"I'm looking forward towards Thursday, but it's still going to be a gametime decision if I play or not," said Milan Lucic
when queried about his status for Thursday night's tilt with Atlanta. "I think [I'm making the trip], but that it still up in the air.
"We haven't decided that either."
Lucic said that his hand is feeling better.
"I got that mobility back," he said. "It's still not at 100% but it's almost to 100% so, so now I am just working on trying to get [all] my strength back.
"Again, it feels great...not so much soreness anymore. So hopefuly I can make my return, back in the lineup, soon."
Today, Lucic faced contact for the first time in a qreat while.
"We had that down low drill, so that was good," said the forward. "It was a good day of progess.
"As it went on, more-and-more in practice...I was getting more comfortable with it [in order] to play without thinking about it.
"So, it was a good day..and hopefully it will feel good again, tomorrow."
Not Many Words...But Much To Say
By all accounts, Coach Julien wasn't in the most talkative of moods, but he did address some things with the media, postpractice.
On Milan Lucic
"[This] is the first day I have seen him, [but] he is obviously in good shape."
On Marc Savard
"Good signs obviously. Nice to see him back on skates, and hopefully we will see him back with the team soon...all I know is that he is ready to go so whether he is ahead of schedule I don’t know. He is not with the team yet, just skating."
When asked if it would be a positive sign to get the two forwards back into the lineup Julien said, "Anything is a positive right now, I guess. Anything that you can get."
Julien's focus and modus operandi remain the same, even in light of some tough losses.
"You just keep plugging away," he said to bostonbruinstv.com. "We just have to stick with it and work through it.
"You know, as frustrating as it is you have to work through your situation and that is what I think we did this morning. We worked through a lot of things and the intensity level was there and that’s how you are going to get out of it."
And until the B's can string together some victories, the frustration will remain.
"Right now nobody is feeling good about it, our team isn’t and anybody that’s a fan of our team certainly don’t like what they are seeing," said Julien. "So again, you don’t hang your head. You work through it.
"[It] doesn’t matter what people say, what people think. You work through things.
"We owe it to everybody. If people are not happy with how the team is going right know they have a right to be and neither are we.
"It’s about accountability...from the coaching staff to the players. You know if we are going to take pride with the good things that happen with our team, and we also have to take responsibility for the things that don’t go well."
I don't think I am speaking out of school when I say that the mood at practice today was somber. But I am not exaggerating either when I say that there was a lighter feeling in the building when Marc Savard
started speaking about his progress.
"I just know that I am practicing with the team tomorrow and hopefully that goes well," said Savard. "How it will go on from there will be coach’s decision.
"It's been a long time," continued Marc. "Obviously, I have been off it, I haven’t been used to this in a while so it was tough and I couldn’t wait to get out there.
"So I was actually excited this morning and I felt really good. I was twisting and turning and trying to do some extra things and I felt great shooting, passing and I just can’t wait to get back out there."
That desire showed. Savard often had a smile on his face while working with Coach Whitesides this morning.
"Yeah and you know, I’ve been working hard," said the veteran center. "He’s done a great job with me in the gym and I feel better than I guess I did in the start, so I guess that’s a good sign. So I’m ready to go and hopefully practice goes well tomorrow and it will be Claude’s decision."
And Savard is hoping he gets the nod soon.
"I’m excited to get back out there. It’s been long four weeks and a half," he said. "I’m 32-years-old and I’ve been playing Xbox. That’s not good, so that’s why I’m ready to go and I’m feeling good."
So how soon could he go in a game?
"It depends how I feel tomorrow in practice," he said. "I’m going to get a good skate in and be back out there with the boys.
"I mean I don’t want to rush things and I don’t think we do as the staff said, but if it comes to it, yeah maybe I can play."
Bag skate or not, the Bruins are being put through their paces today. We're already through an hour of skating and the B's are working through battle drills.
My favorite Twitter re-tweet of the day to the news that Savard is skating: "Skies parting... angels singing..."
Obviously, there are no miracles yet as Savard is not on the ice for the regular session, but the sentiment is correct.
Honestly, I am a little surprised that the Bruins are able to use pucks on the ice this morning. Based on B's head coach Claude Julien's demeanor during his postgame comments, I was thinking that a traditional "bag skate" with no pucks was coming.
"Tonight is one of those games that you can take a look at the stats and almost throw them in the garbage," said Julien, postgame. "We were 70% on draws and we outshot them -- big deal.
"[The Islanders] were still the better team because they were the team that wanted it more. They wanted it more than we did. It is as simple as that.
"That is something that we, at one point, we didn’t accept, and we did something about it. Hopefully in the very, very near future, we are going to turn that around," he said.
The pucks are out on the ice and so is Milan Lucic
. Shawn Thornton
is NOT on the ice.
Bergeron has been out on the ice shooting puck after puck after puck into the net for quite a while.
If I could, I would love to tell Patrice -- who clearly takes losses very seriously -- that despite his (-4) last night, he was not the problem for the Bruins.
In fact his only fault might have been that he was trying too hard.
But, as a person who watches the Black & Gold everyday, it was good to see he and Morris and Steve Begin out there early.
I've been watching Marc Savard
skate for several minutes and to my untrained eye the Bruins playmaker looks to have no mobility restrictions. He has been working with pucks, skating hard and does not seem to be favoring anything.
It is a darn good sight, frankly. And Derek Morris, Milan Lucic
and Marco Sturm have all been out to watch him skate and are wearing smiles.
Clearly, Marc looks a little tired or winded after some of these drills, but after several weeks off, that is to be expected. Not to mention that the man he is working with, John Whitesides, is not known for his easy workouts.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing, at least for Bruins fans, is the big 'ol smile on Savard's face.
As I write, Derek Morris and Patrice Bergeron
have joined the duo during Savard's final on-ice minutes.
We'll try and get some quotes from Savvy after practice.