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Monday Notebook

Bruins head north to Vermont as Training Camp nears its end

Sunday, 09.28.2008 / 12:20 PM / Features
By Angela Stefano  - BostonBruins.com
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Monday Notebook
The Bruins are in Stowe, Vermont for three days of meetings and bonding exercises before heading to Montreal to face the Habs on Wednesday night. Practice is at 10:30 a.m. at The Ice Center (Waterbury, VT).

Hello VT! Meet the Bruins Autograph Session

Stowe, VT – The Boston Bruins, in conjunction with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, are hosting a meet and greet session with the Black & Gold, Monday night, September 29th at the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory (1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, off of Rte. 100), Vermont beginning at 8 p.m.

The Bruins, who are in northern Vermont during the second half of their 2008 Training Camp would like to repay the hospitality of the people in Northern New England by hosting this unique event and are looking forward to meeting as many fans as possible.

It is expected that the entire roster will participate.

Please note: The practice schedule is subject to change and/or cancellation at any time and participation by specific players is not guaranteed. Media and fans are encouraged to call the Bruins Media and Fan information line (617.624.1910) for updates on the team's practice schedule for the following day.

The line is updated at 7:00 p.m. daily for the following day's schedule.

Injury Update
Mark Stuart took a hit in Saturday night's pre-season game against the Washington Capitals that sent him off the ice moving slowly, but he returned to the bench shortly after.

Fortunately, it wasn't anything serious and Stuart was back on the ice later in the game.

"It was just a minor Charlie horse," said head coach Claude Julien after the game.

Also not a serious worry are Phil Kessel and Peter Schaefer's hip flexors.

"It's nothing to worry about – the typical training camp little 'boo-boo's,'" Julien said.  "They're both on track to play next weekend."

However, Manny Fernandez was still out after getting hit with a puck during warm-ups before Friday's game.

Again, Julien maintained that it wasn't serious – "better today, so there's a reason for optimism," he said – but that doesn't mean it's not frustrating for the goaltender.

"All summer, he said he wanted to get a good fresh start here, and all of a sudden this happens in a practice, and I'm sure he's telling himself, 'What's next, what else can happen?'" Julien said.  "We've got to keep his spirits up, and he's got to keep his own spirits up as well, and hopefully he'll get over that thumb soon."

They've Got Chemistry
Despite a scoreboard reading in favor of the Washington Capitals, there was much discussion after Saturday night's game about the chemistry in the locker room.

"For the most part, everyone's on the same page in the dressing room; that's key," said Andrew Ference.  "A lot of the guys from last year are back….I think that the room is coming together nicely."

The on-ice chemistry, too, becomes more visible with every game.

"You know we're having fun out there," said Patrice Bergeron of his linemates Marco Sturm and Blake Wheeler.  "I feel like we're seeing each other very well on the ice."

Pre-Season: Does it Matter?
The B's have always tried to put the past behind them and focus instead on the next task and the pre-season is no exception to that rule.

Of course, the importance of pre-season games cannot be underestimated, especially in terms of giving players ice time in real games and giving the team a chance to gel.

That way, by the time opening night rolls around, the any issues are worked out.

"It's nice to get back to the way it's supposed to be," said Ference.

And getting time to try out different line combinations is also helpful.

"Those first five games are about seeing where different players can help out," said Julien.  "These last three games (are about) inching us closer to what we want."

However, it's still important to remember that the games don't count.

"Pre-season is pre-season," said goalie Tim Thomas who indicated that it's not worth it to dwell too long on the losses in September.

Cam's Got Clout
A team's legacy is important to some players when choosing what team to play for, but it can be especially important when part of that legacy is also part of the coaching staff.

"That's one of the biggest reasons why I'm here, because (Cam Neely) was here," said Blake Wheeler.  "It's great to have a guy like that here to give you little pointers whenever he sees that you're not doing something exactly right."

Wheeler's been getting pointers from the former B about how to use his body to protect the puck from the opposing team, he said.

"You really need to keep your body between the defender and the puck, and he makes it tough to get the puck away from you," Wheeler said.  "That's the biggest thing I learned from Cam.

"Having him here helps a lot."

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