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The Spoked-B rolls into Big D

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
5:37 p.m. (Dallas time)

The team is safe and sound in Dallas.

Before they left, Coach Julien talked about B's upcoming road swing.

Asked what might be the best part of going on the road, Julien said: "Just the fact that we get away here. [And it] is a chance to spend more time together in an environment where guys are totally focused on hockey, no other distractions or obligations."

Julien and many of his players are counting on the virtual blinders to ensure that the club finds the right path.

"So it’s not a bad thing," said the Bruins head coach of the time away from the TD Garden. "And it’s probably something we need right now."

Too soon to tell: Timmy or Tuukka?
After his short quip about using at least one goalie tomorrow, Julien explained his thoughts about revealing his starter before the game.

"We’ll see where we go from there," said Julien, who traditionally has not revealed his starters early. "Again, I’m on a 'daily basis' with those kind of decisions."

So, look for the final update on the starter right before faceoff tomorrow night.

Wideman Stays Home
Defenseman Dennis Wideman stayed home in Boston and will not appear in this weekend's games.

"Well, there are changes," said Julien when asked about his defenseman's status. "He’s obviously getting better, but not good enough to make the trip.

"He’s going to skate here on the weekend and we project he’ll be back for the games after the weekend."

Powering up the power play...
Coach Julien also talked about his club's power play.

"Today we practiced it," he said. "I thought the guys moved the puck well and created chances and now we've just got to make sure we finish.

"Obviously, today the guys didn’t want to be taking slap shots at the guys ankles, so you can take that into account too, but they seemed better today.

"Our last two days have seemed better so let’s see what we get tomorrow."

12:48 p.m.
The Bruins are on the plane and Bear Force One is getting ready to depart.

Before we left Wilmington, head coach Claude Julien was "vague" as to his decision on which goalie he would use on Friday evening in Dallas.

In fact, the only think Coach Julien would admit to was that "they would definitely use one."

Julien was also asked  what the power play needed to do in order to be more successful:

"Score," was his deadpan answer.

We'll talk more from Dallas.

11:11 a.m.
Practice is breaking up. Savard and Chara are discussing something over by the bench and most of the rest of the team is getting a little extra work in.

11:05 a.m.
Shawn Thornton is one tough sonavagun. He just caught a puck high, finished that drill, then finished the next and went over to the bench without a peep.

Another tough sonavagun, Zdeno Chara, saw the whole thing and went over to Thornton and patted him on the helmet what looked to be a gesture of "nice job."

But once Zee saw that he was just fine, he gave Thornton a playful facewash for good measure.

Ahhhhh hockey.

10:57 a.m.
Battle drills! Coach Julien just stopped the latest in order to lecture.

10:46 a.m.
Coach Julien was not kidding about working hard in the two practices before the Dallas game.

I halfway expected an optional before the flight, but the B's moved their practice time up and for good reason.

Full contact line drills have been pretty entertaining.

10:01 a.m.
Practice is starting. Defenseman Dennis Wideman is the only man not on the ice.

9:46 a.m.

Marc Savard is on the ice early, as per usual, and is helping with the goalie session.

Yesterday, he talked about the line changes that the coaching staff had implemented at practice on Wednesday.

"Yah, I just think we're looking for something," said Savard. "Maybe some more scoring? But it's nothing that phases us.

"We've all played together at different times and hopefully this works out."

With Sturm and Ryder riding shotgun, now Savard's line carries two members of his power play unit.

"It'll keep a little more familiarity there," he said. "We'll roll right through and it doesn't mess up the lines, too."

Savard didn't seem in a mood to talk specifics. His mind is on the big picture.

"You just want to produce," he said. "There's no doubt it's the biggest thing going out on this trip.

"Whatever happens with the lines doesn't matter, as long as we get the wins."

9:42 a.m.
The goalies are back on the ice with goalie coach Bob Essensa.
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