Julien mum on Tuesday's practice

Updated: January 26, 2010, 6:49 PM ET
By Matt Kalman | ESPNBoston.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins held a super-double-secret practice behind closed doors. Or at least that's all that could be assumed from what head coach Claude Julien would reveal.

After going through a strenuous practice Monday, on the heels of their fifth straight defeat and fourth game in six days, the Bruins didn't take the ice as a full squad at Ristuccia Arena. It was assumed that the players were just going through a dry-land workout, but Julien alluded to some other things that were done with the players. When asked to elaborate, Julien -- who spoke to the media after the locker room player access had ended -- declined.

"Guys, you know what? I'm just going to keep my answers pretty plain. Because when I say too much, some people tend to twist it whichever way they want," said Julien. "So I'm just going to keep it to internal things. Video is one that we did and that's about it."

When characterizing the day off the ice, Julien said he and his staff wanted to make sure it would be constructive. He also said he plans to have his club back skating Wednesday and Thursday in the lead-up to the Bruins' visit to Buffalo for a game Friday night.

While the Bruins' off-ice work can be kept private, there's no ignoring the fact that every aspect of their game has suffered lately. Even the goaltending, a rock during many of Boston's early-season struggles, has come unglued. Tim Thomas has been pulled in two of his last three starts and three times in the last three weeks. His goals-against average has increased to 2.53.

The four days off between games and the day off the ice should aid Thomas' ability to bounce back.

"I'm trying to use the time to try to refresh, hit the reset button," he said before leaving the arena to spend time with his kids and "catch up with stuff on the home front."

Thomas should also benefit from goaltending coach Bob Essensa's presence in Boston this week. Essensa, a former NHL goaltender who knows exactly what Thomas is going through, is around the team only a couple weeks per month.

"It's always a mental battle, whether things are going well or not. It's a mental battle between trying to do your job or trying to do too much or trying to do too little," said Thomas.

As for Julien, he had nothing specific to say about the goaltending. Apparently feeling that his comments about defenseman Dennis Wideman last week were used inappropriately, Julien would only offer a general assessment of his team's play.

"I'm done commenting on players, guys. Because you guys ask questions, I answer, and when I answer, a few days later you tell me that I'm throwing them under the bus," he said. "I'm not throwing anybody under the bus, guys. Our whole team right now has to play better. From the goaltending on out, we have to play better."

Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

Matt Kalman

Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. He has been on the Bruins beat since the lockout for numerous publications and has been covering the Boston sports scene for a decade.

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