We have a fun feature on Mark Stuart
up on the site this afternoon. My intern, Dyan LeBourdais talked to Stuey over the last couple of weeks and spoke about his family's involvement in hockey and of his own activities off the ice.
As I read Dyan's story, I thought to myself -- with four kids in hockey, Momma Stuart must have been a pretty busy hockey mom while the kids were in their youth programs.
"She was unbelievable," said Stuart of his mother Nancy's involvement in her family's hockey life. "She had three boys and a girl [in hockey] and we're all two years apart, so we had a lot of work to do.
"We grew up in the Suburban."The Suburban
was a large passenger truck that transported Mrs. Stuart's young hockey players.
"Unfortunately, that's where my mom spent most of her time," said Stuart, "In that Suburban.
"Either picking kid's up or taking kids [to the rink].
"She had the toughest job, that's for sure," he said.
How many miles did she put on that truck?
"Well, the first one had 400,000 I think...on the first one," said Stuart. "Then we got a new one.
"But she absolutely loved the old one. They kept it around for awhile and called it the old Suburban.
"I think she's still driving the new one and that one has a bunch of miles on it, as well," he said.
Stuart just shook his head and said, "She's just an unbelievable lady."
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Julien also spoke very highly of the Bruins next opponents, and his former organization, the New Jersey Devils when he talked to the press after practice.
"Well they are an organization that doesn't change their system much," said the Bruins bench boss. "It's doesn't matter what coach goes in there, they want [the game] to be played a certain way.
"They have won three Stanley Cups playing that way, and they believe in it. The guys they bring into [their team] buy into it.
"[And] it’s guys that they have...brought up in their system -- a lot of them. Some of them have left and come back. It gives you an idea of what their organization is all about, they really believe in that part of their game and that’s why is makes them consistent," he said.
The Bruins were thinking power play today and Coach Julien was asked about the club's tough start on the man advantage.
"There’s always a couple of things and obviously confidence is a big thing in the power play like anything else," he said. "I think right now we need to have the confidence to make the plays, move the puck quick and take the shots when they are there.
"We have the tendency sometimes to over pass, so hopefully we keep working at it."
There's no use dwelling on anything -- just work harder.
"That’s all we can do right now is work at it and make the corrections and make it better, so we’ll probably see the results from that in the upcoming games," he said.
The line of Daniel Paille
, Vladimir Sobotka and Blake Wheeler was a topic of conversation on Tuesday.
"I had a talk with Vlady [before the Ottawa game] and he’s a guy that needs to be in other players faces and play hard and compete and...be more intense," said Julien. "He got away with [not needing to do those things] in Providence because he’s a top line player, so we need him to find his identity here.
"I thought he responded extremely well to that. [With] Paille’s speed, and with Wheels, that made for a decent line. I liked the way that they competed and I hope that those three can get better here as we move on.
"But there’s some speed, there’s some grit. Paille’s very reliable and then Wheeler can give them that offensive look [and] if he can continue to find his game and then get in those right areas they’re going to feed him," said Julien.
Wheeler's play of late has been encouraging, as well.
"For him to score that goal on Saturday was nice to see," said Coach Julien. "For us, we were glad it happened, because it was the kind of boost he needs...and hopefully he can build on that."
Kudos to the Captain
The Bruins are using most of the ice to run some line drills, and it looks as if the the club is having another good practice in anticipation of tomorrow's Eastern Conference tilt with the New Jersey Devils.
"Guys are a little encouraged to do a little extra and want to better themselves," said Claude Julien on Tuesday in reference to the attitude displayed by the Bruins. "The mood is obviously better than it was two weeks ago and those kind of things encourage players to want to do more."
On Monday, for example, Zdeno Chara
worked before and after practice on his shot.
"When things weren’t going well everybody was kind of hanging their heads and everything is heavy and to do the extra work and everything is a little tougher.
"But those are the type of things you like to see your captain do as far as saying, 'You know what, I’m going to lead by example. I want to work on certain parts of my game and I’m willing to put the extra time.'
"It certainly sets a good example for everybody else," said Julien.
The rest of the team is on the ice for the regular practice session.
Boston Bruins defensemen Dennis Wideman, Matt Hunwick and Andrew Ference
as well as forwards Blake Wheeler, Mark Recchi and David Krejci
are on the ice early working with Coach Geoff Ward.
Injured forward Milan Lucic
was working with head athletic trainer Don DelNegro earlier. Lucic was prerforming skating only drills that were timed by the trainer.