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Bear Essentials: It's A Good Day!

Tuesday, 12.11.2007 / 9:03 AM ET / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  -
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Bear Essentials: It\'s A Good Day!
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
Take a look at the standings this morning folks, and enjoy!

Your Boston Bruins, Our Boys, have quietly put themselves into second place in their division, fourth place in the conference and a tie for fourth in the entire NHL.

Drink it in. Yah, it feels good doesn't it.

Up Periscope
Looking around the usual publications, it's clear that the B's have continued to gel and that last night's win was huge for the Black & Gold.

Writes The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa:

"Thank God for Alex Auld tonight," said Marc Savard. "He was fantastic."
The Bruins also had Buffalo's sluggish legs at the start to thank. The Sabres had traveled from California late Saturday, and before last night's game, coach Lindy Ruff expressed concern about his team's energy level in the early minutes. Ruff turned out to be correct. After only 7:13 of play, the Bruins had a 2-0 lead, scoring on two of their first three shots on goalie Ryan Miller. And as much pressure as the Sabres applied on Auld later in the game, the early deficit was too steep to overcome.

The win wasn't without its sacrifices, however. Marco Sturm was the victim of a puck to the head.

Shinzawa also reports in his notebook:

"At 13:51 of the first period, a puck skimmed off a stick and plunked Sturm in the face while the left wing was sitting on the Boston bench. Sturm left for the dressing room immediately and didn't return.
According to Julien, one of Sturm's eyes swelled shut, though by the end of the game, it had started to open.
Sturm skated four shifts for 3:09 of ice time. Reich replaced Sturm on the second line during even-strength situations.
"That's why guys who don't play as much have to do a little extra to be ready when stuff like that does happen," said Reich (18 shifts, 10:25 of ice time). "I just have to play solid. Bang and crash, get pucks out. My job is to be dependable."
You read in this space yesterday that Glen Metropolit had returned to his old neighborhood in Toronto last weekend.

Steve Harris of The Boston Herald asked him about it:

“It was so much fun seeing all the kids,” Metropolit said. “We did an interview on the outdoor rink I grew up on. It was special seeing all the little kids out there with me. It totally reminded me of how it was when I was a kid. There was one puck out there, and everyone was just fighting for it. A little bit of snow was coming down, the ice was terrible. It was awesome. It brought back a lot of memories.
“I haven’t been skating there in many years, probably since I was about 16. They were all asking me questions, the same simple questions that I used to ask: ‘How many sticks do you get? You gotta buy your own sticks? You get your name on your sticks?’ It was special. I hope some of those kids grow up to be NHL players if that’s what they want.”

Again, during the season, there are some sacrifices along the way. According to Harris, Bobby Allen is still ailing:

Allen still was moving like an old man, still feeling the effects of back spasms suffered just before Saturday’s game in Toronto. It was the second time he’s been hampered by his back this season.
“It’s the sort of the same deal as what happened to me in California where my back just locks up on me,” Allen said.
“I woke up from my nap. I like to stretch a little bit to try and loosen up. I don’t know if I went the wrong way or what happened, but I could feel it lock right up. Anyone who has had this happen knows that you really can’t do anything. You’re incapacitated.
“It’s getting better every day. I have to let the inflammation go down and then do some strengthening and a lot of stretching.”

Lastly, the AP reports that Coach Julien expects Tim Thomas to return to his role as Boston's #1 when he returns, but the infusion of a little bit of "Auld School" goaltending has certainly worked wonders:
“It’s nice to have a situation where you can depend on who you are going to put in there,” he said. “It was a solid performance on his part. The outcome could have been a lot different, especially if he hadn’t bailed us out there in the second period.”

Noon-ish update...
I just finished my photo gallery from the trip. Click here to view my adventures.

Practice started at 12:30, so I am sure to get an update or two in the next few.

Late update...
Just wanted to tie things up for today.

There are no changes in terms of injuries. Shawn Thornton, Andrew Ference and Vladimir Sobotka are game time decisions that will be determined after pregame skate on Thursday. Bobby Allen remains out with back spasms.

Marco Sturm is cleared to play on Wednesday. He had an eye swollen shut last night, which is why he didn't return to Monday night's game.

Word from the Boston contingent in Atlanta is that Alex Auld has been the popular interview and Wideman has been getting a lot of requests too.

The highlight of the day: Sturmie bought everyone sandwiches for lunch.

I'll expect mine in tomorrow's FEDEX. Thanks Sturmie!




1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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