By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
OTTAWA -- The Bruins will get a complete day off Thursday thats either well-deserved or woefully undeserved after a colorless offensive no-show against the Ottawa Senators in a 2-1 overtime loss that opened their preseason Wednesday night.
Claude Julien recognized what he saw on the ice. It looked like straight camp fatigue to the B's coach, and hegave rookies, veterans and fellow coaches a day away from the rink on Thursday as exhaustion appears to have crept into the training-camp proceedings. There were only a handful of skaters who had any jump heading into the matchup against the Senators at Scotiabank Place, and most of themwere the ones who had skipped the Black and White scrimmage in Providence 24 hours earlier.Defensemen Colby Cohen and Matt Bartkowski were both successful puck movers for 60-plus minutes, and the forward line of Shawn Thornton, Chris Kelly and Lane MacDermid was a force to be reckoned with on the ice all evening. But there were plenty of other players battling colds, fighting off tired legs or simply trying to overcome the energy-sappingexhaustion associated with such a short offseason.
There are moments this season when the B's coach will need to pull back the reigns after such a long Cup-winning campaign, and Julien decided to give them bit of rest during whats become a challenging training camp.
This is evaluation time, said Julien. I know guys are a little tired. Weve had five hard days in a row now, plus a lot of the guys that played Tuesdaynight in Providence also played against the Senators. So I think fatigue has set in a little bit, and youve got to take that into consideration. But the evaluation is there, thats what weve got to do and thats what did tonight against the Senators.
Weve got some guys that we have to cut some slack. They had a long playoff last year, and the veterans that took some time off to rest might not be in top shape. We can understand that. Well give them that timeand some of the guys playing tonight also have been playing since the rookie tournament. So well give them all some rest moving forward.
The rest comes on Thursday and should beexactly what the Bruins' doctorordered. The Bs are scheduled to play three exhibition games in the next four days including a pair of road games against the Canadiens, in Halifax and at the Bell Centre and need something approaching energetic efforts to gauge exactly what they are holdingfor potentialroster material.
That all should happen after everybody takes a giant breath on Thursday, and then exhales on Friday.