January 25th, 2010 by

The first practice back

Despite playing back-to-back games – including last night’s 5-1 debacle in Carolina – the Boston Bruins returned for punishing practice at Ristuccia Arena.

There were a handful of players out there early before the zamboni clear and full-practice at 11:30am today. Forwards Byron Bitz [undisclosed] and Marc Savard [knee] warmed-up by taking some shots from the slot – between two tires on the ice – on net-minders Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask, with goaltending coach Bob Essensa Both players participated in full-practice with the team proceeding the pre-drills, along with forward Trent Whitfield and defenseman Adam McQuaid.

Savard and Bitz look as if they will both be playing in Friday’s game against the Division-leading Buffalo Sabres.

Shawn Thornton skating this morning, but left after roughly 45 minutes and did not return. Thornton was banged-up from Saturday’s game against Ottawa [leg] but did log almost 10 minutes of ice time last night against the ‘Canes.

The Bruins’ lineups at Ristuccia Arena today:

White: Daniel Paille – Marc Savard – Miroslav Satan
Gold: Milan Lucic – Patrice bergeron – Mark Recchi
Gray: Blake Wheeler – David krejci – Michael Ryder
Brick: Shawn Thornton – Vladimir Sobotka – Byron Bitz

Non-contact red:
Drew Larman – Trent Whitfield

Chara – Morris -Wideman – Stuart – Hunwick – Boychuk – McQuaid

In goal:
Thomas – Rask

Back-to-basics and extra laps was the name of the game today. Head coach Claude Julien worked the skaters pretty good. 2-on-0 breakaways the length of the ice, immediately followed by the same two skating on the back-check with another pair of 2-on-0’s. And the cycle continued for nearly five full minutes.

At the end, a series of laps in 10 second intervals per line. About three laps one way, followed by another two or three laps each the other way around.

Practice ran around 90 minutes today. The Bruins are scheduled to practice the next three days, at Ristuccia Arena, at 10:30am.

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