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Bruins’ rematch with Blues will be ‘just like any other game’

Charlie Coyle is stopped by Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final last June.charles krupa/Associated Press

The Bruins have waited more than four months for a rematch with the St. Louis Blues. But they are keeping the situation in perspective as they prepare for Saturday’s game, the Blues’ first visit to TD Garden since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final June 12.

“Just like any other game, really,” center Charlie Coyle said Wednesday. “What is it, Game 10, 11? And we’ll just treat it like that.

“We know what to expect from them. We obviously played against them last year and we know what to expect. They’re a great team, they’ve got some great players who work hard, got some bigger guys over there, and we know how to counteract that.


“We’re up for the test. We’re looking forward to it. We’re excited. It’s nice to have a few days before, get some practice time in, gets some reps, kind of get that balance heading into a big night.”

The Bruins, who improved to 6-1-2 with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday, held a half-hour workout at Warrior Ice Arena Wednesday and will take Thursday off.

The Bruins appear to be moving past the disappointing end to last season with a strong start.

“It’s a new season, that’s where I’m keeping my head,” Coyle said. “You remember things. That stuff doesn’t really go away too much. But you look at the positives, you look where we are, what we can be, and we’re facing a tough opponent. It’s up to us to fight for that 2 points against them.

“We, obviously, were shooting for that [fast start]. That’s the way you want to start out, the way you want to carry it, keep building your game, not be complacent, keep elevating our game. There’s definitely things we can work on, clear up.


“Wins are hard to come by in this league. Every team’s capable of winning on any given night. So, to be able to do that, string together as many wins as we have already, is a great thing.

“But we want to shoot for more, we want to keep growing here, and becoming a better team, a closer team. Get rid of those kinks here and there and kind of limit those lapses a little bit, and we’ll be better off and we’ll feel better, our confidence will keep building more and more, and we’ll keep heading in the right direction.”

Krejci a possibility

Center David Krejci returned to practice Wednesday, and coach Bruce Cassidy said he could be considered for Saturday’s game. Krejci (upper-body injury), who was placed on the injured reserve list Tuesday, worked out pre-practice with Kevan Miller and John Moore and is expected to join the full group Friday.

“He’s back skating, which is obviously step one,” Cassidy said. “Friday, we’ll see where he’s at. I don’t have much else, but he is back in the mix.

“He’d certainly have to go through a contact practice. He may skate tomorrow, that’s up to the medical team. On Friday, he gets through practice, we’d have to make a decision, yes. Typically, he wouldn’t come right back in.

“He’s been out a little bit with a couple lingering injures, so probably err on the side of caution. That way make sure he’s closer to 100 percent and not forcing him in at 80 or something like that.”


Joakim Nordstrom (upper-body injury) practiced at full speed in skill drills. Center Anders Bjork was sent back to Providence but could return Saturday.

“[Bjork] played well and deserves the right to come back,” Cassidy said. “I think he did enough to get another look. I can’t guarantee Saturday.”

Carryover effect

Cassidy said he expected the Bruins’ success of last season to carry over.

“I didn’t think there’s any doubt we’d be ready to go,” Cassidy said. “We’ve got a very competitive group. So it was going to be a matter of staying healthy.

“Did the guys get enough reps coming out of training camp? We saw in Dallas and Arizona we were rusty on the offensive side of things. We just found a way to win. We did enough things well early on.

“Now you’re starting to see the guys get into the flow of it a little more offensively. If there is any residual effect of last year, I think it’s coming down the road and it’s just the wear and tear of that many games. It can catch up to you if you don’t manage it well.”