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Pregame Notebook vs. Toronto

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
TORONTO -- Although the local media treated it as an ancillary production, the other match-up between teams from the United States and Canada pits the Boston Bruins versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.


"They’re a young, skilled, fast hockey team," said Blake Wheeler of the Leafs. "Those are tough ones to play against.

"They’re always back on the back-check and they work hard all over the ice, so you know you get two points in this building you definitely earned it."

Wheeler and his linemates David Krejci and Michael Ryder have been earning some accolades with their recent work as a trio.

"It’s working well and I think we’ve done a great job of skating, coming back to the puck and coming up the ice," said Wheeler. "That’s where we play our best hockey.

"And I think up until last game, [when] we played a lot better in the third period, but the games before that I think we played some of our best hockey, just staying with the puck and creating a lot of offense that way and you know that makes it pretty fun."

Campbell a Game-time Decision
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said that he had still not made the final decision on whether center Gregory Campbell will take the ice in Toronto.

"We’ll probably make that final decision tonight but he’s feeling a lot better today," said Julien. "I talked to him this morning.

"He ate well yesterday, slept well last night and this morning he’s looking better, so that's probably a positive sign."

Campbell, who has been extraordinarily patient when talking about his bout with flu symptoms, said, coach willing, he wants to step back into the the lineup.

"I want to play, everybody wants to play," said Gregory. "I feel good so we’ll see what happens."

In the interim, the center has thought about his approach should he re-enter game conditions.

"First of all, you've got to be conscious of your shift length," he said. "Get into the game [with] a few hits and I've got to move my feet early.

"Obviously, you need to adjust to the speed.

"Taking a few days off is in this league feels like an eternity," continued Campbell. "So, for me, it's just keeping my game simple.

"Work hard, but work smart and for short periods of the time while you adjust to the game."

Seguin's a Subject
The inevitable questions about local boy Tyler Seguin's game and comparisons to former Bruins/current Maple Leaf forward Phil Kessel continued today.

But Coach Julien quickly put a lid on those discussions.

"we in Boston don’t talk about those comparisons," said Julien. "It’s being brought up in Toronto, obviously, and it had a bigger impact here and you know all I can say is I’m going to talk about [Seguin].

"Tyler is on track right where we want him to be. He’s a young 18-year-old that’s progressing everyday and getting better, and you know right now I think he’s starting to feel a little bit more comfortable in this league and playing against stronger players.

"From what we saw last game, his skill level is starting to show now and you know all I can say is we’re really happy with him."

Meanwhile, down in Buffalo...
Much of the hub-bub about Monday's hockey centered around tonight's World Junior semi-finals between the United States and Canada in Buffalo's HSBC Arena.

Most of the Bruins who spoke to the media this morning were asked about the big match-up down in Western New York.

"You know Canada, USA it’s always been a huge rivalry, even yesterday during the game you could hear all the fans screaming ‘We want USA’,” said Brad Marchand, who had a goal and an assist in Canada’s gold-medal win over Sweden in 2008, after defeating USA in the semi-finals. “It’s pretty special and you know, I know it’s going to be a huge game and everyone will be watching.”

Wheeler played for USA in the 2006 games and took home a bronze medal.

“I know my year we played on Vancouver you know, kind of being on enemy territory,” said Wheeler. “It was most intense game I ever played before, just the atmosphere and the crowd the hatred between the two teams.”

You can read more about the B's thoughts about the WJC here.

Hannah Becker contributed to this report.
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