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Practice Notebook: Soderberg Joins Full Practice Before Columbus

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

WILMINGTON, MA - For the first time amidst the regular season, every Bruin was on the ice for practice Friday morning at Ristuccia Arena, including Carl Soderberg.

Though, he was in a black jersey unlike his fellow forwards, as all four of the B's lines from their first three games stayed intact.

It marked Soderberg's first time skating with the team since injuring his ankle in Saskatoon on September 27. He had been working out on the ice with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides since Monday.

Head Coach Claude Julien said Thursday prior to the match-up with Colorado that joining the team was a start, and he was progressing well, but that contact was the next parameter before he could be considered game ready. Clearance from the medical staff will also need to come first.

"It’s getting better. But I’m not 100 percent yet, so hopefully I’m good soon," Soderberg said following practice.

The skate mostly consisted of positioning, along with flow and shooting drills that got their legs moving. There were no battling drills, so we didn't get to see if Soderberg would have taken part.

With an ankle injury like his, it's difficult to pinpoint a return date, or a timetable.

"I hope I feel even better tomorrow so we’ll see. Maybe take a couple of days, maybe a week or so, I have no idea. We’ll see," he said.

"I need to skate, I need to get in a lot of bike and weights too so I’m in good shape, I just hope that I’ll be 100 precent soon. I don’t know when that will happen, but I hope soon."

Practice Lines

White: Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Gold: Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Loui Eriksson
Grey: Jordan Caron-Chris Kelly-Reilly Smith
Merlot: Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Black: Carl Soderberg

D: Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski

G: Tuukka Rask, Chad Johnson

Simple Improvements Before Blue Jackets

Friday's practice featured a hefty amount of skating, and not much as much on special teams or even battling situations as we see in most practices.

"I think today was more about positioning in the neutral zone to get started and then a lot of shots on the goalies, just get our legs  going," said Shawn Thornton.

"No morning skate obviously [tomorrow] so just more about movement out there today and getting our legs underneath us for tomorrow."

Hitting the Road

Columbus marks the first road trip of the season, as the Bruins face off against the Blue Jackets at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday at Nationwide Arena.

"Yeah, I prefer it, first road game of the season too, exciting, I always like playing on the road so should be fun," said Thornton.

It's also an opportunity for a stretch of three games in five days, as the B's hope to get into a rhythm, adding another matinee on Monday (Columbus Day) against Detroit at TD Garden.

"Two afternoon games back to back here which is odd, but I personally prefer the afternoon, just get up and get going."

It's also welcome following the four days of no game action prior to hosting Colorado on Thursday.

"It was almost like it was training camp again and starting the game last night," said Julien. "But that’s over; games are going to start picking up a little bit. I think we have three games per week in the next couple of weeks so that’ll certainly help us find our game here."

Johnson Staying Sharp

For a back-up goaltender, much like the seventh defenseman and 13th forward, practices are the most important time. Staying sharp and ready for game action often requires extra effort.

"I like the fact that he’s taking it upon himself to come to the coaches, asking to go out there early and work on his game and making sure he stays sharp, because when he’s called upon he wants to make sure he’s ready to go."

"We don’t control the schedule right now and there’s a lot of space in between games and sometimes as a back up that’s what you have to learn to do."

Johnson is often out early, and stays on the ice after practice, with willing forwards like Reilly Smith and Jordan Caron helping keep him in shape.

"You learn to manage those things and stay mentally and physically sharp and I think that’s what he’s been doing well so far."

Bartkowski Will Get In

"Right now, I’ve got no complaints about our D, they’ve been pretty good. But at the same time there’s a guy that’s sitting out that’s also a good player that we’re going to have to get into our lineup as well," said Julien, when asked by a reporter about the blueliner situation.

Coach hasn't changed his opinion on the matter after the B's first three games.

"There could be some changes made with guys coming out, not necessarily because of play but because early in the year you want to move guys around and give them a chance to play."

"I’ve talked to them before the season started, that there could be some ins and outs here especially early in the year."

League Outlook

Following Friday's practice, a reporter asked the B's bench boss if he had been surprised by any happening around the league to start 2013-14.

"I can’t say I spend a lot of time watching the whole league (other matters to attend to in Black & Gold), but obviously Colorado has to be one of those teams. With the start that they’ve had and how well they’re playing, you have to give them credit for that."

"But it’s a long year. There’s teams right now that maybe aren’t even above .500, but we know they’ll be there come playoff time."

"So when you have an 82-game schedule you don’t get too excited with that kind of stuff but you have to worry about your team and build some consistency and like I said before, usually by Thanksgiving we have a pretty good idea of where teams are standing at that time."
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