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They’re Back: Buffalo Returns

Wednesday, 11.01.2006 / 4:00 PM / News
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They’re Back: Buffalo Returns
Buffalo is in B’s Sights
Team transparent turned into team tight-to-the-chest today, as Coach Lewis told the media that the lines we saw for the last couple of days will most likely not be the ones we see tomorrow and that “no” he would not tell us what they are.

“Ah-hem!” says Bish!

But, in all truthfulness, the Bruins, who have bent over backwards to be accommodating where the lineup is concerned, have spoiled us rotten in terms of info, and I can understand why, with the next few games being so important and with the lineup in flux, that the staff is a little more tight lipped.

And two players are coming back.

So that means there will be lineup decisions that could leave a couple of guys on the outside looking in.

“You know it’s not easy for a coach to take players out of a lineup,” said Coach. “But that is the nature of the business.

“You have to put out the best lineup you can for that particular game and those decisions will be made tomorrow morning.”

And it is not as if the Bruins wouldn’t like to have a consistent lineup, but injuries have certainly hampered that desire.

“We haven’t played a lot of games and we haven’t established a real rhythm,” said Coach Lewis. “You’re going to have another look at a different lineup tomorrow. So, it would be nice to establish some rhythm.”

Some good news:
Coach Lewis said Andrew Alberts is in, having recovered from his shoulder issues.

And Coach also said Marco Sturm would play.

“[Marco] will have some rust,” said Lewis. “But that’s okay, he’s gotta play.

“We’ve got two games coming up here and I am sure he is sick of sitting or standing by and watching, so getting him into the action will be good for him and good for us.

Some bad news:
Lewis said that Brad Stuart is still out of the lineup.

“[Stuart’s] skating,” explained the head coach. “He can do some things with his hand, other things he can’t. Obviously his shot is not there. But it is good to have him on the ice.

“He’s working hard and he is involved in all of the drills, so that’s really good. So I guess [it comes down to] pain tolerance and comfort level.

“In my mind I don’t see him playing [Thursday or Saturday] it’s too soon.”

Memories of Buffalo
Coach was asked if the team had learned anything from facing Buffalo the first time and going down 6-2.

“I think that’s the way they play,” said Lewis of the last game, and its lopsided score. “You know, they took it to us and we have an opportunity to respond.

“I know that they’ve lost, I think it was a shootout, so they are at the top of the heap as I look right now, and I don’t see them softening that stance at all.”

And Coach responded to some of the questioning about past games by saying that those games are behind the Bruins.

“I can’t do much with what has happened in the past,” said Lewis. “I can only worry about what [we’re] going to do tomorrow.

“[Today] we worked on our penalty killing. We worked on our personnel and positioning and we have to prove…that the hard work is starting to pay off.

“And you only get a chance to do that in the game,” he said.

Phil is in the middle
Phil Kessel will still play center tomorrow, but coach would not say who with.

“You’ll see the lines tomorrow…or maybe you won’t,” said Coach with a smile. “At game time you will, anyway.”

Speaking of the middle, Lewis said you could go overboard trying to move them around.

“The thing about this team is that you have a lot of guys who played center,” he said. “So you have a lot of different options and looks…you can design all these different things, but then you worry about continuity…but you try to do what’s right at the moment and that’s they way that I think.”

“What you do is you put together a profile of the other team,” he said of facing Buffalo for the second time. “So you get a better feel for your opponent.

“Each game is totally independent of every other game, in my eyes. That’s the only way I look at it. Just because you beat somebody doesn’t mean you’ll beat them the next night.”

Sabre rattling
When asked about whether an opposing player’s statement about the team would affect the Bruins players, coach said:

‘You’d have to ask them.”

So I did.

By the way, I think I have posted this before, but the statement I am referring to is Daniel Briere’s comment to the Montreal Gazette on October 23rd.

The Buffalo co-captain told writer Pat Hickey that:

"We had some luck in the first four games and we’ve played well in the last four," Briere said. "And we’ve beat some good teams. We played Carolina twice, we played Detroit. I think Boston is the only team we played that’s not going to make the playoffs.”

Ouch!

Voices in the room
“Yah, for sure…Obviously you take what you can [as far as garnering] momentum, and that will be one of the factors.”
Forward, Marc Savard, reacting to Briere’s comment

“Definitely. Anytime somebody goes out there and criticizes your team publicly, it never sits well with anybody. Just having that on our side just helps a little bit. And just adds a little more fuel to the fire that we’re going to bring Thursday night. So it’s definitely a factor.”
Forward, Yan Stastny, about Briere’s comment

And one more thing before you go!
Rumor has it that The Zambonis, the world’s favorite all-hockey rock band might be making an appearance at the TD Banknorth Garden real soon. As a preview, why not head over to The Bulfinch Yacht Club at 234 Friend Street in Boston on November 2nd.

Showtime is 14 minutes after the Bruins game ends.

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