The Bruins arrived at the Bell Centre looking like a team that arrived at 4 a.m. and then hit the ice at 11:30. Most of them look to be heading back to the hotel to catch some Z’s.
From all accounts it was a decent practice -- cold rink, but good practice. Tim Thomas
was impressed that although the rink was cold, he wasn’t feeling the extra sting of the shots.
"Survived another one," he joked of practice.
Or was it the game?
Tim will take the net again tomorrow against the Habs and here’s hoping that he does more than survive against the Canadiens.
Despite the loss, nobody found any fault with his performance against Carolina and Coach Lewis continues to ride the hot hand.
"Nothing to fault him at all," said Bruins Head Coach Dave Lewis. "He was solid."
Chances are that the Bruins will bring a ton of emotion to the rink tomorrow, because on top of looking a little tweaked, they looked downright annoyed, too.
Conversely, however, Lewis did not look annoyed -- he was calm, and insisted that the Bruins could take some positives out of last night’s game against the Stanley Cup Champs.
"I thought the first period was our best period of hockey all season," said Lewis. "We competed extremely hard and we were sound structurally and positionally in all three zones.
"I thought we had good attack and good presence."
So what happened coach?
"In the second period, we lost some of that structure…and they sort’ve sensed that. They thrived on that and as it turns out, that’s what killed us," he said.
The players felt similarly.
"What broke our backs was the shorthanded goal," said Wayne Primeau. "In the second period, for the most part, I think we were playing pretty physical, and were skating well…but that [goal] put a damper on things.
"They’re a team that won the Stanley Cup last year and they were able to capitalize on their chances, with the mistakes that we made.
"I think we’ve improved tremendously in that area," added Preems. "I think that at the start of the year we definitely found more ways to lose than win. And now, going into the third, we still believe, if it’s a close game that we can still pull out the win.
"[Saturday] was game that we can learn from and now try to and look forward to the game against Montreal."
And they are looking forward to the game versus their archrivals.
"It’s always great coming to Montreal," said Primeau. "They have great fans and they are a good team over there [in the Canadiens locker room]. And it is a team that we have to try and catch in the standings."Other stuff…
One thing did frustrate Coach Lewis -- injuries.
P.J. Axelsson and Paul Mara are questionable for tomorrow’s contest.
"There is a little bit of concern," said Lewis about Axelsson. "We’re not sure where that is going to take us. I’d like to be able to think that tomorrow, after treatment, that he’d be able to play. But that’s probably not realistic."
The lingering nature of P.J.’s injury is starting to worry the coach.
"We are going to have to get some more tests when we get back to Boston to see what is going on -- possibly an MRI," he said.
And what about Mara?
"[Paul Mara] didn’t skate today," said Coach. "We’ll find out tomorrow morning. It’s just one of those things. He was not good yesterday. So, we’ll wait and see."
Lewis added, "Primeau didn’t practice today, but he’ll be available."