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Tough Practice. Tougher Team.

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
SUNRISE, Florida -- You could tell that it wasn't business as usual for the Bruins as they practiced this afternoon in BankAtlantic Center. The club just looked a little more amped up than usual as they took the ice for the hour long practice in the home rink of the Florida Panthers.

Recchi. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
But perhaps the moment that drove the point home was a moment early in the session when, off a rebound, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg baseball-batted a thigh high puck past B's netminder Tim Thomas.

The goalie, with what passed as smile to off-ice observers, popped Seidenberg in the head for his troubles. Both men were laughing about the playful exchange, but Tim's punch was about the only light moment in 60-minutes of skating, shooting and hitting.

"That was a really good play by Seides," said Thomas, who explained that he enjoyed the up-tempo session. "That's the type of practice you want to have -- work hard, intensity and have fun at the same time.

"You know? They all can go hand-in-hand."

From the stands, it didn't look like much fun. In fact, at certain points it looked like elbows (and tempers) were high, particularly during the 3-on-3 battle drills, which ended the day's work.

"There was no temper," said forward Mark Recchi. "There was guys just battling hard.

"We do that in 3-on-3's all the time and you know it's just guys battling...there were no tempers out there, just guys working and focused and trying to win puck battles."

Like Thomas, Recchi said that he enjoyed Tuesday's session and said, in regards to the B's setback in Tampa, that the B's needed a day like today.

"Yeah, we didn't play well for two periods and showed some character in the third, but obviously it was too little too late," said Recchi. "We had a great practice today and we haven't had the opportunity to have some good practices lately.

"I think [today] you see a team that is going to be ready tomorrow and, you know, got their legs back. And anytime you can get a good practice like this, helps."

Thomas. (AP Photo/ Michael Dwyer)
From a player's point of view, what constitutes a good practice?

"It was a game-like practice and that's the type of practices I like," said Thomas. "I like those battles and traffic, because that's what you are going to get in a game.

"Sometimes based on the schedule you can't have intensive practices like that because you just can't afford to get worn out as a team.

"But every once and a while you have these type of practices and these are the ones I favor the most, actually," he said.

"The tempo was high. Puck movement was good. The guys were focused. That's a good practice," added Recchi. "[Add] some high energy and a lot of skating, which is good.

"Burn the legs out a little bit and get some rest today and be ready tomorrow." asked Tyler Seguin of what he thought of, arguably, the B's toughest practice of the young season.

"You know. We've had some pretty intense ones. But today was tough," said Seguin. "There were a lot of battle drills and it was [focused] mainly on stuff that we need to work on that we didn't do last night in our game."

"I think everyone in here is a competitive pro athlete," explained Seguin of the high intensity battle drills between teammates. "Obviously, you're not going to go and [hit] someone from behind, but...we're still going to be hard on each other

"But, in the end, we're just trying to make each other better."
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