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Original Six Match Up Intrigues Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
The smiles returned to B's practice today, with none other than head coach Claude Julien making sure that everyone got a laugh -- perhaps inadvertently.

To start the session there was a passing drill where each player partnered up and had to quickly shoot the puck back and forth with their opposite number and at short range -- that is until Julien's whistle blew and the two partners suddenly had to play keep-away with the puck.

While this was not necessarily unusual to see (battle drills have been frequent the last couple of days), it was funny to see partners like the massive rookie Milan Lucic go against the smaller (but very quick) defenseman Andrew Ference and all the permutations in between amongst the different sets of B's.

However, the best part of the whole show was when goalies Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez came into view. It was some fun to watch them pass with the big goalie paddles, but it was even more fun to see them play keep away with all of their equipment getting in the way.

One of the writers said that the whole strange scene reminded him of the Wang Chung video, Dance Hall Days -- whatever that means.

In any case, here are the lines from today…

White: Schaefer-Savard-Murray
Gold: Sturm-Bergeron-Kobasew
Gray: Axelsson-Krejci-Kessel
Brick: Lucic, Metropolit, Thornton, Reich
D-men: Alberts, Allen, Chara,
Ference, Stuart, Ward, Wideman
Goal: Fernandez, Thomas

Chicago in the Hub
Looking towards the game with the Chicago Blackhawks, B's head coach Julien said that the Blackhawks present a little different look for the B's, particularly because of that club's young superstars.

"Those kind of guys can give you the energy that you need," said Julien, particularly speaking of Kane and Toews. "They're young, they're energetic and they're obviously pretty excited about playing in the NHL.

"And they're two pretty good hockey players."

It was pointed out to Julien that the Bruins have their own set of pretty good youngsters. And when most people think of the young, up-and-coming players, on the B's they think of Milan Lucic (19) and Phil Kessel (20).

"Yes, we've got our own set of young guys," said Coach. "Three of them (Lucic, Krejci and Kessel) have played together on a line at one point.

"So it will be nice to see that challenge."

Everyone seems ready to play on Thursday --  including the rest of the Bruins youngsters.

"We need to bear down when we have chances and put the puck in the net," said Patrice Bergeron, 22-years old. "But it starts from all of the little details, you know.

"If you play well in your zone, you are going to play less time in there.

"I think that forechecking is a big part of the offense…creating turnovers and chances," he said.

Another young Bruin, defenseman Mark Stuart, said that today had a lighter feeling.

"It's always tough after a loss," said Stuwie, just 23. "It was a really good skate yesterday -- a tough practice  -- and today was another good one.

"Guys were a little more lively than yesterday, coming back (from Montreal) and the loss.

"So, yah, today was nice," he said.

Forward David Krejci, 21, agreed, but thought everything was geared toward preparation for Chicago.

"I think we still worked hard, today," said Krejci. "It wasn't as hard as yesterday, but it was hard, if shorter.

"It was good, and prepared us for tomorrow."

Sox Talk
Many of the Bruins were scrambling to find Red Sox tickets for tonight's World Series opener.

Forward Marc Savard could be seen in his bright red Red Sox sweatshirt.

"Soxtober" is what he said on the way out of the lockerroom.

Everyone in the Garden was very excited for their cross-town cousins. Go Sox!

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