Friday, March 26, 2010
Quick hits from Friday morning practice
By Joe McDonald
WILMINGTON, Mass. –- Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien is confident his team just suffered a bit of a hiccup in its 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night at the TD Garden.
The Bruins practiced at Ristuccia Arena this morning in preparation for their game on Saturday at home against the Calgary Flames.
Boston is sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with nine regular season games remaining. The Bruins are two points ahead of the Atlanta Thrashers, and Boston trails the Philadelphia Flyers by two points for the seventh spot.
"Our guys are still sticking together and they still believe," said Julien. "You've seen us play some really good games, even last night, unfortunately those mistakes really takes away from a lot of the good things we did.
"It's about bouncing back and realizing the importance of the next game," added Julien. "There's a lot at stake here. First of all, we have to be better at home. It’s been a disappointing second half and we have to re-establish our presence at home."
* Julien admitted that forward Vladimir Sobotka has a mild concussion. He will have a neurological test later today before he can be cleared to play on Saturday.
* Defenseman Andrew Ference did not practice today so he could receive proper treatment for his groin injury.
* Julien gave his daily update on Marc Savard who is out for the remainder of the season with a Grade 2 concussion: "He's slowly doing better. That's all we have now in his situation. It's obviously a pretty serious concussion, but he is improving, probably at a snail’s pace. He is getting better.”
* The Flames are in town early and practiced at Ristuccia this morning after the Bruins were done.
* Tuukka Rask wasn't as sharp as he has been of late during Thursday's loss to the Lightning, but that doesn’t mean Julien will make a change and will likely stay with Rask for Saturday's game.
"He’s a smart and poised individual to shake those things off," Julien said. "There's no doubt he won't be lingering on that loss very long. He's given us too many good games and too many good wins for him to dwell on that stuff."