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On the Road: Montreal, Quebec

Bruins head (more) north to face the Habs

Wednesday, 10.01.2008 / 9:54 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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On the Road: Montreal, Quebec
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.
0:00 - Game over...3-1, Final. Good effort by Manny Fernandez and the Yelle line. Look for an update later and more tomorrow morning. I gotta catch a plane. JB

-  One minute to go.

- Time is short. Montreal is keeping the puck in the B's zone way too long.

- Manny, who has again been strong. Ices the puck. Boston just couldn't convert on the power play.

- B's cycling the the puck very well on the PP.

- Looks like Wheels took a stick to the face. Bruins on the PP with a Hab in the box for a slash.

- Back downstairs near the B's locker room. The video feed down here has no time on it.

11:31 - Savvy, to Axie to Zee on the back door. Nice power play goal, Boston. 3-1, Montreal.

13:06 - A nice defensive play at the Red Line by Savard springs Ryder to gets a shot off. But it did not have enough to challenge Halak.

The ensuing flurry gives Boston at power play when Weber earns a minor.

16:03 - The Bruins really need to up their tempo. A pretty slow start of this period.

19:11 - Boston is still on the power play.

20:00 - Start of Third Period. Boston has taken the lead in hits, 21-17. Stephane Yelle, who has quietly led his young wingers to a nice night, has three hits to lead the B's.

The shots are tied, 21-21.
---
0:00 - A late shot by Patrice is bobbled by Halak, but bounces off his glove and away from the net.

Wheeler had another nice period. But the B's haven't been able to mount any sort of attack that would scare the Habs.

As far as the goals by MTL, Manny might want to have one back, but he is certainly not the problem. A solid two periods by the Boston goalie.

:9 - Koivu to the box for a hook.

:31.4 - Some good pressure from the B's. Ryder puts a shot on Halak. Who traps it in his chest protector.

2:26 - Chuck Kobasew crashes the net and gets a face full of glove from Weber. Chuck, of course, does not like this and washes Weber's face. Fun.

4:44 - Higgins in the box. High stick. B's on the power play.

7:00 - Savvy unloads a laser at Halak, who turns it away and sends it out of reach of any other Bruins. Halak is playing very, very well.

8:33 - Latendresse scores. 3-0, Montreal. Two Canadiens left alone in front. Not good. Fans are starting to sing "the song."

9:53 - Chara in the box (hook). Montreal on the PP -- again.

10:59 - Another nice shift for Yelle, Wheeler and Lucic. Lots of time in the Canadiens zone. A couple of shots.

15:46 - Alberts off with a hold. Boston needs to regroup. Quickly. As good as they looked in the first, not much going now.

16:46 - Reich comes out of the box, takes a shot and then gets into a shoving match. Nice shift.

18:52 - Manny has a big rebound go off his right pad to a waiting Brisebois. The Hab scores. 2-0, Montreal. Jeremy Reich is back in the box. Not sure why.

Manny looked pretty angry at himself after that one.

19:34 - Kovaleve scores. No possible way that Manny even saw it with two red and two white skaters in front of him. No chance. 1-0, Montreal.

19:59 - Axelsson, on with Chara and Wideman, wins the face off. Montreal on the two man advantage for 47-seconds.

20:00 - Start of Second Period. The Bruins had 10 hits in the first, with Lucic and Sobotka each having two. Blake Wheeler, Zdeno Chara and Chuck Kobasew each had two shots on goal.
---
0:00 - Reich was in the box for hooking with those 11-seconds ticking down. CHC will have the five-on-three advantage to start the second period.

It's hard not to be too psyched about Fernandez and Wheeler in this game. Manny looks like the goalie the B's wanted when they acquired him last season and Wheels just looks at home. Period.

The building filled in nicely and is officially sold out.

One more thought. Funny how Michael Ryder is getting bood so consistently -- I remember plenty of times when he had the place on its feet.

:11.7 - Manny just made three stops with an outstretched left pad on Christopher Higgins. Higgins was right on the border of the crease and pounding away at the puck. Fernandez stays strong.

:56.8 - Hnidy in the bin. Habs on the PP.

1:24 - Good movement on the PP. Plenty of chances.

3:57 - Kyle Chipchura in the box for Montreal. B's on the PP for the first time. Our first penalty of the night.

5:37 - Both teams are having some issues in the neutral zone. Nothing is getting into the offensive zone easily.

