WILMINGTON – It was probably just a coincidence that the Bruins decided to reward their assistant coaches with contract extensions just before they will be counted on to pace the team through a stretch loaded with heightened practice time.
After inking assistant coaches Doug Houda, Craig Ramsay and Geoff Ward, goaltending coach Bob Essensa and video coach Brant Berglund to multi-year contract extensions the Bruins got back to work at their practice rink Monday.
They will probably be spending a lot of time there.
Having played 10 games over a 19-day period, the Bruins will have just four games over a 12- day stretch. That means time to work out the kinks at practice and the chance for key players to mend minor injuries.
Leading scorer Patrice Bergeron was not on the ice for practice Monday after being struck by a shot in the leg while killing a penalty seven minutes into Saturday’s 4-3 Bruins victory over Ottawa. Bergeron left the ice and the Bruins bench for several minutes before returning late in the period.
Coach Claude Julien said Bergeron had been given Monday off, but the skilled center should be fine for game action when the Bruins host Tamp Bay Wednesday.
“He’ll been in Wednesday, no ifs, (ands) or buts,” said Julien. “It was just maintenance.” (more…)