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Timmy Will Start on Thursday

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.
Just a short update today, as the team had quite a bit of the day to themselves...

Some breaking news:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that forward Maxime Sauve has been released from the club’s training camp.  Sauve will join his junior club Val d'Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The 18-year-old native of Boisbriand, Quebec was the Bruins second round pick (47th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  Sauve made his Bruins preseason debut Tuesday night during Boston's 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.

44 players now remain in Bruins Training Camp.  The Bruins return to preseason game action Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. ET when they play the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings at the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This morning, both sessions of practice on Wednesday were decidedly up-tempo and included many of the battle drills that have characterized Training Camp 2008.

Forward Brad Marchand and defenseman Mike Egener had a particularly heated off-and-off battle over a period of a half-an-hour.

Initially, Egener popped Marchand hard into the boards. Marchand returned the favor a few minutes later with a nice hit in the opposite corner and a shot to the face or two that nearly turned into blows between the two prospects.

Nothing came of it, but in many ways it was a microcosm of the competition throughout camp.

Particularly encouraging was the play of tomorrow’s starter, Tim Thomas, who continues to play as if every goal was a personal affront.

At one point the veteran netminder looked to be attempting to do “the worm” as he threw everything at one shot attempt and almost lost his trapper in the process.

Of course, he made the save lying on his left side, facing the net with the back of his left arm.

On the ice for the first session were (in no particular order):
Byron Bitz, Nate Thompson, Shawn Thornton, Brad Marchand, Vladimir Sobotka, Marco Sturm, Phil Kessel, Patrice Bergeron, P.J. Axelsson, Chuck Kobasew, David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, Mike Egener, Andrew Alberts, Zdeno Chara, Aaron Ward, Ryan Stokes, Tim Thomas, Manny Fernandez, Shane Hnidy and Jeff Penner.

Some thoughts from the players after practice…

Boston Bruins Forward Blake Wheeler
On the praise he has received at camp…
It’s a long road. I’ve played one exhibition game as a rookie. There is a lot of time left in the season and there is a lot of time left in this training camp. So I have to go out and I have to work hard everyday. And if I any opportunity to make this team, that’s obviously my goal, but as long as I go out and work hard and take care of my business (the other stuff) is really outside of my control.

On rooming with Phil Kessel and any advice Kessel has given…
I let him have the remote and I do my own thing and he does his own thing. It works out well…when we get on the bus, I ask him where I should sit – front or back – things like that and he’s been helpful. More or less he said don’t be nervous as a rookie. The more nerves kick in, the less you are playing your game, so just go out there and play.

Boston Bruins Forward Marco Sturm
On himself as a rookie…
I know it was not easy for me. I had no clue what was going on. But on every time I stepped on the ice I tried to go 100% and just work hard. And, you know what, it paid off in the end.

Talking about the veteran Bruins helping rookies along…
Obviously, we try to help them along (and I pass) on what I learned. You feel more comfortable when a veteran talks to you and tries to help you out.

Boston Bruins Defenseman Aaron Ward
On the transition between college hockey and professional hockey…
There is a lot more responsibility in the National Hockey League. In college, usually what shines is individual effort. Here, you have to be responsible in your defensive zone, know the system and be positionally sound. It’s all about those intangibles.

On Blake Wheeler and having “the edge” in his game...
He’s got it. You don’t get invited to camp and you don’t get to this stage unless you have an edge to your game. And he’s got it…and you don’t have to be mean, you just have to be competitive.

The second practice session included:
Peter Schaefer, Marc Savard, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, Petteri Nokelainen, Stephane Yelle, Matt Marquardt, Martins Karsums, Martin St. Pierre, Jordan Knackstedt, Zach Hamill, Matt Lashoff, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Matt Hunwick, Mark Stuart, Johnny Boychuk, Dennis Wideman.

After practice, Coach Julien reiterated his statements from Tuesday night.

“It was a tough game for us,” said the coach. “We had a lot of young guys in our lineup and they kind of struggled for most of the night.

“So those guys got exposed a little bit and it was a tough way to evaluate them.

“But it was probably a good way for them to realize what the quickness of this league is all about.”

Coach did not have any roster news for tomorrow’s game (save Thomas being in goal).

“We haven’t made our roster yet for tomorrow,” said Julien. “We’ll be making that this afternoon and the players are going to be made aware of it tonight.

“So you’ll probably be given an indication of it tomorrow at morning skate.”

More thoughts from after the second session…

Boston Bruins Defenseman Mark Stuart
On Tuesday night and bouncing back and Wednesday’s practice
It was disappointing and we did not play as well as we wanted to. We went out there trying to work hard, first of all, and then work on some things that we had worked on in practice. I think we worked hard for the most part, but it was just kind of sloppy. And we did not come away with the win and it’s disappointing, even if was training camp, because all the games are important…We just need to keep improving and go out today and have a good practice. I think we did that.

Boston Bruins Defenseman Andy Bodnarchuk
On the game in Moncton...
I think everyone here is really competitive and has a competitive spirit. Nobody likes to lose and it’s always disappointing when you lose. Overall, I thought it was a bit of a ‘scrambly’ game and for almost everyone in there, it was their first game in a while, so hopefully we shook the rust off there and move forward…Each shift I got a little more comfortable, but I think a few times I was hesitant to jump into a play or stuff like that. But as I gain confidence I will be able to do (more) and feel a little smoother.
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