The Bruins are off today. They will resume practice at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Ristuccia Arena. They will travel to California on Tuesday morning, then practice at the Honda Center in Anaheim in the afternoon in preparation for Wednesday’s game against the Ducks, the first of three crucial West Coast showdowns.
Here’s the latest version of Plus/Minus:
+ The return of Milan Lucic. The third-year NHLer is still working the rust off his skates, naturally. Once Lucic returns to form, he will provide the physical and emotional presence the Bruins will need as they try to survive their injuries.
+ Miroslav Satan. Because of the loss of Marc Savard, Satan has stepped in as the right-side quarterback on the No. 1 power-play unit. Say what you will about signing a guy who’s been out of work all year. But the Bruins will need a player with poise on the half-wall, and Satan is the best left-handed option for now.
+ Matt Hunwick’s growing confidence. You can see that he’s less jumpy with the puck in his own zone. Not afraid to jump up and be the fourth guy in the offensive zone. Rang a shot off the post against the Rangers yesterday.
– Little puck-moving presence on the back end. Watching players like Duncan Keith and Michael Del Zotto underscored the absence of a true puck-moving defenseman. They’re so valuable in today’s game in all three zones. Bruins need some in their system.
– Flickering emotional engagement. Might be the biggest underlying issue all season. They look like they care for only stretches of each game.
– Marco Sturm as left wing. Sturm had five goals in seven games as Marc Savard’s right wing. Zero goals in the last three games when he’s skated on the left side.