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Taking it one game at a time...

Wednesday, 09.20.2006 / 1:30 PM / News
Boston Bruins
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Taking it one game at a time...
Ok, Bruins nation.

Let’s take this one in.

Enjoy the good vibes from a win at the Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens.

Savor the sweet feeling…and move on.

Quickly.

The Bruins are going to take this season one game at a time – just like the team 30 miles down the road in Foxboro.

And we should, too.

Obviously, there are more pre-season games to go, and the Bruins who played last night, are not the Bruins who are going to play tonight.

Neither, for that matter, will the Habs be the same Habs.

And this time, Sergei will be with them. You remember him, Sergei Samsonov?

For the Bruins, cuts are coming, fast -- Maybe even tomorrow.

Jobs need to be won, and jobs will be lost, all within the space of 48 hours.

It is an exciting time, unless you are on the cusp.

But last night was a big step.

Scouting the Habs…
According to Canadiens radio, Habs goalie, Carey Price, is the real deal and has been sharp in this year’s training camp. They believed he was the only thing standing between the Bruins and a blow-out last evening, stopping 21 of 22 shots in his half game of work.

Saku Koivu, sidelined with a seriously inured eye last year, was a factor in the game and showed no ill effects from the injury. He is wearing a larger eye shield on his helmet and has inspired other teammates to do so as well. He told the Canadian Press: ’’There’s less doubts now…This was the next step and I’m happy with the way things went…It will take some time before I’m 100 per cent comfortable and won’t think about the eye, but I didn’t feel I was lost out there. A few times, I had to look down for the puck, but that’s something that’s going to happen. With more practice, I’m sure I’ll adapt to it.’’

Sergei Samsonov is expected to play tonight on a line with Alex Kovalev and Mike Ribeiro.

The penalty bug that hit the B’s on Sunday bit the Habs last night. The Bruins converted on four of 13 possible power plays, stemming from 28 minutes of Canadiens’ penalties. Eight penalties were minors for hooking. Sound familiar?

The Canadian Press also reports that the Canadiens will retire the jerseys of #29 Ken Dryden, currently running for the leadership of Canada’s Liberal Party, and #18 of Serge Savard, former Habs player and general manager.

Just as a side note, Dryden felt as if the Bruins consistently brought out the best in him and his Canadiens. He said so in his book, The Game: “…what the Bruins are now, is a good opponent, a rare and treasured thing for any team or player. For as good opponent defines a player or a team. By forcing you to be as good as you can be, such an opponent stretches the boundaries of your emotional and playing experience, giving you your highest highs and lowest lows; your best and worst and hardest moments.”

As far as the current Habs, Blue-liner Francis Bouillon is down with a knee injury and will be out until November.

His replacement, defenseman Jen-Phillipe Cote, went down with a knee injury during a scrimmage on Sunday…

Bruins lineup…
No update as of yet, but the ten gentlemen who traveled but did not play last night, are sure to be in the lineup.

Those 10 players are...
Goalies: Toivonen.
D-men: Alberts, Lashoff, Sigalet, York.
Forwards: Axelsson, Bergeron, Boyes, Savard, Tenkrat, Thompson.

No word on the lines.

Two ends of the spectrum, getting it done…

According to all accounts of last night’s game, Phil Kessel and Zdeno Chara are playing as advertised. No surprise with Chara, some surprise with Kessel, if only because of his age.

Kessel is only 18 years old, one year removed from his freshman year at college, and seems to have the hockey senses of a player several years older.

Talking to him on a cell phone last night from the Bell Centre, one got the impression that although he enjoyed his game last night, and is certainly enjoying the bright lights of the NHL experience, nothing is going to phase him.

Nothing.

Apparently, he has given himself to the phrase, “Keep it Simple”, and is just trying to do the things he has always done well. Period.

Chara leads by example. From his composure on the ice, to his comportment off the ice, it’s easy to believe that the Bruins should get more than their money’s worth from number 33.

Just like the other Boston 33’s (Bird, Varitek), Chara puts everything he can, anything he can, into every game and practice.


“Watching” the game on radio…
By the way, the radio announcers from Montreal seemed very impressed with many Boston skaters last night. Kessel and Chara’s names were called frequently throughout the broadcast.

Nice broadcast, by the way, by CJAD, the Canadiens’ flagship station. Well, besides the fact that they wondered aloud why Chara did not stay in Ottawa.


This and that…
Have I mentioned how much I have enjoyed watching Mark Mowers play this training camp?

He has certainly been a surprise to some, but not to local college hockey fans, that remember him in the Blue and White of the University of New Hampshire.

They know that his goal last night was no fluke.

Mowers has a terrific attitude, by all accounts, and has been a pleasure to talk to in the locker room.

He admits, however, that his calm, happy-go-lucky demeanor might just be a façade at times.

“I guess I have a lot of anxiety [sometimes], but I try to control it,” Mowers explained in the locker room earlier this week. “You know, when things get tough. Or when things aren’t going so well, I just go back to the basics and try to understand why I am here and what has gotten me here. And that is pretty much it.

“I don’t try to do things out there that I am not capable of doing. I stick with things like skating [fast, hard] and making simple plays and usually things take care of themselves.”

True enough. But from this set of eyes, comes an opinion: Mowers is a very hard worker, a good guy, and a terrific hockey player. He deserves any success he garners.

Brothers and Teammates…
“It’s awesome. He’s five years older, so I grew up watching him, following him around and looking up to him. So getting a chance to play alongside him is awesome for me and something I’ll always look back upon when my career is done…It’s pretty rare that it happens, especially with five years between us, so I am just going to enjoy it while it lasts.”
Defenseman, Jonathon Sigalet, on playing on the same team as his brother, Jordan Sigalet, a Bruins goalie.

“You know, I’ve gotten experience playing in the World Championships and [games] like that, so I understand the speed [of the NHL game]. It is definitely a step up, but I don’t think I will have a problem playing at that speed.”
Forward, Phil Kessel, previous to playing his first NHL pre-season game.

“I just go with the flow…wherever the guys go. I pretty much follow whatever the boys are up to.”
Forward, Shean Donovan, on his favorite restaurant in Montreal.

“I can’t figure out all those music gadgets the kids are using…[chuckles] Actually, I know how to use them, but I just don’t want to take the time. I am too busy with other stuff.”
Goalie, Tim Thomas, on whether he has a psych-up song on his i-Pod.
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