Hello from Wilmington, where the Bruins went through a rigorous hourlong practice this afternoon at Ristuccia Arena on their first day back after the four-day All-Star break. The team then departed to catch their flight to Raleigh, where they’ll play the Hurricanes tomorrow night.
With defenseman Zdeno Chara (who claimed the hardest shot contest) and goalie Tim Thomas (who claimed the win in Team Lidstrom’s 11-10 victory over Team Staal but blew a tire when he tried the fastest skater contest) remaining in Carolina for a day of rest, the lines for practice were:
Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand-Mark Recchi
Tyler Seguin-Blake Wheeler-Michael Ryder
David Krejci-Nathan Horton-Milan Lucic
Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton-Daniel Paille
Defensemen: Adam McQuaid-Andrew Ference, Mark Stuart-Steve Kampfer, Dennis Seidenberg-Johnny Boychuk.
Tuukka Rask held down one goal, a pair of styrofoam bumpers filled the other when the team went through 2-on-1 and 2-on-2 drills.
Horton left the ice late in the session after dinging his knee but said later it was nothing big, showing off a bruise above his right knee.
Seguin, incidentally, who was in Raleigh for the rookie skills competition but returned to Boston Sunday, turned 19 today. Recchi turns 43 tomorrow.
Kampfer, who suffered a broken nose Jan. 15 when Chara inadvertently clipped him with his stick, played without the full face shield for the first time, donning a visor instead. Kampfer said it was a relief to take off the shield, which he did immediately after getting medical clearance after the Bruins’ last game before the All-Star break, a 2-1 victory over the Panthers on Jan. 26.
Coach Claude Julien applauded the NHL’s choice of Patrice Bergeron (8-9-17) as First Star of the Month. “It was well deserved,” said Julien. “He’s a guy that often flies under the radar, because he’s one of those great two-way players that doesn’t get the acknowledgement that maybe a lot of those skilled one-dimensional players will get. But he’s able to do everything: score some goals, score some points, work great at the other end of the ice. I always like to see him get that recognition because he had an outstanding month.”