BOSTON (CBS) — While many are complaining that the Bruins won’t begin their postseason until Friday, it may be a blessing in disguise.

The Bruins held their first practice in preparation for the Stanley Cup playoffs on Tuesday, and a handful of players were home sick fighting the flu.

Those battling the illness included forwards Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, and Chris Kelly, and defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller.

Boston head coach Claude Julien is hoping all the sick players will be able to return to practice at some point ahead of Friday’s Game 1 against the Detroit Red Wings.

“I don’t know for sure but I’d like to think so,” he said Tuesday. “The flu bug has hit our team right now, so we’re trying to manage that the best we can, and the best thing right now is to keep those guys away from others. A few more have gotten that, and it started before Saturday’s game with certain players and it’s just kind of evolved from there.

“We’re trying to manage it right now,” he said. “As far as tomorrow’s concerned, you keep your fingers crossed and hope that’s the end of it and that your players are going to start coming back.”

Bruins forward Daniel Paille, who suffered what looked to be a head injury in Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, was also out sick on Tuesday. Julien was asked about the winger’s condition regarding the hit, but the coach declined to comment.


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