WILMINGTON, MA - The four days with no Bruins' games is nearly coming to an end. The Black & Gold had one final practice Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena before making TD Garden their home base as they host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in Game No. 3 on the season.
Everyone besides Carl Soderberg hit the ice for practice. The forward skated with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides for the third straight day prior to the team skate, as he recovers from a "day to day" ankle injury.
The next step before graduating to "game time decision" will be joining the team for a full practice. From these eyes, it doesn't look like he's too far off, as intensity begins to ramp up in his skates with Whitesides, and blueline to blueline rushes were added into the workout.
The skate began with plenty of work on breakouts and regroups, along with some significant special teams time (it's enjoyable to watch the Bruins' power play, even in practice).
BOSTON, MA - In the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, days can be tough.
But for the young patients, they'll mark Tuesday, October 8, as special.
A visit from two gentlemen decked in Black & Gold, with spoked-B's on their chests did the honors of helping make that happen.
A span of four days off from games for the Bruins is rare; in fact, it didn't exist last season. So, with the B's in the midst of a layoff, it gave Shawn Thornton and Tuukka Rask the chance to stop by the Boston-based hospital for a visit.
The pair went from room to room, spending time with the patients who, not surprisingly, were all huge fans of No. 22 and No. 40.
"It’s great. We don’t have an opportunity to do this too often because of our schedule, so whenever that window opens, we like to go out there," said Rask. "And these hospital visits are I think the most important thing to do."
WILMINGTON, MA - For the second straight day on Tuesday, Carl Soderberg was out skating with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides before his teammates hit the ice for practice.
It's all part of the process for a Bruin coming back from injury, as Soderberg continues his ankle recovery.
"Day to day is the best I can say right now. He’s skating, and when I say day to day it’s just, he’s getting closer to practicing with us and then I get the okay from the medical staff and we’ll move forward," said Head Coach Claude Julien, following the team's skate at Ristuccia Arena. Soderberg was the only Bruin absent from practice.
"So day to day doesn’t necessarily mean tomorrow but he is progressing extremely well."
While Soderberg has been out of game action since the B's final preseason game in Saskatoon on September 27, when the injury occurred, the third line with center Chris Kelly and wingers Jordan Caron and Reilly Smith has powered forward.
When the forward is back to full strength, it could be a difficult decision for Julien.
And it's also been about a month of those additions fielding questions about "chemistry" with their linemates.
The verdict? It takes time. So, every day, and each time they get asked about it, it's gotten better.
So, the same was true following Monday's hard session at Ristuccia Arena, with the B's three days away from their next game against Colorado on Thursday.
WILMINGTON, MA - Carl Soderberg skated on his own Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena, before the Bruins hit the ice for practice following their day off Sunday, and 4-1 win over Detroit and Saturday.
The forward is returning from an ankle injury that has kept him out since the final preseason game of the season on September 27 in Saskatoon against Winnipeg, when he hit a rut in the ice during the third period.
"He skated this morning so he is getting closer," Head Coach Claude Julien said following the hour-long skate at the B's practice facility.
Jordan Caron has filled in on the left wing, proving reliable at both ends and serving as an early offensive threat, notching his first goal of the season in the victory over Detroit and nearly scoring in the first game (early whistle waved it off), a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay.
BOSTON, MA - You don't always see it, but when it appears, it's mesmerizing.
The big man, 6-foot-9 captain Zdeno Chara, weaving through the defense, backhand, deke to the forehand, backhand, top shelf.
We saw it in 2012-13, with a pirouette highlight reel goal against Florida. And we saw it Saturday night, to cap off a 4-1 win over Detroit at TD Garden, giving the Bruins a 2-0-0 start to their 2013-14 season.
And we may be seeing more of that this season, with Chara in his newly frequented position down low on the power play.
"Not too many challenges when you look at what he’s doing, right?" Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told media postgame, of having his strongest weapon on defense taking on the forward role during the man-advantage.
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins hit the ice in preparation for Game No. 2 on the NHL calendar today, hosting the Detroit Red Wings tonight at TD Garden at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
Original Six match-ups are nothing new for Boston, with the likes of Toronto and Montreal in the division, but with Detroit joining the Eastern Conference in the new Atlantic Divisions with the B's this season, the Wings could grow into a familiar foe.
"It's an exciting match-up. First time coming over to the East side in a long time. Divisional rival now, Original Six team, so I think it should be exciting for everyone," said Shawn Thornton following the team's pregame skate. "They're a good team, they've been together a long time and they're competitive every year, so this will be a good test for us."
The match-up also pits two well-structured, well-coached teams who place an emphasis on the defensive side of the puck to be able to generate puck possession and offensive chances.
"They always have their players above ours. And very seldom do you get outnumbered situations and you have to be willing to fight for those pucks and you have to be willing to get it by them and go after it again," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said pregame. "You’re not going to get a run-and-gun type game against that team because they defend so well."
BostonBruins.com - Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli has never been shy about the fact that his interest in defenseman Dennis Seidenberg spiked in 2009, when he was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.
An impressive postseason showing against the B's in the '09 conference semifinal solidified his reliability, and in March 2010, when the hard-nosed blueliner - then, a Florida Panther - became available at the trade deadline, Chiarelli made his move. The Bruins acquired Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski in the trade with Florida.
With an expiring contract, Chiarelli locked him up during the 2010 offseason.
And if anything, Seidenberg has only improved since finding a home - and a Stanley Cup - with Boston.
On October 3, the defenseman signed his second four-year contract extension with the Bruins, that keeps him in Black & Gold until at least the 2017-18 season.
BOSTON, MA - Following their 3-1 season opening win over Tampa Bay, the Bruins hit the ice for a Friday morning practice at TD Garden. Next up, the B's host the new Atlantic Division rival Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night in the second game of a three-game homestand to kick off the 2013-14 season.
Boston admitted they felt out of sync to start Thursday night's game, even if they did jump out to the 1-0 lead off Chris Kelly's penalty shot.
So practice served as a day of improvements heading into Saturday night (working predominantly on breakouts and regroups during the hour-long skate), when the B's will face another offensively potent team with the top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader.
"I think they're an elite team, they always have been," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, on now having Detroit in the East, and in the B's division. "I think you need to look at, for example, their third line with a guy like [Daniel] Cleary and [Todd] Bertuzzi on the third line, you know you've got some pretty good depth."
"And they're an experienced team, they're a smart team, they play a good, smart game, and that will certainly bring an element of an even bigger challenge for all of the teams in our conference right now."
BOSTON, MA - As Jarome Iginla was heading into his first regular season game in the spoked-B on Thursday night, he wanted to get off to a good start.
"As a team, we want to make a good first impression," Iginla had said, prior to a 3-1 season opening win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden. "It’s a lot of the same guys but some of the news guys like myself; you want to get off to a good start at here at home and make a good first impression."
The new Bruins right winger may not have started off the season in the scoring columns (with Chris Kelly, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron doing the honors), but he still made his mark on the stat sheet, dropping the gloves in Big Bad Bruins fashion.
It's nothing new to the power forward's game, but it immediately made an impact with the Boston faithful.
Nearing the midpoint of the second period, Iginla got leveled at the red line near the penalty box with Tampa Bay's Radko Gudas. He wasn't too happy with the hit he didn't see coming.
The gloves immediately dropped, as the pair squared off and the crowd grew louder.