The Bruins made some steps today towards finalizing their roster for the start of the NHL season. The team sent Jamie Arniel, Kevin Regan, Andrew Bodnarchuk, and Jeff Penner down to Providence. Also, for the first time in training camp, Bruins head coach Claude Julien held separate practice sessions, one for NHL players and one for prospects and depth players. The lines and D-pairs for today's big club practice were as follows:
Milan Lucic - Marc Savard - Marco Sturm
Blake Wheeler - David Krejci - Michael Ryder
Mark Recchi - Patrice Bergeron - Chuck Kobasew
Shawn Thornton - Vladimir Sobotka - Byron Bitz
Matt Hunwick - Derek Morris
Andrew Ference - Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart - Johnny Boychuk
Note: Zdeno Chara and Steve Begin were given the day off and replaced in practice by Johnny Boychuk and Vladimir Sobotka. Julien indicated that Sobotka and Boychuk would have normally skated with the sub-NHL group.
Injury Report: Blake Wheeler (stitches after puck struck him in the face) and Marco Sturm (groin discomfort) both left practice early today. Neither player is expected to miss any time.
"It was just important to put our team -- four lines and six D's together -- and go from there. It allowed us to have a better-quality practice because the players kind of know what we're looking for out of them. We picked up the pace as well."
- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien about today's practice via Boston.com
Claude Julien will likely have his opening night lineup (or something close to it) on the ice Saturday when the Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets at The Garden for their final preseason tune-up.