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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Suffice to say when Miroslav Satan signed with the Boston Bruins as a free agent earlier this month, he didn't think he was joining a ninth-place team.
He spoke about choosing Boston because of the Bruins' chance to win when inked a one-year deal Jan. 3. But right now, he's on a club that's on the outside looking in at the playoff picture and is mired in a five-game losing streak.
However, he's not regretting his decision.
"You don't expect it, but it happens on every team, stretches like this," he said after a 75-minute practice Monday at Ristuccia Arena. "I think this team has enough of everything, has the quality to come out of this, and hopefully these three days here we have enough time to think about it and practice on different things and get our heads straight and have a better game the next time we come out on the ice."
Satan already saw some positive signs during the team's on-ice workout, which included numerous odd-man rush drills, battle drills and some laps.
"Today was really a good practice -- intense and hard-working," he said. "Hopefully we can carry that on through these few days and into the game."
While no one in black and gold can claim to have played his best during Boston's recent downturn, Satan has held his own. In 10 games, he has posted 2-2-4 totals and recently forged decent chemistry with center Trent Whitfield and fellow winger Michael Ryder. Most impressive, Satan hasn't been sucking wind much while averaging 17:22 of ice time. When he first signed, Boston wanted to hold him out for a week to 10 days to get him into game shape. Obviously skating three to four days a week with some injured New York Islanders players for the first few months of the season had the necessary effect on Satan.
"I'm surprised because I thought it was going to come," said Satan about maybe hitting a wall. "But probably it's that I skated enough in the off time, so I didn't feel like I was lacking conditioning."
After playing four games in six days, the Bruins might've expected a day off Monday. Instead they got one of their tougher practices in recent weeks. While the effort on the ice looked improved, the message behind closed doors stayed the same.
"Loosen up a little bit and not to let the weight of the situation kind of slow you down. Everybody understands," Satan said.