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Bish's Blog

Bear Essentials: Florida vs. Boston

Saturday, 02.09.2008 / 1:05 PM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Bear Essentials: Florida 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.
First update...
It was an optional skate this morning at the TD Banknorth Garden, and only three players were on the ice -- Bobby Allen, Alex Auld and Jeremy Reich.

Allen remains able to practice, but is not cleared to play in games. Reich was the healthy scratch last night and Auld will most likely give way to Tim Thomas in goal this evening.

Head coach Claude Julien spoke with the media gathered on ice level following the short practice. When asked about Glen Murray's return, the Bruins bench boss was clearly taken aback by his play on Friday night.

"He was good last night," said Coach. "And he probably played a little more than we expected because he felt good and we had good communication [with him] on the bench.

"One thing we didn't want to do was overdo it in the first game back…you have to be careful when a guy has been out for [19] games.

"But last night he felt good and again this morning, in chatting with him, besides a few aches and pains [associated with] not playing in [19] games, he is feeling pretty good," he said.

Coach was pleased with many of his players -- particularly Auld.

"You have to give him credit," said Julien. "He was outstanding, the same way he was when we last played in Buffalo. He played them extremely well and made some key saves at key times.

"We give credit to Timmy when he does those kind of things, and I think Alex deserves the credit when he does the same."

A note on the lineup...
Coach did not think that he would get anyone back tonight. Allen we've covered, and Andrew Alberts is still working through his issue, but Peter Schaefer was the other no go in Buffalo.

Julien said that Schaefer, who suffered a cut on his leg, would not be available this evening.

1:20 p.m.
I thought you might like an updated on the Bruins doings this week, courtesy of the Bruins PR staff...

BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD 2/9 - 2/15

BRUINS HOST PANTHERS SATURDAY:
  Fresh off a 3-2 come-from-behind shootout win in Buffalo Friday night, the Bruins return home to face the Florida Panthers Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Garden.  The Bruins and Panthers will meet for the second of four contests tonight, with the Bruins holding a 1-0 record in the season series.

SAVARD TIED AT THE TOP:  Bruins center Marc Savard handed out his 47th helper Friday night in Buffalo, placing him in a three-way tie for the league lead in assists.  San Jose's Joe Thornton and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk also have 47 assists on the season.

AROUND TOWN
02.14.08: Boston Bruins players will be at Mass General Hospital for Children's Heart Day on February 14th from 3:00 - 4:30pm. The Bruins will be visiting approximately 35 pediatric patients and their siblings who have been affected by congenital heart defects. Throughout the day the hospital will sponsor a grand symposium and various panel discussions for patients, parents and physicians.
 
02.14.08: On Thursday February 14th the Boston Bruins Foundation will once again be delivering "Blades Valentine's Day Bear Hugs" to raise money for children's charities. "Blades Bear Hugs" is an opportunity for you to show your special Bruins fan just how much you care this Valentine's Day! Blades will arrive in style with the Bruins Hummer carrying a basket full of Valentine's Day and Bruins goodies for your special someone.   For more information please click here or call 617-624-1981.

02.15.08-02.17.08:  Join the Boston Bruins and Bay State Hockey as they celebrate "Hockey Weekend Across America." On Friday, February 15th and Sunday, February 17th, the Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Blades, the Bruins mascot, will host open skate parties at two local FMC Arenas. Show your hockey spirit by wearing your favorite hockey jersey (from any level of hockey) to school and then to the rink both nights.   All fans who wear their jersey to a participating rink will be entered to win Boston Bruins game tickets and other great prizes. Admission for each skate is $4 and skate rental is available. Click here for more details! On Friday, February 15, the Bruins will be at the Chelmsford Forum from 7:30 to 8:50 PM and Sunday, February 17, the Burlington Ice Palace from 3:20 to 4:20 PM.

Ongoing: The Boston Bruins and the New England Sports Museum have partnered to present the Stand Strong Character Search field trip program. During the morning of select Boston Bruins home game, field trip program students participate in a scavenger hunt designed to guide them through the museum and encourage them to utilize interactive exhibits and to examine artifacts. Interpretive panels relating to character in sports are spread through out the Museum.  Staff leads students through a discussion of the concepts of Determination, Courage, Fairness, Teamwork, and Responsibility.

Ongoing: The Boston Bruins have partnered with Village Automotive Group for their Keys to Success program.  The program aims to provide high school administrators with the tools to motivate students to achieve academic success.  Students have the chance to qualify for various prizes by exemplifying achievement of success in areas such as grade point average, improved attendance, tutoring, and volunteer work.  The grand prize is a car courtesy of Village Automotive Group, The Bruins have partnered with the program to provide incentives and to be involved with in-school rallies and events.

