WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Bruins head coach Claude Julien confirmed the obvious Thursday when he announced defenseman Dennis Wideman would not make the team's upcoming road trip to Dallas and Phoenix.
Wideman, out since suffering an "upper-body" injury (thought to be his left shoulder) last Saturday, did not practice again Thursday at Ristuccia Arena. As of noon, the Bruins planned to head west with just six defensemen at their disposal.
When asked if Wideman's absence changes anything about his overall defense corps, Julien said, "I think the one thing Dennis brings to our team, when he's on his game, he's a great puck-moving defenseman. But I don't think we can say he's a real physical defenseman because that's not really his makeup. But he certainly can move the puck well. He's a great power-play person. And even killing penalties, when he's on his game, he clears the puck well. I would just say you're missing a pretty good defenseman."
Still lined up
Other than Wideman, the rest of the team practiced for more than an hour Thursday. Special teams, shootouts and break-ins were the focus points. The same lineup tweaks from Wednesday (Michael Ryder and Milan Lucic now lining up next to centers Marc Savard and David Krejci, respectively) were in effect. Those lines should face the Stars Friday night in the Bruins' first road game of the season.