– When Boston Bruins forward Rich Peverley
took the ice today for a hard workout, he wasn’t anxious – he was excited.
“I’m just trying to be positive, and I’m really happy with where I was today,” Peverley said. “And it’s just a day-by-day thing, but I feel really good going forward right now.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, Peverley took the ice for a light skate – his first time on the ice since being injured against the Montreal Canadiens Feb. 15.
Today, the workouts continued for No. 49 as he worked on his conditioning at Ristuccia Arena, under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.
“I’ve had some skating with him before when I was injured, and he keeps guys in pretty good shape,” Peverley said. “We go through drills and you push yourself as hard as you can to get ready for practice. It’s no different now – he does a great job with that.
“I knew the first couple of days, it’s how your knee feels and how your wind feels – I’m not in game shape. So everyday it’s going to be better, and I think today my wind is a lot better already.”
When he was first injured, Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the B’s forward would be out 4-6 weeks.
According to Peverley, he is still on that track and hopes to be back before the playoffs.
“I think it’d be tough to go right into the playoffs,” he said. “I’d like to go in, but I have to take it day-by-day right now and see where it goes.”
When asked about the knee-to-knee collision he had with then-Habs defender Hal Gill, Peverley said he wasn’t upset with the former Bruin.
“It happens, plays like that happen,” Peverley said. “He did it instinctive, and I have no grudges or hard feelings for [Gill] – he’s an honest player.
Prior to the injury, Peverley had nine goals and 29 assists – which was just shy of his career-best of 33.
For Head Coach Claude Julien, seeing his forward on the ice was a welcoming sign.
“He started skating Wednesday, so anybody who gets on the ice at this point is an encouraging sign,” Julien said.
Without Peverley in the lineup, the Bruins are 5-9-1 and have lost four consecutive games. For the 29-year-old forward, watching his team go through that without being able to contribute is far from easy.
“It’s tough, you want to win games even if you’re not playing – you’re part of a team,” Peverley said. “But, every team has its ups and downs during the year and it’s no different. Hopefully we can get out of this funk soon.”--- Anthony Gulizia