UPCOMING GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE
(PRACTICE SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE):

Saturday, February 9 (Boston, MA)
-    Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. ET - 11:00 a.m. ET
-    Game vs. Florida Panthers, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
Sunday, February 10 (Wilmington, MA)
-    Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:40 a.m. ET - 12:40 p.m. ET
Monday, February 11 (Wilmington, MA)
-    Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET - 11:30 a.m. ET
Tuesday, February 12 (Boston, MA)
-    Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. ET - 11:00 a.m. ET
-    Game vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-    Travel to Pittsburgh
Wednesday, February 13 (Pittsburgh, PA)
-    Pregame skate at Mellon Arena, 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. ET
-    Game at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. ET (TV: NESN RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-    Travel to Boston
Thursday, February 14 (Wilmington, MA)
-    Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET - 11:30 a.m. ET
Friday, February 15 (Wilmington, MA)
-    Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. ET - 12:30 p.m. ET
-    Travel to Toronto

BRUINS POINTS LEADERS AS OF 02/09:
RANK/PLAYER    GOALS/ASSISTS/POINTS
1. M. Savard        13/47/60
t2. Z. Chara        8/27/35
t2. M. Sturm        18/17/35

ON THIS WEEK'S BUZZ:  Check out NESN's weekly show "The Buzz" for the latest Bruins happenings on and off the ice.  On this week's episode, you'll get a recap of the Beanpot, a new Five Questions with Andrew Ference and this week's guest Glen Metropolit, a feature on goaltender coach Bob Essensa and a mic'd up segment with defenseman Aaron Ward.

TEXT IN YOUR QUESTIONS:  NESN encourages fans to text their questions on game days to NESN at 83733 to have them answered live by NESN analyst Andy Brickley during the game or by Bruins coaches and players during intermissions and post game interviews.

MEDIA AND FAN INFORMATION LINE:  Call 617.624.1910 for the latest updates to the Bruins practice schedule. 

3:58 p.m.
Marc "Savvy" Savard continues to be one of the most exciting Bruins to watch.

Last night, there were times where the speedy, shifty forward (literally) controlled the game. And, of course, his pass to Marco Sturm late in the third cemented a point for Boston and allowed them to get another in the shootout.

"We felt confident even though we let up two goals in the last minute of play," said Savard. "We thought we outplayed them for the first two periods, even though the score was indicative of it, so we all came in [to the locker room between periods and decided to] stick with the program.

"It paid off."

It certainly did, and for someone who has yet to play in an NHL playoff game, Savard's hard work was clearly post-season quality.

"I worked hard last night -- our whole line did -- and the team did," he said on Saturday morning. "You know, I just felt good.

"I really want to make the playoffs this year and last night was one of those situations where if we are going to make it we need to win.

"We were able to come back," said Savard.

Marc was instrumental on both sides of the puck, and beyond adding an assist (which ties him for the league lead with 47), his speed and tenacity without the puck was apparent.

"I set up Sturmie there, and he went in and scored, and that was a big goal," said Marc. "But you don't always have to score and I don't score a whole lot of goals.

"We had great opportunities early…and we are working hard and getting those chances and hopefully they start going in [more often]. "

5:39 p.m.
Alex Auld had a heck of a stat line last night -- but one you may have missed was "sacked".

Bruins "linebacker" Marc Savard raced off the bench and tackled the B's backstop in celebration of Auld's three big stops in the shootout right after the latter finished a Savvyesque fist pump.

"You know, for the first couple of years of my career I was kind of reserved," said Alex. "But it's exciting to win like that and to come back and …I said to a couple of guys afterward 'That's the closest I will ever come to scoring a big goal.'

"I figured I would let it out and it's nice to get mobbed.

"I don't think I've ever won the shootout with the final save…so that was a pretty cool feeling," he said.

But what about being pancaked?

"Believe it or not I couldn't even hold up Savvy," said Auld with a chuckle. "We both skated so fast and he jumped up…and I just gave.

"The boys were good to let me up, though."

Thank goodness he got up!

6:38 p.m.
Tim Thomas led the team out the door onto the ice, signaling that he is the starter.

Here is my guess on tonight, based on the warm up:
Sturm-Savard-Kessel
Lucic-Metropolit-Kobasew
Axelsson-Krejci-Murray
Nokelainen-Sobotka-Thornton
Chara-Wideman (sg)Thomas
Ward-Ference (bg)Auld
Stuart-Hnidy Go Bruins!

6:51 p.m.

Nothing much going on right now. I am heading over to the Running Recap.
JB

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 21 15 5 1 59 52 31
2 TBL 21 13 6 2 75 59 28
3 DET 19 10 4 5 54 45 25
4 BOS 20 12 8 0 53 49 24
5 OTT 18 9 5 4 50 47 22
6 TOR 20 10 8 2 63 62 22
7 FLA 17 7 5 5 38 44 19
8 BUF 20 5 13 2 34 69 12

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 20 5 10 -1 15
C. Soderberg 20 5 8 2 13
B. Marchand 19 5 6 5 11
D. Hamilton 20 4 7 0 11
L. Eriksson 20 3 8 5 11
R. Smith 20 4 6 1 10
M. Lucic 20 3 7 3 10
D. Krejci 11 3 7 4 10
S. Griffith 16 5 2 -1 7
T. Krug 16 3 4 4 7
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 10 5 0 .915 2.38
N. Svedberg 2 3 0 .917 2.41
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