BOSTON — While skating will be mandatory tonight when Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Bruins and Montreal starts, this morning skating was optional for members of the Black and Gold.
While most veterans took the option to play soccer or just get morning treatments and work out, Chris Kelly, a veteran of 36 NHL postseason games, was one of the veterans that went on the ice.
“It’s just routine. Nothing changes [in the playoffs],” said Kelly.
Gregory Campbell and Michael Ryder were the only other players expected to play tonight that skated. Tuukka Rask, Matt Bartkowski, Shane Hnidy, Tyler Seguin and Anton Khudobin were also on the ice.
The optional skate, a tactic often used by head coach Claude Julien during the regular season, is a sign the bench boss think his team is fully prepared for Game 1.
“I think so,” said Julien. “I think we’ll see tonight when the puck is dropped. But our guys seem like they’re focused and ready to go.”