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The B's Return to Ristuccia

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
By the way…

Forward Jeff Hoggan cleared waivers and will be assigned to Providence.

No rest for the beary…
After their day off on Monday, the Bruins returned to Ristuccia and Boston Head Coach Claude Julien put his players through a high paced, energetic practice, which looked to be focused on forechecking.

Today's lines at Ristuccia were…

White:   Schaefer-Savard-Murray
Gold:     Sturm-Bergeron-Kobasew
Gray:     Axelsson-Krejci-Kessel
Brick:    Lucic-Metropolit-Thornton
Red:      Bochenski, Reich

D:          Chara-Ward, Alberts-Ference,
              Allen, Stuart, Wideman

Goal:     Fernandez, Thomas

Coach Julien was making some very specific instructions during the practice (no doubt relating to the team's new systems) and stopped the session quite often to teach, explain and correct technique.

The Bruins went through a number of drills, starting with some 1-on-1 battles in the corner and behind the net and progressing in the same style until the battles were 5-on-5. Our boys finished their on-ice working day with sprints. A tough practice, but one where a lot got done.

No surprises.
Asked if training camp and the state of the team had any surprised him in any way, Coach Julien said no.

"I think it was what we expected," explained Julien. "I think there are a lot of things we want to accomplish (but) I like this group.

"I think people have been hard on this group because of what happened -- and rightfully so, when you don't get the results you want, that's a normal thing.

"But I think there are some good things we can do with this group of players," he said.

Certain things need to be changed, but other things have already improved.

"The work ethic has definitely been better," said Coach. "Now we just have to work on the parts of our game that are costing us right now."

One thing that the Coach hopes doesn't cost the Bruins is the five game road trip that begins their 2007-08 season.

"We have to make sure that those things don't bother us," he said. "We have a job to do and what we have to focus on is the task in front of us.

"(It's) a road trip that can do an awful lot for your hockey club, if it's approached the right way and done properly."

Coach Julien said that he did not know if the Bruins would carry 23 players all year, but that he does like the number.

"When you have extra players it creates competition within the team," said Julien. "And I think that is a good thing to have right now."

Metro sticks around
Although nothing is concrete, it seems to be a reasonable assumption that Glen Metropolit will be signing with the Bruins in the very near future.

"Obviously, he came in as an invitee to camp," said Julien. "We feel…that he can do a little bit of everything.

"He's a guy you can move up on the power play. He's a smart player and sees the ice well. He's also a guy, that if you need to kill penalties, is smart enough to play that role well.

"We've got him on a line right now where we've got some guys on each side of him who are more physical types of players and…he can be the player who will be in good position to come back and help out defensively," he said.

Whatever his role may be, Metropolit is enjoying his time with the Bruins and wants it to continue. Assuming he does stick, however, don't assume he will be keeping number 13. Although he is not superstitious, the forward wouldn't mind changing it.

In the short term however, Metropolit has made himself an important part of the Bruins preseason workouts and exhibitions and his only hope is that his time with the team continues indefinitely.

"It was a good camp," said Glen. "And it feels good to be part of this team.

"Hopefully we are on the right track and can get some wins under our belt."
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