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Bruins hope days off pay off

12.14.10 at 2:15 pm ET
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The Bruins had a rare two-day break from the ice after Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Flyers. The players’ time was their own on Sunday, while they spent Monday at Target in Woburn Christmas shopping for children who have to spend the holidays in the hospital.

On Tuesday, they returned to Ristuccia Arena, working on the power play and practicing for over an hour.

“The two days [off] is definitely nice,” Nathan Horton said. “I think we’re overall rejuvenated, and everybody’s ready to go. Everyone was excited to get back after two days. It’s been a while, and it’s nice to have a couple of days off.”

The B’s were preparing for their upcoming stretch of three games in four days beginning on Wednesday in Buffalo. After their bout with the Sabres, they’ll travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens on Thursday before returning home against the Capitals on Saturday.

Given how heavy the schedule has been, Claude Julien saw Sunday and Monday as a good opportunity to let the B’s rest up and let any aches players may be feeling work themselves out.

“I think so,” Julien said when asked if the time off was necessary. “It’s been a pretty heavy schedule for a lot of teams around the league. It’s an opportunity for us to keep them off the ice here for a little bit.”

With the return to the ice, Julien liked what he saw out of his guys. The break, which he hoped would allow them to “clear their heads a little bit and get ready for a big week,” seemingly paid off with a good practice.

“I think they looked like they had lots of energy,” Julien said. “Sometimes a couple of days off it good for you. When you say a couple of days off, I don’t think they really had days off. They were busy doing other things. It’s one of the few times that we’re able to help them out in a way where they can get their rest and get away from practice.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Nathan Horton,

Bruins return to practice

12.14.10 at 11:25 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins took the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Tuesday after two days off. The team had an off-day following Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Flyers in overtime and spent Monday picking out gifts for local hospitalized children.

Everyone was accounted for as the B’s took the ice, and it’s their first skate since trading Marco Sturm. The team worked on the power play before practice. Here’s how the color-coded lines looked:

Lucic – Krejci – Horton

Wheeler – Bergeron – Recchi

Seguin – Savard – Ryder – Paille

Marchand – Campbell – Thornton

Hilarious Belfast Giants Christmas video

12.14.10 at 9:52 am ET
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Forget cultural differences, as the Belfast Giants, the Bruins’ opponent in one of their preseason games in Europe, have proven that it’s difficult for anyone to remain seated during Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

The video features some killer choreography and some Hockey East faces.

Bruins use Monday to knock off Christmas shopping

12.14.10 at 9:38 am ET
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WOBURN — Christmas shopping is crazy enough, but it’s a little crazier when professional athletes are doing the same, easily identifiable by their jerseys and Santa Clause hats.

That was the scene at Woburn’s Target store on Monday as the B’s did their annual Holiday Toy Shopping to pick up presents for local hospitalized children.

“It’s always nice, especially when you know it’s going to kids that won’t have a chance to be home for Christmas,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “At least this way, we want t make it really easy and comfortable for them. Hopefully they’re going to enjoy it.”

This was no case of grabbing the first things you can find and calling it a day. Players were given checklists, shopping carts and Target employees as they went through the store. Nathan Horton, a father who admittedly is learned on the popular gifts, had no trouble filling shopping carts with toys and even iPods.

It wasn’t long ago that 18-year-old Tyler Seguin was getting giddy over Christmas presents. The youngest player on the team, Seguin said he enjoyed Power Rangers toys as a child. As he picked presents on Tuesday, he was careful and deliberate in taking a good look at each gift before tossing it in the cart.

“This is a lot of fun,” Seguin said as he inspected the toys. “Any time you get to give back to the community and fans, it’s always a nice feeling. I get to tell my family all the good stuff and good causes we’re supporting.”

The B’s have been picking up presents for hospitalized children since the days of Ray Bourque. After Bourque was sent Colorado, Concord-born Hal Gill took over the operation, with P.J. Axelsson succeeding Gill. Patrice Bergeron, the longest-tenured current Bruins player, runs the show now.

“I liked doing it when Hal was here, and then P.J. took care of it,” Bergeron said Monday. “Once they left, I told [Director of Community Relations] Kerry [Collins] I wanted to take over because it’s something that I like and I think it’s something that the kids enjoy. It’s something that’s very important for the community.”

The next step of the process is actually delivering the gifts, which players noted is the best part.

“Today, it’s fun. You’re throwing a bunch of toys and stuff in the cart, but the big thing is when we drop them off at the hospitals,” Mark Stuart said. “It’s good to actually meet the kids and actually know where it’s going. That’s important with any charity.”

Read More: Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara,

Jody Shelley suspended for two games

12.14.10 at 9:36 am ET
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Flyers forward Jody Shelley was suspended for two games on Monday for his hit from behind on Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. Shelley shoved McQuaid with two hands into the boards in the second period of Saturday’s 2-1 Flyers overtime victory as the two were chasing an iced puck. It was a couple of minutes before McQuaid, who went head-first into the boards, would return to his feet, though he fortunately only had the wind knocked out of him. He returned to the game later int the period.

McQuaid told WEEI.com on Monday that he was still feeling “a little stiff and a little sore,” but that he’s glad he wasn’t hurt on the play and can move on from it. He said he has watched replays of the hit “a few times” and that “it looked worse than it was.”

Report: Flyers GM expects Jody Shelley to be suspended for hit on Adam McQuaid

12.12.10 at 5:06 pm ET
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According to a tweet from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the NHL has scheduled a disciplinary hearing for Monday in regard to Flyers forward Jody Shelley‘s hit on Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. The play, in which Shelley received a boarding major and game misconduct, occurred in the second period of the Flyers’ 2-1 overtime win. The players were racing for an iced puck when Shelley pushed McQuaid, who went head-first into the boards and had the wind knocked out of him.

Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio tweeted Sunday that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren expects Shelley to be suspended for one game.

Read More: Adam McQuaid, Jody Shelley,

Claude Julien, Adam McQuaid not fans of Jody Shelley hit

12.11.10 at 10:55 pm ET
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In his postgame press conference, Bruins coach Claude Julien called Jody Shelley’s hit from behind on Adam McQuaid “definitely uncalled for” and that he didn’t know what the intent of the play was. McQuaid and Shelley were racing after an iced puck when Shelley pushed the B’s defenseman. The momentum carried McQuaid into the boards head-first, and the 24-year-old blueliner remained on the ice as play was stopped.

“I looked at it again and personally, I didn’€™t think there was any need for it,” Julien said. “I don’€™t know what [Shelley's] intention was, but certainly, there was no need for that at all and I think that’€™s one of the things we’€™re trying to get out of game.

“I know [Jody] Shelley a little bit from a long time ago and he’€™s actually a good person and, to me, he’€™s a tough guy. I don’€™t know that he’€™s purposely gone out there to injure people like that so I found that a little bit strange that he would do that. It’€™s unfortunate. … Hopefully the League deals with it the proper way and we’€™ll go from there.”

McQuaid said that he could hear Shelley saying he didn’t mean it while he was on the ice, but regardless of intent, McQuaid wasn’t a fan of the play.

“I mean, I didn’€™t go in on my own,” McQuaid said when asked if he felt it was a reckless play. “I felt like I got pushed.”

McQuaid said he got the wind knocked out of him, and after undergoing a few tests was allowed to return to the ice later in the period.

Read More: Adam McQuaid, Claude Julien,
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