Lucic's day off not because of injury

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- With Milan Lucic not practicing with his Boston Bruins teammates Monday at Ristuccia Arena, there were some concerns that he might have a physical issue.

But Bruins coach Claude Julien laid those to rest after his team's hour-long session, saying the first-line left winger was excused from practice for a"non-hockey-related personal issue."

Julien said Lucic is scheduled to rejoin the team for Tuesday's practice session in preparation for Thursday night's home date with Anaheim.

Hunwick thinking forward

With Lucic not around and the Bruins carrying the minimum 12 forwards on their active roster, defenseman Matt Hunwick skated in Lucic's spot alongside center Marc Savard and right wing Marco Sturm during drills. Hunwick played forward a few times last season, including an overtime loss to Washington that had him on a line with Savard and Phil Kessel. That night, Hunwick tallied a goal and an assist. "You just try to do the opposite," Hunwick said about practicing at forward. "As a defenseman, you're trying to take the puck away. As a forward I try to make it as game-like as possible, just trying to be strong on the puck. I think a lot of the other stuff, line rushes and stuff, those aren't too bad to make the transition. "Things where there are competitions and battles, that's where I have to bear down and make sure I kind of try to emulate Looch as best as possible," Hunwick said with a chuckle.
Obviously it would be difficult for the 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pound Hunwick to fill the 6-4, 220-pound Lucic's skates, jersey or anything ... With the exception of the Hunwick-for-Lucic swap, the practice lines were the same as they were the first two games.