7:10 - BTW: Big Zee is back. No issues thus far.

9:29 - Wheeler is at it again. Two more scoring chances because of the kid. Very talented.

11:27 - The tendency tonight is to get over-excited about Manny's play. But I have to say that he has looked good, particularly after the Habs have taken over the lead in shots, 7-2.

13:38 - Another big save for Manny through traffic. Fernandez seems to have his angles tonight. He is not giving CHC much to shoot at.

14:57 - Yelle line has made some noise to the tune of two shots in the first five minutes.

16:20 - Big Save Manny. He goes from his left to his right in a half split to stop Plekanec. Montreal's first shot is a doozy, but Fernandez was there.

17:18 - Sobotka line on and each of the guys had a hit in short order.

18:36 - Wheeler with the first shot for Boston. Halak caught it in the breadbasket.

19:12 - Boos for Ryder.

19:59 - Bergeron wins the face off. Nice play by Manny shortly thereafter, early, as he came out of his crease to clear the puck.

20:00 - Start of First Period. I am sure they will announce a sell out, but even without all 21,273 on hand it is LOUD here.

It wouldn't be shocking to me to see the B's come out a little flat. They drove from Vermont by bus and a thunder storm, a stop at the border and a little bit of traffic made the trip a little bit longer than it might have been. JB

35-6-12-16-33-37 are the starters for Boston. Halak is in goal for Montreal.

Switching to game time (on the clock)...

7:16 p.m.
The lady on the scoreboard says that the Habs new goal song was written by the band A Simple Plan...


7:13 p.m.
The lineup...
Sturm-Bergeron-Kobasew
Axelsson-Savard-Ryder
Lucic-Yelle-Wheeler
Reich-Sobotka-Thornton
Chara-Wideman
Stuart-Hnidy
Hunwick-Alberts
Fernandez
Thomas


6:32 p.m.
Fernandez to start
Manny Fernandez
After practice Wednesday morning, Claude Julien revisited the importance of getting a healthy Manny Fernandez back into the Boston Bruins goaltending mix.

“I think for Manny’s sake, he wants to feel comfortable, and I think we (all want that) for all the right reasons,” said Julien. “I think he’d love to be able to go out there and have a real solid game and feel good about himself.

“And for us, that would certainly make us feel good to see that he’s finding his groove again.

“But I don’t think it’s a do or die situation (tonight),” he added.

Julien referred to the rink where Tim Thomas was finishing his own warm-up.

“Timmy’s here and Timmy held the fort for us last year. What (Manny does) is just add an element that makes us that much better and we end up with two good goaltenders,” explained the coach.

“Unfortunately, he had a little setback (with his thumb), but he’s a healthy player here, compared to last year, and we just have to get him going.”

Fernandez agreed with his coach.

“I am still in ‘try-and-find-my-game-mode’ and every game is going to be crucial,” said Manny. “But like I’ve said before, it would be nice to have a good outcome (on the scoreboard), but if that’s not the case, I need to be realistic and look at what I need to work on.

“However, I think working hard at practice and doing the little things right, hopefully that will get me through 60-minutes and we’ll go from there.

“I am sure tonight is going to be a good test,” he said.

Manny’s workout partner, and fellow Quebecois, teammate Patrice Bergeron, knows how Fernandez feels and hopes he has a breakout game in front of his home crowd.

“I want him to do well,” said Bergeron. “We went through kind of the same thing last year and the goal here is for us to get better.

“He’s looking so good right now and he’s playing well.

“I know he is going to be his old self and he’s a great goalie – he’s proven that – so I am not nervous about him at all,” he said.


1:56 p.m.
Chara
“(Chara) and (Hnidy) are in and they are ready to go,” said Claude Julien to the small gathering of media in Vermont.

Taking the fact that Chara had downplayed his status into account, the press questioned Julien about the captain's readiness.

The coach reassured his audience that Big Zee is in fine playing shape.

“He’s good,” said Coach. “Some players are harder on themselves and want to be 100% perfect (but) I don’t think that ever happens with anyone.

“He’s good to go and he wants to go.

“The trainers have been fine with him for quite awhile now and it was just a question of him feeling good enough and we’re there,” he said.


12:12 p.m.
Big Zee will play

Game Notes: Printable Version
 View or download a printable version of this release. (PDF)
The Bruins captain will play his first preseason game of the season tonight against the Habs.

