Bruins practice with makeshift lines after flu strikes

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Bruins practice with makeshift lines after flu strikes

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."

Schaller (lower body) has resumed skating, conditioning

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Schaller (lower body) has resumed skating, conditioning

BRIGHTON, Mass – With the Bruins relatively healthy at this point, they may be getting their roster back to full health sooner rather than later.

Tim Schaller has missed the last seven games after suffering a lower body injury crashing into the boards all the way back in a March 8 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The 26-year-old has resumed skating on his own before or after regular Bruins practice in the last couple of days, but hasn’t yet rejoined the group after missing the last two plus weeks.

Bruce Cassidy indicated that there’s no timetable for his return as Riley Nash and Dominic Moore have tried out different linemates including fellow Providence College hockey alum Noel Acciari.

“He has just begun to skate,” said Cassidy. “I don’t know how far out he is. He is just starting the process of going on the ice for the conditioning part. That’s his stage of recovery.”

Schaller has been a regular staple on the fourth line for the Bruins this season with seven goals and 14 points in 58 games. His size, occasional offense and energy have allowed the New Hampshire kid to be a pleasant surprise for the Black and Gold this season. 

Morning Skate: Hart conversation changing daily

Morning Skate: Hart conversation changing daily

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are going to royally choke once again.

* Old friend Brett Connolly has rediscovered his game with the Washington Capitals, and been nominated for the Masterton Trophy.

* The NHLPA is considering restricting hockey player agents from contacting amateur players under 16 years old.

* PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Halford has Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk blasting Sidney Crosby as a “whiner.”

* Josh Ho-Sang was ready for battle in Pittsburgh while wearing the No. 66 uniform that is sacred in that city.

* The Hart Trophy conversation seems to change daily around the NHL as so many different players, like Brad Marchand or Nikita Kucherov, are taking runs at consideration.

* Chinese investors are looking at the NHL as somewhere they can expand their footprint and involvement in the league.

* It’s been a tough year for Patrick Sharp with the Dallas Stars after leaving the hockey nirvana that is the Chicago Blackhawks.  

* For something completely different: All kinds of interesting information is coming out about the Han Solo movie.