The B’s held practice today at Ristuccia, before traveling to Toronto to face off against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
It was announced Friday morning that forward Jamie Tardif had been recalled from the Providence Bruins and he joined the B’s on the ice in Wilmington (wearing No. 68). The Bruins also announced that Shawn Thornton will be out 7-10 days due to a concussion sustained during the first period of the Bruins/Sabres game on Thursday, January 31.
"It is tough. Here’s a guy who does everything for his teammates and his team, done very well," said Coach Julien following practice. "Unfortunately, there’s always a risk in that job. He took on a pretty big man, as we all know, 6’8,’ maybe around 280 pounds. He handles himself as best as he could, but those things are going to happen and at the end of the day, he still was willing to do it for his team."
"Not only do we lose a guy who does it well, he’s a good teammate, he’s great in the dressing room. Hopefully, we get him back soon."
Along with Thornton missing from practice, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Dan Paille did not hit the ice at Ristuccia. Coach Julien said postpractice that Bergeron and Krjeci had maintenance days and will be ready to go tomorrow in Toronto.
Paille, however, will not be making the trip to Toronto with the B’s - he is deemed an “upper-body injury” and we will provide more information once it becomes available. Paille caught a stick up high in the game against the Sabres, so there’s a chance it’s linked to that.
Tardif’s recall this morning was his first of his eight-year AHL career and he could see his first NHL game action tomorrow night in his hometown of Toronto with the absence of Paille and Thornton.
"I think it’s great. I’ve been waiting for a chance at this for a while, I’m going into my eighth year pro, here, so I’m just fortunate," Tardif said following practice with the B’s. "At the same time, I’m excited, going back to my home town of Toronto, so it’s definitely very exciting."
To start practice, there was a lot of odd-man rush work and 2-on-1 drills down low to get the defense moving and goaltenders moving from side to side (the odd-man and down-low situations plagued the B’s agains the Sabres and Thomas Vanek). Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa was also out on the ice working with the B’s netminders.
Despite the seven goals let in last night in the 7-4 loss to Buffalo, the Bruins and Coach Julien postgame were focusing on their lack of strong defensive play (and inability to keep their heads on a swivel) as the reasoning for the “uncharacteristic” loss.
"It’s one of those things, you’ve got to move on. You don’t want to get too high, you don’t want to get too low, you’ve got to stay focused," Zdeno Chara said postpractice. "After the games you win, you’ve got to bring it back to normal again and games like last night, you’ve got to put it behind and move on."
"I’m getting ready for our next game, which is Toronto."
Dougie Hamilton is ready to suit up for the B’s in his hometown of Toronto - and is looking forward to the excitement around it.
"I think I’m just going day by day just trying to enjoy myself and have fun, and I don’t mind the Dougie mania," he joked, after being asked about the "Dougie mania" surrounding him. "It’s okay with me."
"I grew up watching Leaf games in that rink and I’m going to be playing there and playing in the NHL."