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Post-(optional) morning skate notes: Tuukka Rask first off the ice, for what it’s worth

01.06.11 at 12:19 pm ET
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The Bruins held an optional morning skate in anticipation of Thursday night’s tilt with the Wild at TD Garden. The following players participated:

Forwards: Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille, David Krejci, Blake Wheeler, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell.

Defensemen: Steven Kampfer, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas

Former BC and Bruins winger Chuck Kobasew makes his return to the Garden tonight. (AP)

Rask was first off the ice for the B’s in the skate, though given the combination of the fact that it was an optional skate and the trickery these guys have pulled in the past, it isn’t worth putting too much stock into. Rask made 36 saves in the B’s 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs on Monday, while Thomas played in eight straight games prior to getting the night off in Toronto.

Here are a few notes from after the skate:

- Claude Julien isn’t happy with the way the power play has been performing of late. The team has been on the man advantage only six times over the last three games and hasn’t scored on any of them.

“I think it’s got to get better,” Julien said. “We talked about that this morning and again the month of December actually was a decent month for our power play, but so far in January … it hasn’t been good enough for us and needs to generate some goals. So it’s a challenge for a power play right now to kind of turn that around and bring it up a notch.”

- Given that the Bruins are coming off a successful road trip (3-0-2) and are gearing up for a tough stretch that includes games against the Canadiens, Penguins, and Flyers, a home game against Minnesota is a pretty good candidate for a potential trap game. That’s not the way Julien sees it.

“I don’t know if I’ll call it a trap game, but it’s certainly a game that is going to represent a challenge for us, and most games do anyways,” Julien said. “I think it’s important for us to be well prepared and focus properly and come up with a solid effort tonight and give yourselves a chance to win a hockey game and build yourself up in a positive way for this next segment.

- Former Boston College and Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew is back in Boston for the first time since being traded to Minnesota seven games into last season. In parts of four seasons (158 games) with the Bruins, Kobasew had 44 goals and 39 assists.

This season, Kobasew has six goals and an assist in 25 games for the Wild. His former coach had nothing but nice things to say about him.

“Chuck, to me, was always a true professional,” Julien said of Kobasew. “He came in and I mean that in the sense where everything he did was related to the game, he came in and it was all business when it was at the rink. Very good individual, good person, and it wasn’t easy to let him go.”

“I don’t think anybody’s looking ahead here,” he added. “We’re at a stage of the season where every game means a lot, and you really have to focus on the game that’s in front of you, not the ones that are a few days away, or a week away. I think our guys are pretty focused on the task at hand.”

- Tyler Seguin‘s mother and sisters will be in attendance tonight, as they’re in town visiting the 18-year-old. Seguin’s mother was at the home-opener vs. the Capitals on Oct. 21, and though his sisters haven’t seen him play in Boston, this isn’t their first trip to the Garden. The Seguin family took in the Celtics game last night before going back to watch World Junior Championship final between Canada and Russia, a game Russia took, 5-3, via five unanswered goals.

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