So the Bruins got back to business today without any of the extra worries associated with Hannu’s departure and the tough evening against the Thrashers on Monday.
The resulting practice was, by all accounts, one of the best in recent memory. It was short, intense and productive -- and best of all, nobody got hurt.
And the foam pucks were back, so that was an added bonus.
The lineup Here are the lines from today: Sturm-Bergeron-Boyes Axelsson-Savard-Murray Primeau-Kessel-Donovan Hoggan-Mowers-Brookbank/Stastny
The D on the ice were: Chara, Brad Stuart, Mara, Alberts, Dempsey, Jurcina and Lashoff.
The goalies are now: Thomas and Finley
Brad Stuart will return to the lineup tomorrow.
No word on the starting netminder.
There will have to be a lineup decision on a defenseman in the morning, as well.
Blue & Gold? Goaltender Brian Finley was in-between the pipes nearest the locker room and looked comfortable, despite his mask being painted in the colors of the Nashville Preds.
And although the mask is one of the nicest I have ever seen, Finley has a new Black & Gold painted one in the works.
"Well, that mask is from Nashville," said Finely pointing at his current hat. "With them being the Predators, I wanted to have something involving the team [name] and it seemed like everyone in the organization had the big cat so I wanted something different.
"It just kind’ve popped into my head -- the ’predator’ in the movie -- so, that’s why I decided on that character for my mask..
"I actually have a Bruins mask that has just been finished. It should be here in a week or two.
"I won’t tell you what’s on it, but I’ve seen pictures and it looks pretty good," said the Bruins new backstop.
PJ and Bruins Pride "It is frustrating to lose, especially the way we have lost," said P.J. Axelsson in front of his locker after practice. "Seems like we play a good 5-on-5 game and we have troubles killing penalties.
"If we kill penalties, then we have trouble 5-on-5. We have trouble putting the whole picture together for 60 minutes…It is frustrating, and we take a lot of penalties and our penalty killing right now is not good enough.
"You take a lot of pride in wearing the ’B’ and you know that the team is better than what we have shown -- that’s for sure. But until we prove it, we can’t really say that we are better than [our record] because we have to show it on the ice," said Axelsson.
"That’s the bottom line. It’s all about wins and losses."
So what about the Leafs on Thursday?
"I would expect [us to play] a 60 minute hockey game," said the Swede. "[Played] the way we can play, with a lot of speed and a lot of skating.
"We have to play hard for 60 minutes and play smart for 60 minutes."
A Voice in the Room "His knee is swollen. And it’s a meniscus issue but they’re hoping that the ice treatment can bring the swelling down and he can get back on the ice. There is a chance he might be on the ice tomorrow and there’s a chance he won’t be. They’re going to do this treatment process first and then decide if …they’re going to have to do something more aggressive." Head Coach, Dave Lewis, on Jason York
"As far as [Finley getting into some games]? No, [there are no plans] not yet. I just wanted to see him get the first practice under his belt and go from there. I haven’t told either goalie who’s playing tomorrow so I’ll just let them know and get that game underway and go from there." Lewis, on Brian Finley
"They looked really good that last couple of days in practice. I think they are starting to do some things that they can do. And you can say that the goals late in the game the other day didn’t mean a lot, but they meant a lot to them…it just meant a lot to the psyche…they’re moving well as three and we’ll see." Lewis, on the Sturm-Bergeron-Boyes line