Even the tough guys who spend their lives being checked into the boards by opponents sometimes can’t stand up to the flu bug.
“Guys play a lot, every second day on the average, and obviously you get run down, and when [that happens], it becomes dangerous, and your body’s not able to fight [the flu bug] off,” said head coach Claude Julien this morning.
Coach Julien assured the media that the team has been doing everything they can to keep players healthy.
“Obviously we sanitized [the locker room] again, and we do all the things that are necessary,” he said, adding that the players have the option of receiving a flu shot.
Even with all the precautions, the flu bug still runs rampant among the players.
“It…can be taken from anywhere,” Julien said. “But we’ve done what we’ve had to do.”
The Bruins are just one of the teams who have dealt with sick players recently.
“You’ve heard [the Carolina Hurricanes] go through it, and…I think [the Toronto Maple Leafs] have got a couple of guys out with the flu as well,” Julien told the press. “It’s something that seems to happen around this time of year a lot to all the teams.”
“I’m a coach, not a doctor,” Julien said, laughing. “I can’t really predict much more than this.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins opponent tonight, did indeed have to deal with a sick center, Alex Steen, excusing him from practice earlier this week.
Mike Zeisberger of The Toronto Sun reported this morning, though, that Steen is, in the words of Leafs head coach Paul Maurice, “much better.”
Bruins players are slowly recovering as well. Goalie Tim Thomas
, Coach Julien said, “is feeling a lot better today,” as is left winger Shawn Thornton
, who “should be OK, unless we get a surprise this afternoon.”
Unfortunately, the Bruins will still be short a forward, as Peter Schaefer is still suffering from the bug.
“He’s not here this morning, and he’s missed the last three days,” Coach Julien said. “He’s not feeling extremely well, so I doubt you’ll see him tonight.”
Coach Julien seemed optimistic about the team’s ability to overcome absences due to sickness.
“You don’t really have much of a choice. It’s something you can’t control,” he said. “You go with what you’ve got, and the guys that are asked to play have to give their best, and that’s all you can ask.
“We’re doing everything we can….That’s all you can do.”