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Shopping Today, Practice Tomorrow

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
WOBURN, Mass. -- Brad Marchand and the rest of the Boston Bruins took time out of their day off on Monday in order to participate in the club's annual holiday shopping for hospitalized children, but when he was asked about the B's recent fortunes, the rookie's mind turned quickly to last Saturday night's overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It was disappointing," said Marchand from the lobby of Target in Woburn. "We had a big week and we wanted to get all six points. But we really fought hard in that Philly game; we played as hard as we could and I think we deserved that game and it's unfortunate how it ended.

"But, you know, we played a great game and especially for our third game of the week it's sometimes tough to get up for that, but we battled hard and the five of six felt good but it would have been nice to get that sixth one."

With another tough week on deck, and with that week including Eastern Conference match-ups with Buffalo, Montreal and Washington, the Bruins were off on Sunday and Monday.

"I think [our] coaching staff went about it the right way," said Marchand. "They've given us time to rest up when we needed it and [the team] stayed off the ice a couple of times and didn't stay on the ice very long sometimes.

"They're very experienced and know how to treat these situations. And you know, I think were all pretty rested up. By that third game we still had energy and we knew if we left it all on the ice we'd have a few days off here -- a few days without a game anyways.

"So we wanted to make sure we left it all out there."

Johnny Boychuk said that the B's really wanted to earn all six points.

"You always want to get all the points you can," he said. "We got five out of six and that's really good, but, you know, we could have gotten six out of six points and that's obviously the goal every week."

Boychuk agreed that the rest certainly won't hurt Boston's chances.

"I think it'll help us," he said. "We have tomorrow for practice, so we'll get all the little [kinks] out."

The increasingly intense rivalry with Buffalo, as well as the traditional rivalry with Montreal won't hurt the excitement factor for the Bruins, either.

"Well, yeah. We played Buffalo last year in the playoffs and they've wanted to come back at us, so we've just got to be ready for them," said Boychuk. "Montreal is obviously another rivalry, so we've just got to go in there and try to steal two points."

Blake Wheeler said that it's rare that anyone is feeling 100% in the middle of an NHL season and agreed that the rest came at the right time.

"For sure, it's good to rest the body a little bit," said Wheeler. "We've played a lot of games recently, the last month or so, with a lot of travel, too. So to get home and have a pretty good week behind us and be able to have a couple days to rest is definitely welcome.

"We've played so many games in such a short period of time that you're not going to see many bodies that are feeling 100-percent right now. So, that's what everyone is going through in the league right now. That's just the way the schedule's made so you have to fight through it and kind of tend to those things as best you can.

"But whenever you get a chance to take a day off, it's a good thing to put your feet up and relax a little bit."

Wheeler also agreed that this week's divisional and conference match ups should put the Bruins back into high gear as the club prepares for three games in four nights.

"Yeah, they're huge [games]," said Wheeler. "Buffalo has been playing well lately and they are a tough game this week. And Montreal is first in our division, too.

"So it's going to be a tough week and a week that we need to be prepared for and that will start tomorrow."
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