Bruins practice plenty to fill idle week

Bruins practice plenty to fill idle week
October 8, 2013, 10:30 pm
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(AP Photo)

WILMINGTON – After feeling rushed through nearly every moment of last year’s lockout-shortened NHL season, the Bruins are doing everything they can to take advantage of four idle days between last weekend’s Red Wings tilt and the Colorado Avalanche coming to town on Thursday night.

The Bruins had some fun on Monday with shootout drills where they were forced to use their off hands, but Tuesday was a bit more business as usual with line drills and power play work in an hour plus skate. Given that the Bruins jumped from their preseason-ending trip to Winnipeg and Saskatoon to team-building in Vermont, the practice days at Ristuccia Arena are giving the Black and Gold a solid chance to work on some of the little things.

With so many new pieces to the team this season, that can be a very good thing.  

“We had that team bonding and then right into the games, so it’s been nice to have a few practices to work on things,” said Johnny Boychuk. “We had some things we noticed in the first couple of things that needed to be worked on. It was mostly about moving the puck quicker, and getting better at boxing people out from the front of the net.”

It would have been ideal for the Black and Gold to keep things rolling after playing so solidly in Saturday night’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, but Claude Julien wasn’t going to quibble with nearly a full Monday-Friday of practice opportunities.

“We get a tendency to get fussy and picky. Practices are important. Getting five days in between games is something where we’d probably like a little less, especially the way we played in the last game,” said Julien. “But there’s no doubt we’ll take advantage of that because as the season advances we’ll have less and less practice time.

“It’s good in a way with the new players we have in our lineup – that it’s not so much teaching -- but to go through some things that are reminders. Repeating things in practice allows it to become second nature to them.”

By the end of this week everything should be second nature with the amount of practice time enjoyed by Julien’s crew.