Only four Bruins skated this morning as Tuukka Rask
backstopped a short workout, which included Daniel Paille
, Tyler Seguin
and Marco Sturm.
However, Bruins players and personnel spoke the media prior to their departing the building.Wheeler on the Week
"That was our goal going in, having a home stand - finally. We wanted to have a good week and this is our opportunity to take all three," said Blake Wheeler (27 games, 6-4-10) of the B's (16-8-3, 5th Eastern Conference) motivation level going into their til with Philadelphia (18-7-5, 4th East). "There is a little extra meaning, obviously, playing Philadelphia. They are a really good team this year and especially after what happened last year.
"So, that should be enough motivation, but having the opportunity to have a perfect week makes it even more important."
Asked if he thought the Flyers would be better prepared for the the B's after Boston's 1-0 win over Philadelphia on December 1, Wheeler said, "Well, we played each other quite a bit at the end of the year, last year, so I think we were both pretty well prepared for what each other.
"At the time, we weren't playing so well so we put a lot of emphasis on that game and it was a really important game for us, so I think that's why we came out so well in that game and I think we played one of our best games of the year that game.
"It was a huge game for us, not just because of what happened last year, but because of how we were playing. So, I think it carries the same weight right now," he said.
Of note: The 205-pound, 6-foot-5 Wheeler has scored three goals and two assists in the Bruins last 10 games and has missed just one regular season game through three NHL seasons (190 of a possible 191). Wheeler was one of only two Bruins to play all 82 contests in 2009-10.Maize and Blue on the Blueline
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien was asked about his defense corps and his newcomer, former Michigan Wolverine defenseman, rookie Steven Kampfer.
"I don’t think you want anybody to complicate the game," said Julien when he was asked about Kampfer's ability to move the puck. "I think every coach is going to say make the smart, simple play. I think in his situation, we’re not holding him back.
"He’s a guy that can carry the puck and when he’s got the room to take care of the puck, he should. And he did that last game, even in the second period. We went D to D and he looked up and saw he had space and took off with the puck and that’s what we expect him to do.
"I think you want players to play within their strengths. And if carrying the puck up the ice because he has the room [is his strength] then he should do it and he should move it to open men when the guy’s open. It’s as simple as that. That’s what you expect out of a good puck moving defenseman," he said.
Of note: Before his recall to Boston, Kampfer had led P-Bruins defensemen in scoring and was second overall in the Providence scoring totals with a 3-13-16 line in 20 games. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound puck-mover played four years at CCHA powerhouse University of Michigan and was a +65 for his career. Dennis is a Leader on the "D"
Julien also spoke to the leadership that Dennis Seidenberg
has contributed to the B's blueline.
"I think that we saw that in him last year, when he came to our team," said Julien. "He made a big difference in our back end as far as he was skating the puck up the ice and he was making good strong plays.
"He’s a physically strong player, blocks shots, so in all areas of the game he is pretty good. You know you can use him penalty kill, power play. He’s got a great shot, as well. He’s really grown into a defenseman you can use in all situations."
Julien talked about what things made Seideberg, who skated alongside Kampfer las gaem, so able to bring all those things to the ice.
"I guess his commitment to showing up every game and playing hard," said Julien with a small qualification. "At the beginning of the year he might not have been at his best and I would attribute that to his injury last year, he may have been a little rusty.
"[But Seidenberg's] pretty reliable as a player and in regards to that when you put a young player with him there’s certainly a sense of comfort for that young player because he is a pretty steady," he said.
Of Note: Seidenberg led the entire NHL in blocked shots in 2009-10 with 215.Julien Compares Krejci and Giroux
Julien also spoke to the similarities between Boston's David Krejci
and Philadelphia's Claude Giroux.
"I think both players are becoming what I believe are game-breaking players," said Julien. "They score some big goals at the right time or make big plays.
"In both cases, where both players started in the minors for a bit, you [could] see the potential and you didn’t know how well they’d grow, but they’ve both grown to be players that both teams rely on heavily."
Krejci stands third on the Bruins in points with a 4-15-19 line, while Giroux is second on the Flyers with a 13-14-27 docket.
"They’re threats everywhere on the ice," added Julien. "Whether it’s shorthanded or five-on-five or power play, they’re very similar I guess in those areas and they’re guys that I think coaches can rely on to make a difference in the game."
Of note: Coach Julien has passed Tom Johnson and is in sixth place on the B's all-time coaching wins list and has passed Pat Burns for the Bruins all-time games coached list. His record with Boston, in 273 regular season games, is 149-86-38.