The Bruins had an optional practice today at Wilmington with Brian Finley, Tim Thomas
, Phil Kessel, Stan Chistov, Petr Tenkrat, Nathan Dempsey, Milan Jurcina, Mark Mowers, Zdeno Chara
, Shean Donovan and Andrew Alberts skating with coaches Marc Habscheid, Doug Houda and Bob Essensa. All of the other guys were present, but were doing off-ice workouts.
The media was let in the locker room before the informal practice was over, but beforehand I saw the defensemen practicing shooting while the forwards worked on a 2-on-1 drill.
As expected, with Brad Boyes being able to play last night, Yan Stastny was sent back to Providence, where, we were told, Hannu Toivonen might play tonight.
No plans as of yet for Hannu’s return to Boston.
Meanwhile, Thomas will start in the barrel tomorrow versus Washington.
The other news of the day was Brian Finley’s new mask. While not as imposing as his old Predator mask, it was nonetheless very cool.
It features Yogi Bear in goalies gear, with Pooh Bear (Disneyesque version) on the sides, and a large spoked-P (for Providence) with honey sliding down the P emblem.
Brian reported that he was getting "chirped" by the other guys in practice -- including his fellow netminder Thomas, perhaps because of its kinder, gentler visage.
Tim had some mask issues today and will have to put on a new cage after his was dented recently.
I grabbed the following from the updated game notes: Has won his last three starts with a 4-3 win over Ottawa on Nov. 11, a 3-2 shootout victory in Washington on Nov. 15 and a 2-1 overtime win Nov. 16 vs. Toronto.
Is 5-1-1 in his last seven decisions.
Has played in the last ten straight games.
2006-07 Shootout Stats: 1-2 (4 goals/10 shots).
Lifetime vs. Washington: 4-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA in 5 games.
"Yep, just had a little optional, so it was good for the guys. A little rest. We have three in four nights, here, so we can get ready for tomorrow night’s game…[the new line] is good. We won, so that is the big thing. You just try to go out there, work hard and keep it simple and try to get that energy and try to chip in [offensively], too."
Forward, Shean Donovan, on optional skates and his new line
"I think everybody, most of the guys anyway, have been around the league long enough so that we all realize that…you enjoy that moment, but the next day is a new day. And you know there is another game -- 82 in fact. You can’t be celebrating one win for a week. It’s a challenge. You know that the next team you are going to play are going to be even more prepared, more ready. The better record you have, the more ready teams are going to be to play you.
Captain,Zdeno Chara, on winning and moving on
"Just continue to stick with the systems. It’s important that we are rolling four lines and obviously staying out of the box preserves energy, as well…I think we have four solid lines that can play. And nowadays you need that, with the speed of the game. If you can roll four lines it keeps everybody fresh and I think you can get more output from everyone."
Forward, Wayne Primeau, on keeping the momentum moving