WILMINGTON, MA - Opening Night is just two days away and the Bruins are ramping up. They were back on the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday morning for Day 5 of Training Camp, once again skating with urgency.
Their preparations were put on hold for nearly 20 minutes, however, after a medical emergency took place in the stands.
A fan required serious medical attention as the Bruins began practice. The session paused, as the players stopped their warmups, took a knee along the boards and watched as a police officer and other emergency personnel worked on the individual.
When head coach Claude Julien learned of the seriousness of what was going on, he had his players return to the locker room.
A few moments later, after the fan had been transported to a hospital, practice resumed.
“We knew something was going on in the stands. It was an emergency, I don’t know the details of what happened, all I saw was a bunch of people there on the spot, obviously helping,” said Julien.
“As far as I’m concerned, when we stepped on the ice and found out what was happening, I think the last thing that they needed was for pucks to bang off the glass. Out of respect, we just let them do their job.”
Forward Gregory Campbell praised the work of the first responders.
“Obviously it takes heroic people to do what they do and only a certain type of person can act under pressure like that,” he said. “It’s not pressure that we deal with on a daily basis, it’s life or death.”
When practice resumed, Milan Lucic was the lone player not on the ice. According to Julien, Lucic was excused due to personal reasons. In his place, Jay Pandolfo skated alongside Nathan Horton and David Krejci.
For everyone else, it was back to work preparing for the New York Rangers. Julien spoke of the balance between working the players hard to get them into shape and not tiring them out before the opener.
“Well that’s just it, it’s a matter of you’ve got to understand that there’s going to be some fatigue after a six day training camp. But like I said, there’s going to be nine other teams I’m sure going through it.
“There’s nobody that’s gone out there for a half an hour and said ‘okay, let’s just float through these half hours, so that we’re rested for the first home opener.’ And I think that’s where character comes into play, and you say, ‘you know what we’ve gotta push through this situation, everybody’s in the same boat, and that’s what we’ve gotta do.’
“I mean we’re trying to touch up everything we can right now, and we’re trying to keep our practices as short as we can and then go from there, hoping that by Saturday, we’ve still got a team ready to go.”
Prior to the main practice session, the Bruins worked on the power play, once again. On one of the units, Campbell took the spot of Lucic, while Rich Peverley alternated with Krejci at the point. Other than that, there were not any changes from earlier in the week.
Julien said the units could still change, but that the team will continue to work with the players they currently have to keep improving the PP.
“Looch wasn’t here today, so we’ve got [Campbell] that’s really good in front of the net at tipping pucks. We see him on the checking line, and so he’s certainly a guy you can throw in at times.
“You’ve seen extra guys, Peverley, that can play in different roles. So, it’s not really set in stone, but we’re practicing with, I guess those 12 guys, a couple extras guys in there and spotting them here and there.
“But the bottom line is you keep working on the parts of your game and Power Play is a part of the game that’s important and we’re going to keep working on that so that we can get some positive results here.”
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