|Albe and Claude talk defense.
I just got back from Ristuccia, where the Bruins were going through their second to last practice before facing the Dallas Stars on Friday.
Today, the club was focusing on full strength defensive zone coverage. The most prominent and exciting drill sent a full offensive forward line and two D-men deep on a full line, two D and the goalie. A coach would throw a puck into the corner and battles all over the zone ensued.
"Obviously a huge part of keeping our goals against down, is just (having good habits become) second nature," said Andrew Ference
. "Communication is important, whether it be verbal or (otherwise), being able to read off of your teammates -- as far as switching guys -- and knowing who's where and really getting the concept of supporting the man that's in battle.
"Repetition just hammers it home.
"And it's a good drill even for our offensive guys to have that kind of corner work because that is as close to game situation as it gets," he said.
Today's lines at Ristuccia were…White:
Axelsson, Krejci, Kessel, BochenskiBrick:
Lucic, Metropolit, Thornton, Reich D:
Allen, Stuart, WidemanGoal:
Fernandez, ThomasKeeping it close to the vest
Don't expect too, too much information about the starters, the final lines or the goalie before Friday night. Coach Julien will be keeping a lot of information to himself.
"I hate to answer you this way," said Julien to a question about time on the ice for a line. "I don't make predictions.
"It depends on the game.
"There are certain games where (players) will be used more than others," he said.
Julien said you don't have to make things harder than they are.
"This game is tough enough as it is, with the power plays and the penalties and everything else. With special teams it's hard to go into a game saying that this is the amount of time guys are going to have."
There was one caveat.
|Sturmie listens in. |
"The one thing I can tell you is that players will be rewarded by ice time dependant on how they play," he said.
As far as the goalies, Julien explained that he has never named his starting goalie ahead of time (although one assumes that having Jose Theodore, near his prime, and Martin Brodeur, still in his prime, made Coach's choices pretty simple).
The goaltending choice for Friday and for the rest of the season is still an open one.
"Yup, and they don't know and they'll be the first ones to know (who is going to play)," said Julien with a chuckle. 'I'm just being polite when I say that (because) the goaltenders and the rest of the team are in the same situation.
"I want them all ready to go.
"They need to focus on that first game and when the time is right they'll know who's in (the lineup) and who's not," said Coach.