- The Bruins gathered for a Sunday morning practice at Ristuccia Arena, following their 2-1 loss in Montreal last night; a win would have would have catapulted them to first in the Northeast.
They practiced for just over 45 minutes as a group, but it seemed much longer because of the quality of the work being deployed, as they worked through some frustration towards Saturday night’s defeat. The emphasis was mostly on shooting work and getting pucks on goal, a result of not only the 0 shots recorded on their 6-on-4 power play in the final minute of last night’s game, but more a product of their 5-on-5 play as of late.
“You’ve got to realize what was at stake and what slipped away, but frustration’s not going to get you going in the right direction,” said Coach following practice.
“I think it’s more, I’d rather see determination versus frustration; determination of wanting to turn it around and that’s what we’re trying to do here. Everyone’s got to work through this here.”
The battling down low during practice got extremely competitive, as the B’s upped the intensity level, a sign of the emphasis placed on puck control along the boards and in front of the goal. During a stretch of about 10-15 minutes of battling drills inside the blueline, it looked like players who mishandled the puck or didn’t give their best effort to maintain control and fire shots in, skated a few quick sprints in the neutral zone before joining the rest of the team back on the blueline.
Searching to stabilize a four-line roll-out for the Bruins - especially with injuries to Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly still keeping two of the B’s top centerman out of the lineup - Coach tinkered with the lines for today’s practice.
Grey: Paille-Kelly-Seguin, Pandolfo
Merlot: Peverley at center, with Daugavins, Caron, Thornton the wingers
“What’s happening is we want to keep the momentum going,” said Coach Julien, on trying to stabilize more than one line. “You got Krech’s line going out there and bringing us some good flow, and then we got some lines where there was no flow to it, so we’re just trying to get some flow going on a consistent basis here to keep the momemtum of the game going in our favor.”
“They were our best line last night,” Coach said, when asked if he’s leary of breaking up the Krejci line. “Right now, it’s hard to break that line; I’m trying to fix the other lines that aren’t bringing much for the time being. That’s where I stand with that.”
Adam McQuaid joined the team for the first time on the ice since March 19, as it was announced on March 20 that he would be out 3-4 weeks with a shoulder strain. McQuaid took some contact, but not much, and Coach Julien ruled him out for Monday’s game against Carolina at TD Garden.
As such, all nine defensemen were on the ice for the B’s, along with 14 forwards and the two goaltenders.
Chris Kelly was also taking contact and participated in battling drills, and Coach said there hasn’t been clearance yet from the medical staff, but he keeps “inching closer and closer every day.” With Kelly and McQuaid both on, the only Bruin missing was Patrice Bergeron.
Following practice, Coach said there was no further update yet on Bergeron’s status and that he would update the media when the B’s knew more.
Coach noted that a “situation like that is very unknown; we’ll certainly update you guys when the news starts getting positive and he’s headed in the right direction.”