Bruins practice with makeshift lines after flu strikes

Bruins practice with makeshift lines after flu strikes
February 19, 2013, 7:17 pm
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WILMINGTON -- Even the team plane has been disinfected after this one.

The Bruins were missing seven players for Tuesday's practice at Ristuccia Arena, thanks to an episode of the flu that has unexpectedly swept through the dressing room.

Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, Greg Campbell, Dan Paille, Andrew Ference, Adam McQuaid, and goaltender Anton Khudobin were all suffering from flu-like symptoms on Tuesday, forcing Claude Julien to run practice with a shortened roster in preparation for Thursday night's game in Tampa Bay.

"Well, you have to ad-lib, I guess," said the Bruins' coach after Tuesday's practice. "There's still some stuff we could do with our healthy group that would benefit our team. So, we kind of put those drills together and made the best of it.

"We made the most of what we needed to do with this group that we had," added Julien. "It was still a good practice day, but if you want to look at the bright side, we'd rather now than have it happening on Thursday morning. So we'll hopefully have it all taken care of by then."

Julien said he first learned of players being sick on Monday night. But after showing up to the rink on Tuesday, he saw just how bad it was.

"Some last night, some this morning," said Julien. "As you know, they kind of sneak in there, so I think we had about three or four last night, and then we added more this morning, including a coach. It's one of those things that we go through every year. But I don't think we've ever had this amount all at once."

The Bruins have yet to make any call-ups because of the flu-like symptoms as of Tuesday afternoon, but if some players are still sick on Wednesday, they'll have no choice but to do something.

"We're hoping it's a short-term thing, which it seems to be," said Julien. "But if that's the case, then we'll have to deal with that probably tomorrow."

As for the players who are currently healthy, they have only one thought on their mind.

"I thought, 'What can I do to not get sick?' That's probably all the guys' thoughts right now, to just stay healthy," said forward Rich Peverley after Tuesday's practice. "It's too bad something like that happens."

"I had no clue until I got here today and guys were going down with the flu," said forward Milan Lucic. "Hopefully it's just a 24-hour thing where guys can make a speedy recovery. I'm sure they're drinking a lot of fluids and getting a lot of that type of stuff in them throughout the course of the day."