Eriksson, Bergeron get some practice time off from Bruins

Eriksson, Bergeron get some practice time off from Bruins
February 27, 2014, 5:30 pm
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(AP Photo)

WILMINGTON – It was little surprise to see the Bruins hold an optional practice on Thursday morning as Claude Julien continues to build in rest for his Olympic players roughly 12 hours after dropping a 5-4 overtime game to the Buffalo Sabres.

Tuukka Rask made his return to the practice ice at Ristuccia Arena after getting a couple of days off, and both Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson will get Thursday and Friday off in advance of Saturday afternoon’s matinee against the Washington Capitals.

Adam McQuaid was also given the day off from practice on Thursday after skating straight through since Feb. 19.

Claude Julien said that scheduled rest will be a regular way of life for the Black and Gold coming off the Olympic break, and getting ready for the final 24 games prior to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Eriksson played 18:37 of ice time while leading the Bruins with five shots on net in the loss to the Sabres, and Bergeron logged 18 minutes in his first game back from the Olympics.

Both will now get 48 hours of rest as they catch up on sleep, and acclimatize to the Eastern Time Zone from the nine hour difference over the last few weeks in Sochi, Russia.

“[Bergeron and Eriksson] were the last two guys to get back here [to Boston], so they’re going to get some time off now,” said Julien. “[Rest] all depends on games. If we’re playing well with four lines, and if the score is such that we can manage with four lines then that would be great. If I had to cut down then I will.

“We have 17 games in 31 days, so I guess as a coach you hope to utilize your bench as much as possible. As far as the Olympians go, they’re getting days off from practice as we go here. They’ll get their rest.”

Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton, Jordan Caron and Brad Marchand practiced among the forwards, and Dougie Hamilton, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski were present among the defensemen. Tuukka Rask and Chad Johnson manned the pipes with Swedish rookie Niklas Svedberg sent back to Providence after the loss to the Sabres.