Counter to what you might have thought, having a body-numbing practice is not necessarily the way to bounce back from a couple of mind-numbing losses, especially the day before facing a mind-numbing offense.
Enter Messer’s Briere, Afinogenov, Vanek, Drury here.
So, despite yesterday’s admittedly embarrassing and humbling loss to the Sabres, the Bruins did not skate a "Herbie" session reminiscent of the movie "Miracle" as they prepared for Thursday’s tilt with Buffalo.
However, as practice began, head coach Dave Lewis could be seen giving a short, but obviously earnest, animated lecture to the Bruins as they gathered around him on the Ristuccia ice outside of the earshot of the press.
And, perhaps to let his words of wisdom resonate, nobody spoke for what seemed like an eternity and it was as if the team was listening, waiting for some answer to materialize in the silent (but for the sound of sticks and pucks) arena.
It was somewhat uncomfortable to watch.
Perhaps the answer did come, however, as Marc Savard
, who, along with Tim Thomas
has been the team’s most important player, both in word and deed, cheered for a meaningless goal in a drill.
"Way to go Axie!" he shouted, arms raised in a "V" as P.J. Axelsson skated by, and other players took up the cause.
Soon, the rest of the Bruins were acting much less like a hockey team that has lost the last their last four contests by a combined score of 19-3 and much more like the club who went 6-0-1 earlier this season.
Although the "answer" for what truly ails the hockey club on the ice may yet to be found, but thanks to Savvy, the team was given a needed respite from the doom and gloom that surrounds the club and will continue to permeate the locker room until the team rights its course.
And perhaps that was the answer, after all.Timmy Solution
Goalie Tim Thomas
will start versus the Sabres tomorrow, and when asked about the Bruins strategy going into the game with Buffalo, he said "It is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of battling."
And then he thought a little more, slipped out of "Crash Davis" speak and continued.
"I think the caring part is there," said Tank, refuting reports that the Bruins were no longer emotionally involved. "I think our confidence is at a low.
"So, we have to fight for every bit of confidence that we can build. Small battles, every little battle (and) every little good thing that you do, you have to take that and build confidence off of it."
Another simple answer, no?Good news
"I am feeling better than yesterday," said David Krejci
. "I have a concussion, which I have never had before.
"I have a little headache, but that’s all."
So, with that, a little more air was let into the Bruins locker room as Krejci spoke, having sat out practice, and Andrew Alberts, albeit sporting a black eye and stitches, participated as if nothing had happened.
Alberts, thank goodness, was still wearing a new shield, however.
Krejci will be evaluated tomorrow.Dave’s last word
"I like a lot of things about our team," said Lewis. "I don’t like the way we are playing."
But the adversity will, metaphorically, separate the men from the boys.
"And for the boys, it’s a process they have to go through if they want to be men, regardless of age."