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by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

This morning the B’s prepared to leave for the Canadian Maritimes by holding two short practices at the Ristuccia Memorial Arena.

At 9 am, the players that will play this evening practiced for 45 minutes, while the healthy scratches – and they are all HEALTHY, skated at 10 am.

They too, practiced for 45 minutes or so.

As per usual, a small group of fans were out, watching the team, even at that early hour on a weekday.

Zdeno Chara obviously wanted to forget the foot scare and said he and ‘it’ was fine, although he wasn’t sure he would play this weekend.

“[I feel] good,” said Chara. “It was a normal practice.”

To this reporter’s eyes, Chara was as good as new, and wore a smile through out the second group’s time on the rink.

Bruins Head Coach Dave Lewis seconded that notion.

“He’s out there on the ice [right now],” said Lewis. “He just looked normal.

“Nothing has changed from yesterday and the results were negative.”

The defensemen in the second group practiced moving one-timers and for added incentive had to do pushups each time they missed.

Everyone had to do several sets of pushups. However, after one Chara shot, that had seemingly missed and popped back off the boards, there was some light hearted controversy.

His fellow defensemen insisted that he do another set of pushups. The big man had obviously missed and he puck had gone flying off the boards behind the net.

The Slovakian defenseman skated over to the net and showed that his shot had hit and gone THROUGH the top of the net, leaving a large hole – everyone had a good chuckle, including us hockey writers.

As an added bonus, Jonathan Sigalet turned the trick a few minutes later.

Is it strength or is it old netting? Only time will tell.

The guys were in very good spirits, as usual, and seemed ready for their two game tilt against the Islanders. Their charter was scheduled to leave at 2 pm for their “home” game versus New York.

Game one will be held this evening at Moncton Coliseum, Moncton, New Brunswick, with tomorrow’s contest scheduled for 6:00 at the Halifax Civic Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Per a coaches decision Rookie Phil Kessel will not play tonight in Moncton, but will skate on Saturday in Halifax. Murray, Chara, Donovan, and Toivonen were also with the second group this morning, and are not scheduled to play tonight.

Tim Thomas is scheduled to play the whole game in Moncton.

Unfortunately, Bruins fans, neither game will be carried by television or radio.

And although I am still holding out hope to find some Internet feed to follow, I do not believe that will be happening, either.

And I am NOT driving there in my ’94 Honda Accord (168,000 miles, thank you very much).


However, have faith, dear Black-and-Gold brothers and sisters. If there is a way to update the site, this intrepid reporter will do so – or at least post a recap when one becomes available.

Keep it at throughout the evening.

My plan this evening is to watch Youngblood and scour the Internet for updates on the Bruins.

Love that Cyntha Gibb. Did you know that she was born in Vermont?

Did you know that Youngblood also features a young Keanu Reeves as a goalie for the Mustangs?

I am just full of useless information.

Professor Dave, “Little Things: 101”
Recently, this blog featured some notes about how Coach Lewis has been trying to manage as many details as possible, as far as hockey goes, in order to ensure that a majority of the Bruins’ energy goes into winning hockey games.

This morning he spoke a little more along those lines:
“The [airplane] charter company has been tremendous. The meals on the airplane have been tremendous. Being able to [travel] so easily was good…being a pro athlete is not easy and you try to do the things that will help them succeed. ‘Easy’ is not the right word. For lack of a better [phrase], you pay attention to details that are important for the team to be successful. Should we have a video presentation today? Should we just have a ‘board’ talk? Should we not have any meeting? We talk about that and then [if you decide to have a meeting], how should you do it? Should you bring in just the defense or just the forwards? What about the goaltenders? Are you spending enough time with the exchange from goalies to defenseman on the puck…So you look at a lot of different things, but then you have to present it so they absorb it…so they get something out of it…You try to take things [from places you’ve played and coached] that we find are important to the players. [For example], they are upgrading the locker room at the garden. They are upgrading the video room…wait ‘till you see it. It’s going to be, if not the best in the league, I do not know who is going to have one that is better.”

Coach also spoke about the Bruins culture, as an organization:
“The Bruins have a culture. We are just ‘re-cultivating’…and trying to create the environment we feel you need to be successful. You need the right players. You need the right decisions.”

Coach Lewis on the more satisfying development in camp:
“I just like the way the guys are all blending in together; getting to know each other. If you watch, they are starting to be relaxed a little bit more in practice. You can tell they are having a little more fun. They are getting to know each other so they feel more comfortable…I know we still have room for growth and all of that, but I thought the game in Montreal, the second game in the second period was a good first step [in how the team reacted to losing a teammate to injury, and kept going for the win].”

Coach Lewis on the things that he would like most to continue
“Togetherness…in difficult times. You want structure. You want high conditioned athletes. You want execution on power plays. You want positional plays by the penalty killers. You want quality saves by the goaltenders. But, you also want to create an environment where we are all ‘together’ all of the time.”

Voices in The Room…
Question: Are you enjoying yourself here in training camp?

“Oh yah, it’s an NHL training camp…that’s as far as you can go! Everybody is trying, working hard and enjoying themselves…Boston is a great city, great town and the fans are perfect. It’s unbelievable.”
Defenseman, Milan Jurcina

“I love playing hockey. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I think it’s the best job in the world. You get to go out there, play a game, have fun, in front of thousands of people – it’s pretty cool.”
Forward, Brad Boyes

“I come in with a smile everyday. You can’t ask for a better job. You’re doing something you love everyday…I love every second of it. It’s great.”
Defenseman, Andrew Alberts

And one more thing…
“It was fun. It was awesome up there. We got a couple of wins. So, yah, it was a good trip.”
Forward, Shean Donovan, on his first game with the Bruins vs. the Habs.
Donovan grew up a B’s fan.
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