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Bear Essentials: Detroit vs. Boston

Saturday, 02.02.2008 / 9:28 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Bear Essentials: Detroit vs. Boston
John Bishop is the beat writer for BostonBruins.com. 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.
Quick update...
The anticipation around the Garden is pretty high with twice the normal number of autograph seekers outside the parking lot and what should be a very full house...the optional skate was well attended, and actually featured Glen Murray, Bobby Allen, Marco Sturm and P.J. Axelsson.

Murray and Allen will not play. Sturm and Axelsson should be in the lineup.

3:18 p.m.
And away we go. I wanted to make sure and pass on the following news release. JB

Missing 10th Mountain Division Soldiers to be honored at National Hockey League game Feb. 2

FORT DRUM - Two Soldiers presumed captured by insurgent forces in Iraq will be honored during a game between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings in Boston Feb. 2.

Representatives of the families of Sgt. Alex Jimenez and Pfc. Byron Fouty, along with members of their unit, will be in attendance as the team captains from each team present honorary team sweaters before the game begins.

"We appreciate the Boston Bruins organizations for hosting this event, and both teams for helping us raise awareness of our missing comrades and to let their families and brothers in arms know we have not forgotten them," said Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, 10th Mountain Division commander.

Jimenez, of Lawrence, Mass., and Fouty, or Waterford, Mich., were deployed to South Baghdad with their unit, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, in August 2006. In the early hours of May 12, 2007, terrorist forces attacked Jimenez and Fouty's unit while they were on a combat patrol. Both men are believed to have been captured by the enemy forces.

In the ensuing days and weeks following the attack tens of thousands of Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and American civilians were involved in an exhaustive search across Iraq to locate Jimenez and Fouty. The search continues, unabated, to this day.

The 3,500 Soldiers from Jimenez and Fouty's unit, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, returned from a 15 month deployment to Iraq in November 2007.

3:23 p.m.
Tim Thomas had a nice time recounting his boyhood days in Michigan, but said that he often found himself at IHL games watching the Flint Generals.

"I was still a Red Wings fan especially when they started to have some success," said Thomas while sitting in his stall in the Bruins locker room. "But as a kid in Flint, the main team was the Flint Generals."

But Thomas did admit to a lifelong admiration for some of the Red Wings.

"I was Yzerman in street hockey," said Timmy. "And Kocer and Probert, the Bruise Brothers."

The Flint Generals
But the NHL seemed, literally, very far away.

"I got to see the Generals more often and in person," explained Thomas. "I don't know if I ever got to talk to them too much, but I know I went to a skate with them once.

"My dad would want me to sit right behind the glass and he sat up [in the stands], so I would go sit down right where the Zamboni came out. And any puck that went over the glass into the Zamboni area I was the fastest kid to get to it and would slide underneath all the bars.

"Nowadays...they'd never allow that stuff to happen. But back then it was a free-for-all for the loose puck."

Tim also said that in his boyhood head, he pictured himself as a Flint General when he grew up.

"That is what I saw most often," he said. "I'm pretty sure that was on my mind.

"The NHL was a long way off for me, even as a kid. My first goal was to play in the Olympics, because of the 1980 team...and I hate to say it, but I wasn't one of those kids who grew up dreaming of playing in the NHL. The NHL seemed remote.

"When I was older it became a goal, when I was in my teens and it was becoming more popular on TV. But my immediate  goals were the U.S. Olympic Team and maybe playing in the IHL, I guess."

Well, the original IHL is gone, but Timmy is still stopping pucks.

4:05 p.m.
Marco Sturm looked none the worse for wear as he changed into civvies for his trek back home after the skate. Sturm battled the flu while he was on the road in Ottawa.

"I got sick last game because I wanted to [set the record] at home," said Sturm with a smile.

The Record, of course, is becoming the German player with the most NHL games under his belt. Marco's next game played will be the 730th of his NHL career, moving past Uwe Krupp as the all-time leader in NHL games played by a player born and raised in Germany.

"It's an honor and it's an accomplishment," said Sturm. 'It took a lot of hard work.

"It's not the biggest thing, but I think it is something to be proud of."

Krupp has an outstanding reputation around the hockey world and Sturm is flattered to be mentioned in the same breath.

"He's a great guy, a great man, and a great hockey player," said Marco, suddenly becoming very serious. "And he won it all, too.

"He's an idol for me and a lot of German players."
6:29 p.m.
Both teams have just hit the ice and it will be Chris Osgood vs. Tim Thomas

It should be a barn burner, what with the surging Boston Bruins and the NHL best Red Wings in the house led by two all-star goalies.

Here is how the B's look tonight:
Sturm-Savard-Kessel
Lucic-Metropolit-Kobasew
Axelsson-Krejci-Schaefer
Reich-Sobotka-Thornton
Chara-Wideman (sg)Thomas
Ference-Ward (bg)Auld
Stuart-Hnidy Go Bruins!


6:47 p.m.
Wow, there are already a lot of people in their seats....although the fans are not as loud as a Montreal or Toronto matchup, it is certainly nice to see the playoff-like atmosphere in the building.

6:56 p.m.
Just wanted to add one nice note:

Frank Chiarelli '55 to be Inducted Into Hockey Ring of Honor on February 1st
All-time leading scorer and NCAA record holder to be fourth added

TROY, N.Y. – Frank Chiarelli, a four-time National All-America and the holder of three NCAA scoring records, will be inducted into the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Hockey Ring of Honor. A 1955 graduate, Chiarelli will become the fourth honoree in an intermission ceremony on February 1.

“I am thrilled to be selected,” said Chiarelli from his native Ottawa. “Certainly to be there with Ned (Harkness) is a very high honor. And to be with (Joe) Juneau and (Adam) Oates is exclusive company.”

As a forward from 1951-55, Chiarelli had 155 goals and 110 assists for 265 points in only 80 games. His single season totals were:

-- 55 goals and 24 assists for 79 points in 18 games
-- 36 goals and 32 assists for 68 points in 20 games
-- 35 goals and 37 assists for 62 points in 23 games
-- 29 goals and 27 assists for 56 points in 19 games

Chiarelli led the Engineers in goals three times, assists once and points twice. He twice scored a school record seven goals in a game and remains the school single season record holder for goals (55), goals per game (3.06 in 1951-52), hat tricks (9) and points per game (4.39 in 1951-52). He is also third in points in a season (79).

A captain as a junior and senior, Chiarelli holds RPI career records for goals, goals per game (1.94), hat tricks (23) and points and ranks third in points per game (3.31) and fifth in overall assists.

He is the NCAA Division I record holder for goals per game in a career, goals per game in a season and points per game in a season. He is also fifth in goals in a season (55) and sixth in goals per game in a season (1.80 in 1952-53).

Chiarelli was named a First Team All-America in 1952-53 and Second Team each of his other three years. He was also selected to the RPI Invitational All-Tournament Team three times. Also a standout baseball player, he is a member of Rensselaer’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

As a team during Chiarelli’s career, the Engineers posted a 57-23-3 record for a .705 winning percentage, including the 1954 NCAA Championship and a place in the 1953 Frozen Four. He was named to the NCAA All-Tournament First Team in 1954 and the Second Team in 1953.

RPI hosts Quinnipiac University on February 1 at 7pm and Chiarelli will be honored during the second intermission. He will join his former coach, Ned Harkness, and Adam Oates ’85 and Joe Juneau ’91 in the prestigious Ring of Honor.

Congrats to Mr. Chiarelli! See you at the Running Recap. JB

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