As a result, the Bruins turned up the pace during Tuesday's practice and set a strong tone ahead of the team's first road trip of the season.

"It was better, the effort was better," said Cassidy. "We did some things to correct what we didn't do well…but I did like the way they responded. They seemed to be in a work-like mode without being down on themselves and not caring and 'we lost, no big deal.' I thought there was a good balance, tried to have some zip, but still had focus."

Brad Marchand said strong practice time is vital to the team's success.

"We have to practice like that every day," said Marchand. "I don't think it's that much to ask to come to the rink for an hour and work hard and do what we're supposed to do. If we want to be a good team, you have to learn how to practice every day."

With the back end of a rare home-and-home with Colorado on tap for Wednesday, the Bruins made sure to focus on correcting the mistakes that ailed them in the loss to Colorado on Monday afternoon.

"A little more North-South, playing in a straight line, getting pucks to the net and creating opportunities there, defending the slot, all things that we didn't do well enough [on Monday]," said Cassidy. "We need to get better in those areas. We happen to be playing the same team which doesn't happen a lot, so let's make sure we correct them and put our best foot forward [Wednesday]."

Bergeron Out

Patrice Bergeron (lower-body) will miss Wednesday night's game in Colorado, but the center could return over the weekend in either Arizona or Vegas. Bergeron did not skate with the team during Tuesday's practice.

"We're aiming for the weekend," said Cassidy. "I don't know if it's gotten worse - he just hasn't responded well to treatment…probably the better way to put it."

Riley Nash took Bergeron's place in the middle of Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak during Tuesday's practice.

Video: Hitting the road, Bergeron update

Hitting the Road

The first road trip of the season provides the opportunity for this version of the Boston Bruins to mesh together just a little bit better, with the three-game trip to Colorado, Arizona, and Vegas including plenty of time for some team bonding.

"It's important…this road trip will be good for us to get away, something different," said Cassidy. "Listen, you're paid to be prepared and be ready to go…but to have a little bit of variety here coming up I think will be good for us and good for the group to get to know each other a little better now.

"Hopefully our play goes along with that and it's not just getting away from Boston and being on the road…enjoy each other's company, we are kind of each other's second family when you're at the rink. It's another chance to bond."

For rookies Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk, it will be their first taste of professional life on the road.

"Looking forward to a lot of things, first road trip…we're looking for a big weekend here and a big couple games coming up," said DeBrusk. "It's gonna be a lot of fun…any time you go on the road, especially early, really helps. You bond and get together more, roommates and things like that.

"It's gonna be a good time, but we're prepared and we're gonna be ready to go."

Opposing View

The Avalanche will be looking to make it back-to-back wins over the Bruins in their home opener. Colorado shutout the B's with a 4-0 win at TD Garden on Monday afternoon and improved to 2-1-0 on the season.

Nail Yakupov had two goals in the first meeting and leads the Avs with three points this season. Sven Andrighetto and J.T. Compher each potted goals of their own against the Bruins, while goalie Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves.

Colorado sits third in the Central Division with 4 points, behind St. Louis (6) and Chicago (5).

White Arrives on PTO

The Bruins announced on Tuesday that veteran forward Ryan White has joined the team on a professional tryout agreement and will travel with the club on the upcoming road trip.

White, 29, spent the 2016-17 season with Arizona and Minnesota, recording nine goals, seven assists and 84 penalty minutes in 65 games. In his eight-year NHL career with Montreal, Philadelphia, Arizona and Minnesota, the 6-foot, 200-pound forward has skated in 313 games, producing 31 goals and 30 assists for 61 points with 447 penalty minutes.

"When you're on a PTO there's not many options," said White, who was banged up during a PTO with Vancouver this preseason. "Teams aren't knocking down your door to sign you, so this is the best opportunity I can get right now and it's good to be here. Just gonna come in here and work hard [and] train as hard as I would any other day and just do my best every day."

With David Backes and Noel Acciari sidelined for an extended period of time, the Bruins are lacking size and strength on the right side. White could help if he ends up with an opportunity.

"We've lost that element…they may not be sexy players and Ryan White has a history of playing that way," said Cassidy. "He was available for a look, we're gonna look. There's no definitive plan other than we're gonna look at him. If we feel he's a good fit, then we'll talk about that. But he does have that flavor."

Wait, There's More

  • With Bergeron out, Danton Heinen, one of the team's final cuts at the end of the preseason, was recalled on Tuesday morning. Cassidy said the 22-year-old could find playing time at some point on the trip.
  • Cassidy also said that Anton Khudobin will likely start a game during the trip, either in Arizona or Vegas.
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