Following Comeback, B's Shift Focus to Round 2
BOSTON, MA - The Bruins were back to work Wednesday morning for practice at TD Garden, following a much-deserved day off Tuesday to rest the body and mind, after an emotionally and physically draining Game Seven comeback win.
"It was nice to have yesterday off and get away from the rink and just spend time with the family," said Bruins center Chris Kelly.
"Maybe emotionally more than physically," Kelly added, on the recovery (as anyone who watched the game is nodding in agreement right now reading this).
"I think part of getting those days is just to rest your body but also your mind and try to get back at it today, making sure you're fresh and sharp," added Bergeron.
"I haven't watched the game, I've seen some highlights obviously. Yesterday, like I said, was a resting day, trying to get you're mind off of it even though it was a special feeling. At the same time, we've got to stay in the moment and make sure we're ready for tomorrow."
So, have the Bruins moved on from the comeback high to focusing on the New York Rangers and a new set of challenges?
"You have to," said Bergeron. "Part of the playoffs is to be in the moment and not look past it and not look ahead. It's about that next game, that next day. Right now, we're worried about round two, as we should be."
X's and O's
The morning's nearly hour-long workout that began around 11:00 a.m. can best be described as a "meeting of the minds." Special teams units spent time on the ice before practice began, along with Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask getting work in with goalie coach Bob Essensa.
The Bruins went through a number of drills, and also spent significant time having conversations all over the ice, whether it was Coach Julien talking to the entire group near the drawing board, or Dougie Hamilton in the corner with Nathan Horton and recent call-up Torey Krug.
I say "meeting of the minds" because you could see their hockey IQ's at work; they weren't laughing and chatting about what they did on their off day. At one point, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, Jaromir Jagr and Zdeno Chara gathered over near the blueline with Coach Geoff Ward (the mastermind behind the B's extra-attacker plays that got them two goals in the final two minutes of Game Seven), and every few minutes, they're sticks would point to areas of the ice as they went through the X's and O's.
Redden, Seidenberg, Ference Still Sidelined
"Not really," Coach said following the practice, on if he had any updates on the injuries. "Again, you saw none of them on the ice today. That’s the situation. I’m in the training room every day talking to my trainers. A lot of that stuff is day-to-day until we get them through."
"There are injuries, there’s no hiding that fact, except that sometimes you can get players through those and sometimes you can’t. Sometimes it’s better not to practice and just to play. We’re going to look at that situation."
"At the end of the day, my final roster will be decided before the game."
Bartkowski and Hamilton have been lauded for their minutes and the ability to step up in Game Seven, with the Bruins only playing with five defensemen the entire game after Seidenberg was sidelined after just 37 seconds of ice time. And Krug is another young blueliner who would bring confidence into the B's lineup.
"This is going to be amazing," said Krug, on his first time being with Boston during the postseason. "I'm looking forward to whatever I can do to help the team."
Coach sees the excited blueliners providing a youthful spark to his veteran team.
"I know a lot of times, to me, it certainly gives your team that certain boost that is something that you probably don’t have when you don’t have those young guys coming in."
Jagr Remains with Bergeron, Marchand
While the final goal of Monday night's game had Tyler Seguin on the ice with usual linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, practice lines on Wednesday saw Jaromir back on Bergeron's right wing, as he had been for Game Seven (until that final shift, when he was getting a skate issues tended to).
"We won a game. To me, it showed something," said Coach, on if he saw positive results mixing up the lines on Monday night. "Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] scored a couple of goals, and I thought Jags [Jaromir Jagr] was fine with that line."
"I didn’t know before the game would start either what kind of results we’d get because I explained before the game; he’s a player that plays his style. You got to be able to read off him. I thought those guys did a pretty good job, and at the end of the night, the winning goal is with the same old three guys together. So, you’re working both situations."
"It just gives me luxury to move guys around if I need to. And depending on what happens in the next game and the series, I’ll continue to look at that."
Monday's Practice Lines
White: Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Gold: Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jaromir Jagr
Grey: Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Merlot: Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Green: Jay Pandolfo, Carl Soderberg, Kaspars Daugavins