"Yah, I want to know where I am," said Zdeno Chara when asked if he was excited to take the ice. "I want to play and find out.

"That's probably the best way to find out where you are (conditioning, health, skill wise), so we'll go out there and see."

Preseason game aside, the lure of simply playing hockey is still there for the defenseman.

"Of course, of course it's fun," he said. "But you have to prepare for the season -- that's part of the deal, you have to play the (exhibition) games -- otherwise you wouldn't really be ready.

"In my case, we'll see how many of these last three games I will be able to play, but tonight I will definitely be in the lineup and we'll go from there.

"If I feel good I see no problem playing all three games, but we'll see."


Morning update...

Goodbye Vermont, Hello Montreal
Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, right, talks with players during the Bruins training camp, Monday, Sept. 29, 2008, at The Ice Center in Waterbury, Vt. (AP Photo/Alden Pellett)
Following practice on Tuesday, head coach Claude Julien talked about training camp and the team’s plans going forward.

“It went well,” said Julien of the team’s time in Vermont. “The activities that we had (Monday) were pretty amazing.”

Last year the club tackled orienteering. This year it was a ropes course.

“We were learning to work as a group and the other part was challenging their fears,” explained the coach. “I think it was good.

“We got some pretty positive feedback from our players and they really enjoyed the activities.

“We hope it pays off here as we move on to the start of the season,” he said.

Looking forward, the Bruins see a pretty intense schedule.

“We’ve got a tough month ahead of us to start the season,” continued Julien. “We’re on the road for most of it and we talked about the importance of a good start.

“So what we’ve done here is important because we don’t want to be doing that during that stretch. We have to have a good start and the closer we are as a group and the more determined we are to work together the more it’s going to help us.”

“That’s the goal behind it and if you can accomplish that, it filters into the following months, and you just get stronger as you move along,” he said.

Coach Julien was asked whether there was a certain amount of sadness, knowing that some of the guys who had made it this far were not going to start the season in Colorado.

“There is to a certain extent, but on the other hand you know that a lot of those guys who are sent down to the minors at the end (of training camp) usually come back at some point during the season,” said Julien. “Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the game – you have to cut your roster down by a certain date – and we have to respect that.”

Manny to play plenty
Manny Fernandez is likely to see plenty of action over the club’s final preseason stretch.

“I think there is no doubt that he has to fine-tune himself and there’s not much time left,” said Julien. “I think a lot of our players have to fine tune themselves for the season and he’s part of that group.

“He’s got the most logical excuse and reason…so we need to get him into some action and give him a chance to fine-tune himself.

“That’s the goal, to get him in (on Wednesday)…I really haven’t decided how I am going to do it, but there’s no doubt that he needs at least a couple of games.”

The Bear Essentials On The Road: MONTREAL, QUEBEC (Bell Centre)
Where are we going?
Monument to Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve. Photo: Denis Tremblay, www.old.montreal.qc.ca
Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, and the largest city in the province of Quebec.

Originally called Ville-Marie, translated “City of Mary,” the city had come to be known as Montreal by the end of the 17th century, a name (possibly) derived from the French Mont Royal, the name of the three-head hill at the heart of the city. Downtown Montreal lies at the foot of Mount Royal, which is designated as a major urban park, and extends toward the St Lawrence River.

Extending all over downtown is Montreal's Underground City, a set of pedestrian levels built to cross under streets, thereby connecting buildings to each other.

Who are we playing?
The Montreal Canadiens are one of the founding Original Six members of the NHL.

The franchise is officially known as the Le Club de Hockey Canadien. Founded in 1909, eight years before the founding of the NHL, the Canadiens are the oldest continuously operating club in the league, and they have won more Stanley Cups than any other team in the league (24).

The Canadiens have many French nicknames, but their most common nickname is the Habs, coming from “Les Habitants.”

Where are we playing?
Photo: BellCentre.ca
The Bell Centre is considered one of the best sports and entertainment facilities in North America and is one of the most booked buildings on the continent.

The Bell Center officially became the new home of the Montreal Canadiens on March 16, 1996 following ceremonies closing the Montreal Forum on Ste. Catherine's Street.

Quebec is home to many hockey greats including Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and former Bruins Ray Bourque, Steve Kasper, Gary Galley and P.J. Stock. Quebec can also boast Patrick Roy, Georges Vezina, Martin St. Louis, Luc Robitaile, Mario Lemieux, and Vincent Lecavalier.

 

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