To emphasize his point about paying the price in the dirty areas, Claude Julien pounded his stick on the ice in front of the net during practice this morning at TD Banknorth Garden.
"We need to compete a little harder and better in those tough areas," Julien said. "I've been saying that for a while now. That's what results in the goals."
The Bruins kicked off practice with a one-on-one drill that pitted a forward against a defenseman at one end of the rink. After the forward got a shot off, both players would sprint to the far corner, battle for a puck, and go one-on-one all over again.
After practice, a number of players commented on how effective it was and how much they sweated during the session.
* Julien switched Glen Murray and Chuck Kobasew today, going with the lines he featured in the season opener against Dallas. Here was today's lineup:
* Despite Boston's lack of production, Brandon Bochenski is still being used as a spare forward. "If you watch practice closely, we're trying to get him to catch up," Julien said. "He really fell behind in training camp with that extra weight. It put him half a step behind. We're really trying to get him back on his game before we put him in a position where we'd like to see him succeed."
* Marc Savard is Boston's leading scorer with nine points. But five of those came in one game (the 8-6 win over Los Angeles). And of Savard's nine points, only three have come during even-strength play. "I think he's such a good player that we can get more from him," Julien said. "We can get a lot more out of a lot of players right now."
* With Manny Fernandez having started the last two games, Tim Thomas will most likely get the nod against Chicago on Thursday.
* The Bruins are considering a time change for Saturday's 7 p.m. home game against Philadelphia to avoid conflicting with Game 3 of the World Series. It's unlikely they'll move up Thursday's 7 p.m. puck drop.