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Board work

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  November 19, 2008 12:14 PM

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Some interesting observations from Marc Savard this morning. Savard, when asked about his bank pass off the wall that led to Phil Kessel's game-opening goal on Monday, noted that the boards at Air Canada Centre are dead.

So by reading all the elements -- the dull boards, Kessel's speed, the defensive formation -- Savard decided for the indirect off-the-wall pass that hit his wingman in stride for the goal.

Savard said he probably wouldn't have tried that play in a rink like Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, which has some of the livelier boards around the league.

* Claude Julien acknowledged that fatigue and confidence were two factors in Patrice Bergeron's so-so play recently. Bergeron hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 1 against Dallas. One area of Bergeron's game that remains strong is in the faceoff circle, where the center boasts a 57.9 percent efficiency rate.

* While P.J. Axelsson has replaced Andrew Ference on the No. 2 power-play unit, Julien said Matt Hunwick, Aaron Ward, Shane Hnidy, and Mark Stuart could all take a turn at the point as well.

* Ference hobbled through the dressing room this morning on crutches with a cast on his right leg. Ference is scheduled for a follow-up appointment at Mass. General on Friday.

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