PHILADELPHIA -- The Bruins Blog lives!
I'm back from a one-week vacation, returning to the beat with those dreaded flu-like symptoms that flatten us weaklings. Thanks to linemates Frank Dell'Apa and Barbara Matson for filling in. Looking forward to dropping the puck tomorrow against the Flyers.
This afternoon at the Wachovia Center, every Bruin except for Patrice Bergeron practiced. Dave Lewis said Bergeron hadn't gotten any better or worse, so they decided to keep him off the ice today because of his lower-body injury. Lewis anticipated Bergeron will participate in tomorrow's morning skate.
* Costly time in the penalty box for Marc Savard last night. At 15:41 of the second period, Savard was sent off for slashing. Then at 16:47, when Petr Tenkrat joined him in the box to serve a tripping penalty, Savard picked up an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct after noting his displeasure with the refereeing. Because of the infractions (Chris Drury netted a power-play goal with the two Bruins in the box), Savard had to sprint for two minutes at the conclusion of practice today. Later tonight, Savard will claim the check -- which will be well into four figures -- for the rest of the team when they dine at a downtown steak house. "Stupid penalty on my part," said Savard. "I know that. I'm just glad we won the hockey game."
* Lewis said he will wait until tomorrow to decide who will start in goal and whether Mark Stuart will crack the lineup. Lewis had said in previous days that Hannu Toivonen will most likely play against either Philadelphia or Toronto. If Lewis sticks with the hot hand in Tim Thomas (perfect in the shootout against Buffalo), Toivonen would probably start against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. "The most important thing is we have to win hockey games," Lewis said. "That is the bottom line. The schedule does not dictate any of that. It's performance that dictates that."
* Not a shabby start to Andrew Ference's career as a Bruin. In all three games since the trade that brought him and Chuck Kobasew from Calgary for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, Ference has played 20-plus minutes. He even tangled with Jochen Hecht on Saturday. "He's jumped right in," said partner Andrew Alberts, who explained that Boston's conservative defensive system is similar to Calgary's philosophy. "He's playing a lot like Stuey. He's smart. He's not going to turn the puck over. He's feisty. He keeps thing simple, which makes it easy for me."
* Count Zdeno Chara as one of the reasons why the Bruins took a long time to emerge from the locker room against the Sabres. Chara takes off his uniform and equipment during intermissions, which meant the captain needed extra time to put his gear back on.
* Toivonen, one of the last to leave the ice after today's 1 p.m. practice, didn't think he could make the 2:30 p.m. bus back to the hotel from the arena. He first told team officials that he'd take the subway back, which prompted some raised eyebrows. "I'm not as dumb as I look," Toivonen said. However, the netminder scurried in and out of his equipment and made the bus.
* Today's lines: