WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins returned to the ice for practice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena after a day off on Monday. Not everyone was on hand for the workout, however.
The absence of captain Zdeno Chara was unusual for the workaholic defenseman, but not a source of concern as Bruins coach Claude Julien was simply giving Chara a break from the grind of a long season.
"I gave him the day off," Julien said. "Nothing more than a simple day off. He's had a lot of responsibilities at the All-Star Game and didn't get much time to himself, so I figured it was a good time to give him some rest."
Nathan Horton was also missing as he continues to rest as well, but his situation is a bit more troubling. Horton remains out after suffering what was diagnosed as a mild concussion against Philadelphia back on Jan. 22. He did skate on his own on Sunday, but Julien would offer few details about the progress of Horton’s recovery.
"Protocol is protocol," Julien said. "When you see him skating on the ice with us, he's moving in the right direction.
"I'm done talking about it," Julien added. "I look at every team that has guys with concussions and you’ve got to let us give him a chance to go through the things [in the protocol]. I can't give you an update on this guy every day because it could be long, it could be short. When you see him on the ice with us, it's going to be a real good sign. So we'll leave it at that."
Julien also left his lines intact from Sunday, sticking with the changes he made for that game in Tuesday's practice. That kept Chris Kelly alongside Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley, who had moved into Horton's spot on the top line since his injury. David Krejci, the center of that line all season, remained down with Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron on the third line. The other two lines, which feature Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin and Gregory Campbell centering Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton, remained unchanged.
Julien liked what he saw from the revamped lines in Sunday's 4-1 win at Washington, but wasn't ready to commit to keeping them for Wednesday clash with the Sabres in Buffalo.
"It doesn't mean I'm not going to change them," Julien said. "I think it's keeping everybody on their toes. I guess everybody responded well. We played a good team game."
With Chara getting the day off, Steven Kampfer skated with Johnny Boychuk in practice. That left the other defensive pairs unchanged, with Dennis Seidenberg skating with Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid together.