By Joe Haggerty
BOSTON – The Bruins weren't publicly talking about retribution before their most anticipated game of the 2009-10 season. It seems they're much more worried about having enough healthy bodies to take on an elite Eastern Conference team with a vital two points on the line.
Dennis Wideman, Johnny Boychuk and Blake Wheeler were all missing from the morning skate with flu-like conditions that are running through the team.
All three are question marks for tonight against the Penguins, and may just force Andrew Ference into the lineup despite a troublesome groin that's been giving him problems. Coach Claude Julien said Ference was a possibility even though he's missed the last eight games.
Patrice Bergeron, on the other hand, was on the ice for the morning skate and said he'll be ready for tonight's rematch with a Pittsburgh Penguins team that quite possibly ended the B's flickering playoff hopes with their knockout hit on Marc Savard. Bergeron was hit in the right leg with a Mark Stuart slapshot against the Hurricanes, and left the ice in clear pain without returning.
"It feels good," he said. "It's fine. My leg went numb for an hour or two, but it's fine. Obviously there was some pain. But it was just a stinger."
Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate, and should get the start against the Penguins. Not much of a shock, given how shaky Thomas looked against New Jersey on Monday night before he was pulled following the first period.
Best line of the day comes from David Krejci when asked what he'll do if NHL VP Colin Campbell addresses the Bruins prior to tonight's game. It appears that somebody from the NHL is hoping to address the Bruins and Penguins players, and the NHL's top cop will be in attendance. It also appears that Krejci isn't very interested in what he has to say.
"I just found a couple of minutes ago that somebody is going to talk to us," said Krejci. "I'm probably going to play with the soccer ball outside. Just warm up a bit."
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HackswithHaggs