Bear Essentials: The Scoop
Only one full practice remains (on Wednesday) until the B’s tangle with the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils all in the span of an eight-day roadie.
Most of Boston's players spent the day with their family – and some were planning on hitting a nearby Target to do some toy shopping for local kids in need.
The Bruins continued to take the high road this afternoon in Wilmington’s Ristuccia Arena, where the club had an optional skate prior to continuing their road swing. As such, nothing new, or of note, was said about yesterday’s questionable hit on Andrew Alberts, and B’s head coach preferred to move on from the subject immediately.
"There are certain things that you can control as a hockey club," said B’s head coach Claude Julien. "(And) we have to leave it up to the league to do their job and hopefully if they want to cut down on those type of incidents they will take charge and do the right thing."
"Our job was to go in there and win the game last night, and that is what we did."
Indecently, Philadelphia’s Scott Hartnell was given a two game suspension.
And what of Alberts’status?
"Obviously he got dinged," said the B’s head coach. "We are taking precautions, and we will make sure everything is ok before we move on."
"The fact that he was able to fly (home) is a good sign," he said.
It’s a very good sign, indeed.
By the way, late word from the Mother Ship was that Andrew suffered a non-concussive head injury and is listed as day-to-day.
In other news, Not too many of the Bruins took to the ice after yesterday’s bruising contest with Philadelphia, but one veteran skater did join the crew for some drills.
None other than Cam Neely joined the B’s, as well as coaches Bob Essensa, Geoff Ward and Doug Houda, as the players got their muscles moving on what was essentially a well-earned day off.
Neely looked great tooling about and even roofed a shot on a well-positioned goalie Tuukka Rask.
The pair had a chuckle about it afterward and just before leaving the locker room Cam said, "Tuukka just let me have it to make me feel better."
Now, from my angle, Cam’s shot was just short of his spectacular goal against Stephane Fisset when the latter was with Quebec. And from the wide-eyed look that Tuukka gave Mr. Neely, I do not think the young goalie intended to give that shot (or any shot) up.
Despite the intensity of last night, Bobby Allen, Matt Hunwick, Petteri Nokelainen, Milan Lucic and Rask all had a nice time on the ice, playing along side their coaches and the VP.
Rookie Matt Hunwick, whose play last night stabilized a wounded defense after Alberts left the game, continues to look very comfortable on NHL ice.
"I think with Andrew (Ference out) they gave me the chance to come up and get some games in," said Hunwick. "I’ve been able to get out there and get some minutes – which has been good for me.
"(And so has the ability) to come up and contribute to the team."
Coach Julien had nothing but praise for the youngest/newest members of his squad.
"I thought Hunwick played well, and so did (Vladimir) Sobotka," he said. "(Petteri) Nokelainen has been here a little longer (and) our fourth line kept Philadelphia in their own end for quite a while.
"We are getting some good effort from those guys.
"And with Hunwick, the same thing. With Albe being pushed out of the game he got a little more ice time and handled it well," said Julien.