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Bish's Blog

Bear Essentials: Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Thursday, 03.13.2008 / 9:57 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Bear Essentials: Tampa Bay vs. Boston
Game days rule…

And tonight's game, despite its not being part of a traditional rivalry, has far-reaching playoff implications.

BTW: There are tickets to be had.

I just got this (see right) in my e-mail:

I checked, this is an online offer only, so click here and enter KENO as the code.

Also, for our friends in the Fire and Police stations in the area, just a reminder that tonight is Police and Fire Night. Police, Fire and EMS personnel can save $10.50 off per ticket.

If you are interested, Call 617-624 BEAR (before 1:00 p.m.), and press option 2 for details.

On a related note, I hear that the Newport, NH Police are doing the colors tonight, and that they also bought a huge block of tickets. They will also be welcoming/honoring a couple of their own who are both currently in the US Military and deployed overseas.

Both men are home on a short leave and have joined us for the game with members of their families:

Sgt. Shawn Seymour -- United States Army --  Currently serving in Afghanistan
Sgt. Todd Seymour -- United States Army --  Currently serving in Iraq


Watch Shawn Thornton's Vlog
Anyway, here's hoping for a loud building, not only to cheer on Our Boys, but also to give both Seymour's a terrific standing ovation.

If you haven't been out to a game this season, tonight's a great night to see two of the league's best (Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis) take on the Bruins.

Coach Julien's Take
Yesterday, after practice, Coach Julien talked about the B's troubles with denting twine:
"We’ve had a tough time at scoring goals this year. That’s been a [consistent] challenge that we’ve had. Right now when I look at the line changes and I look at the scoring chances...the bottom line is that we’re not finishing, we’re not putting them in. Sometimes [people] say, "Well, change your lines." [But when] we change them [we] still have the same amount of scoring chances...It always seems to come back to the same thing -- our "finish." We’ve not been capable of finishing around the net...we’re being challenged in that area."


12:15 p.m.
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 few words said it all as Patrice Bergeron, Manny Fernandez and Andrew Alberts joined their teammates for the first time in a very long time, today, at morning skate.

"The Kid still has it," yelled Jeremy Reich about Patrice Bergeron as the young forward took yet another step towards resuming his hockey career.

But Reich clearly could've been talking about all three men, as they took turns in their respective groups in an effort to fully rejoin the club somewhere down the line.

"It feels real good," said Manny Fernandez, fresh off the ice from his most recent workout.

"[I'm doing] everything -- everything without a brace," said the goaltender. "We're pretty much there."

"I was very happy today, when I came to the rink, and Don [DelNegro, the team's athletic trainer] said I could go out for morning skate," said Bergeron. "It was awesome.

"It was good to be back on the ice and skating [with the team]."

Manny Fernandez chats with David Krejci. (photo: John Bishop)
Andrew Alberts echoed his teammates sentiments.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "It's good to get out there with the team this morning and get some repetitions in.

"I haven't skated with [other] guys for a month and a half.

"It was a little bit different...but it was fun," said Alberts.

All three men looked very at home with their teammates and everyone was happy to see them.

"I think that was the whole thought behind putting them on the ice," said B's head coach Claude Julien. "This was great to give them a chance to be out with the rest of their teammates and part of the hockey team.

"And their teammates were happy to see them back on the ice, as well -- it's a win, win."


2:44 p.m.
For your fantasy lineups...
Zdeno Chara is out. Bobby Allen appears out, as well. Matt Lashoff was on the ice this morning, as was Aaron Ward. And...Tim Thomas was first into the room.


2:52 p.m.
Marco Sturm celebrates.
My man Mirtle, who runs as good a blog as there is, checked in this morning with his "Playoff Push" predictions -- a sort've magic number for hockey. The way he figures it, 92 points should do it in the East. His breakdown:

Eastern Conference (92 points)
New Jersey - 3-9-0
Montreal - 2-8-1
Pittsburgh - 2-8-1
Ottawa - 3-7-1
N.Y. Rangers - 4-7-1
Boston - 6-6-0
Carolina - 5-4-1
Philadelphia - 6-4-1
--------------------------------------
Buffalo - 8-2-1
Washington - 9-2-0
Florida - 9-1-0
Toronto - 9-1-0
N.Y. Islanders - max 91 points
Atlanta - max 90 points
Tampa Bay - max 86 points


Now, that is pretty comforting for everyone over the line. But it also displays how important the B's last 12 games really are -- not only to them, but also to the teams above and below them. You can check out Mirtle's blog at http://mirtle.blogspot.com.


3:46 p.m.
Claude Julien
One of the more interesting pieces of the post-pregame-skate presser for Coach Julien was when he was asked if games in March have become more important over the years:
"No doubt. I think a few years back, look at the last ten games, the playoff spots were resolved," he said. :Right now it comes right down to the last game, the last month -- the month of March -- which seems to have a game every second day.

"So there’s a lot of pressure, mental and physical fatigue involved.

"A lot of times the teams that survive the best are the ones that are able to stay healthy," he said, perhaps with a nod toward the possible return of one or more of the three long-term injured Bruins.

"We all know that we’ve had our challenges in that area and it has made our challenge even bigger," he added. "Those are all things people should remember when they look at this team here.

"We’re battling through a lot of adversity and, although it’s not always pretty, the guys are there for one another and definitely doing their best to win hockey games [and] we are still in the position to control our own destiny."

See Mr. Mirtles' standings above for reinforcement of that fact.

Coach also said that the club is attempting to mitigate the effect of many games in a short time, and indicated that he has tried to keep an eye on fatigue.

"We’ve already started doing that I think," said Coach. "There are a lot of partial skates; a lot of days off for players.

"Where you can adjust [in relation] mental and physical fatigue is how you handle your off days.

"With morning skates, a lot of teams just bypass those morning skates now, and we’re going to do that at some point, and we’ve done it at times. The same thing with practices, sometimes it’s about keeping them short and straight to the point, giving your players that play a lot some time to rest."


4:48 p.m.

Care to get fired up for tonight's game?

How about some highlight's from the B's recent win over Washington -- including Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton defending Boston's honor, some great saves by Alex Auld and goals from Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm.

Click here for Bruins TV.

Jack Edward's calls are lots of fun on the fights: "Down goes Bradley. Down goes Bradley."


6:14 p.m.
We have some Bruce Springsteen kickin' on the P.A. here in the Garden...only a few more minutes to go before warmups.


6:28 p.m.
Timmy led the team out of the runway. Say tuned for the rest...

There is a huge neon sign on the glass asking Milan Lucic to the prom...
Innovative. Effective? Creative!

A decent guess, based on warmups:
Axelsson-Savard-Murray
Sturm-Metropolit-Kobasew
Lucic-Krejci-Kessel
Thornton-Schaefer-Sobotka
Stuart-Wideman (sg) Thomas
Ward-Ference (bg) Auld

Hnidy-Lashoff Go Bruins!

I think I am doing the ol' running recap as Angela, my intern, is enjoying a well earned couple days off. Enjoy the break, Ang! So, watch for the Running Recap in story #1 in the front page.

Go B's! We need this one! JB

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