Mark Stuart Skates While Marc Savard Centers Daniel Paille and Michael Ryder

by

April 29, 2010

The Bruins held their second practice in preparation for the second round, but Thursday, they came in knowing whom they are preparing to play. The general consensus around the dressing room is that a Flyers-Bruins series is sure to bring some old-school, physical play between the longtime rivals.

"You look at the games we had this season and just in general the history of this rivalry, and we know we're in for a hard and physical battle," said veteran forward Mark Recchi, who played on both sides of the rivalry. He was a member of the Flyers for the better part of 10 seasons. "They're a team like us that's fought a lot of adversity and battled hard. They took out a good team in the first round in New Jersey so they're going to be a tough test."

The Bruins will be missing some toughness and grit without Shawn Thornton, who once again skated with the "Black Aces" on Thursday and appears headed to the press box as a healthy scractch to make room for the return of Marc Savard. According to Steve Begin, however, the Bruins have plenty of depth in the toughness and grit department, and just as they showed that against Buffalo, they will need it even more so against Philadelphia.

"We need the whole team to step up, not just one guy, and we had that happen against Buffalo," Begin said. "So we know we can play that way."

Begin found himself bumped over to right wing on the fourth line with Vladimir Sobotka centering him and Blake Wheeler, as head coach Claude Julien put Daniel Paille with Savard and Michael Ryder. On Wednesday, Savard was skating with Sobotka and Ryder.

"We've got to find the right group, or the right trios, and we're working on that," Julien said of the changes. "That's what practices are for. It gives you an opportunity to look at different options."

Julien also stressed that there's still a very cautious approach with Savard, and that will remain to start the series Saturday.

"I can't repeat it enough, we've got to be careful that we don't think that all of a sudden Marc Savard's going to come in and all of a sudden control everything," Julien said. "He hasn't played in two months. So let's understand that he's going to need some time. We're going to make sure we give him that time to better himself as we move on here."

Also of note from Thursday's practice was that defenseman Mark Stuart was skating on his own before practice, and word around Ristuccia Arena was that he may now be back later in this round. General manager Peter Chiarelli said earlier this week that a return was "unlikely," but apparently Stuart may try to give it a go.

Here are the lines from Thursday:

Forwards
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Milan Lucic–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille–Marc Savard–Michael Ryder
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Steve Begin

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Ference–Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders
Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas

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