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Practice 2/19: Lucic Back, Seven B's Missing

by Eric Russo / Boston Bruins

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Features – It was an unusual day for the Boston Bruins, as they headed back to the ice at Ristuccia Arena, following a rare day off on Monday. The B’s were missing seven players – Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Andrew Ference, Nathan Horton, Anton Khudobin, Adam McQuaid, and Daniel Paille – due to flu-like symptoms.

However, Milan Lucic did return after missing Sunday night’s game against Winnipeg, in order to return home to Boston for a personal reason. Lane MacDermid also rejoined the Big Club after a short stint in Providence on a conditioning loan.

The practice took on more of a fun feel, but Dennis Seidenberg said it was still important to focus because there is a game to play on Thursday night in Tampa.

“We were missing eight guys today, practice was a little bit easier than usual,” said Seidenberg. “It was a little looser, guys were enjoying themselves, but we all know we’ve got a game in two days. Tomorrow is going to be important for us to get a good practice in and get ready for Thursday.”

Head Coach, Claude Julien, said the B’s practice, which featured an above average crowd thanks to school vacation week in Massachusetts, was a bit “ad-libbed” due to the unusual amount of players that were absent. Coach also said that he didn’t think anybody would be called up from Providence at this point, but any announcements would be made tomorrow before the Bruins travel.

“You have to ad-lib, I guess,” said Julien, when asked how to handle that kind of a practice. “There’s still some stuff we could do with our group that would benefit our team. We kind of put those drills together and made the best of it.

“We made the most of what we needed to do with this group that we had. I thought it was still a good practice day, but if you want to look at the bright side, rather now than happening on Thursday morning. We’ll hopefully have it all taken care of by then.”

The group of players that practiced on Tuesday afternoon said they would be focused on making sure they were healthy for the upcoming road trip to Florida, specifically Thursday night’s game at Tampa Bay.

“It was kind of unexpected to see a lot of guys sick,” Chris Bourque told the media following practice. “Hopefully, they feel better for the game Thursday, hopefully they can get back.

“[I’ve] just got to have a positive frame of mind, just keep telling yourself that you’re not sick, get some Vitamin-C in you. Hopefully these guys are getting a lot of fluids.”

Lucic was happy to have things back to normal after a roller-coaster weekend that included  him flying from Buffalo to Winnipeg and then immediately back to Boston.

“It was for personal reasons,” said Lucic on why he missed Sunday’ game. “Good thing is everyone’s home and healthy now and that’s basically it. It was a long last couple days, flying to Winnipeg and flying all the way back as soon as I got there. But, like I said, everyone’s happy and healthy and that’s the main thing.”

Lucic is looking forward to getting back on a plane, however, especially because it means a trip down to sunny – and warm – Florida, for games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. The focus, though, is on winning games, not hanging out in the sun.

“I think we’ve all been through, even you guys, these last few weeks with the snowstorm and it being pretty cold around here this last week or so,” Lucic told the media. “It will be kind of nice to get some warm weather in and some Vitamin-D.

“As much as we look forward to that, we can’t lose sight of what this Florida road trip is all about and that’s going down there and winning hockey games. Obviously, we have to enjoy this. It’s our first true road trip, where we kind of get to spend some time together as a team.

“But, the main focus is going down there and playing good, hard  hockey and hopefully we can get some wins.”

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