WILMINGTON — Good afternoon from Ristuccia Arena. The Bruins opted for late-morning off-ice workouts today following last night’s 4-3 loss in Montreal. Only defenseman Mark Stuart skated, part of his ongoing rehabilitation from a broken right hand suffered Dec. 7.
“I can’t really do anything yet,” said Stuart, who had wrapped the cast on his hand with red Christmas tape. “I’m just holding on to the stick and covering [the hand] up and trying not to fall down. I’m just concentrating on what I can do — some lifting, biking.”
The rest of the team and the coaching staff seemed to split time between stewing over the loss to Montreal and chewing on the upcoming matchup with Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals, who slide into TD Garden tomorrow still in third place in the Eastern Conference but 3-5-2 in their last 10 games.
Asked to produce positive reactions from the game in Montreal, in which the Bruins fell behind, 3-1, in the first period, coach Claude Julien sounded a familiar refrain.
“[I liked] the way we played in the third period,” he said. “And we started turning our game around in the second as well. We’ve got to go back and try to find a way to get our game right from the get-go. It seems like it either takes us a while, or we have to have our backs against the wall, before we start putting out the kind of game we want to play. Somehow we have to find a way to create that; it’s about composure, and making good plays, and putting some emotion in that, and that’ll get us better starts.’’
Brad Marchand, who was knocked off his feet when Montreal’s P.K. Subban caught him with a resounding open-ice hit late in the first period, said he was doing fine.
“I started at center ice and I wheeled around behind our net,’’ said Marchand. “I had a lot of speed but I think that only made it worse. He just knocked the wind out of me, he kind of got me in the midsection with his back and rear end, but I’m OK. I haven’t been hit like that ever; it’s been a long time since I’ve been hit pretty hard. Sometimes it wakes you up a bit; you realize you can’t be cutting to the middle of the ice. That’s the game.’’