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Bish's Blog

Bear Essentials: November 16th

In and around Greater Toronto

Sunday, 11.16.2008 / 10:30 AM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Bear Essentials: November 16th
6:06 p.m.
Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien draws out a drill for his players during practice in Boston Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
This afternoon, Coach Claude Julien spoke about the B's loss to New York.

"I don't think one overtime loss should cause us to push the panic button, but I think we just have to realize what got us in trouble, yesterday," said Julien. "I thought in the third period they just came at us hard and we did not respond well enough.

"Last night...we were second to the puck, everywhere.

"They took (the momentum) from us and it ended up costing us a point," he said.

Speaking of the loss of Andrew Ference, who is out six to eight weeks with a broken tibia, Julien said,"Everyone has to step it up and make sure they are at their best.

"When you are playing at...the best of your ability that's usually enough for your team to continue to have success."

While talking about the difficulty of being (and finding) a puck moving defensemen, Coach Julien spoke about the modern game of hockey and why replacing Ference will be difficult.

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.
"The game has changed a lot," said Julien. "The forecheck is (coached) in a way where...a lot of your options are (taken away).

"Teams are taking the boards away on you, and their first forchecker is on you hard.

"You have less time and less options, so the quicker you move the puck, the less time the other team has to get into a situation where they take away your options -- so being quick becomes a real valuable asset in this game."

"And it's not just in the breakout," continued Julien. "It's also in the neutral zone."

Replacing Ference will be difficult, but not impossible and Julien said that the club has no immediate plans to call up anyone from Providence.

"We have no issues (with our six defensemen)," he said. "We've had (Hnidy) out and Hunwick's come in and done a good job.

"So there's no...reason to panic.

"We've lost a real good defenseman, but yesterday, until the third period, we were fine."


5:13 p.m.
Hockey Hall of Fame Exterior, Toronto, HHOF
So, when the bus got us back to Toronto, NESN's Naoko Funayama and camera guy extraordinaire Chris DelDotto joined me on a trek to the gift shop at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Why only the gift shop? Well, I am a book freak, so I figured that the HHOF would have a nice book section -- they did -- but that wasn't the coolest thing about the walk.

The masks display of the Hall is outside of the paid admission part.

Now, HOPEFULLY, I will head over to see the actual HHOF on Monday between the morning skate and the game (I didn't have time today), but to get to see some of the most famous goalie masks ever, including one worn my none other than "Goalie" Bob Essensa, was pretty cool.

Thus far, the trip to Toronto has been much more gratifying than Saturday in New York. The weather is cold, but clear, and there was even a parade.

The annual Santa Claus Parade (or La Parade Du Pere Noel) was happening as we shopped and had brought thousands of people to downtown.

Apparently the first such parade happened in 1905. Santa arrived by train at the nearby Union Station (think South Station in Boston) and then waled through the downtown streets to Eaton's department store where he greeted children along the way.

Happy stuff, to be sure, and that seemed true even today. Thesantaclauseparade.ca reports that over a half a million people line the route each year.

All told, with the shopping and the festive atmosphere, it was a great way to start the holiday season (although I miss The General). If you want to join in, click here to check out a photo gallery of last year's event.

It reminds me of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and how my brother and sister used to watch that annual parade on the tube with my parents and grandparents in my grandpa's den in Chicopee, Mass.

Anyway, let's hope the Leafs are in a giving mood on Monday night...


4:42 p.m.
No errant pucks, but there was a significant break between entries, so sorry about the delay.

The Bruins did not stay on the ice, too, too long before they departed the Lakeshore Lions Arena. I'll add two Bruins, Dennis Wideman and Patrice Bergeron, to the list of guys who had the day off.

Also, did you know that this arena is the boyhood arena of former Montreal Canadien Ken Dryden.

His "Habsness" aside, this is the second time this year that I've been in the home arena for a significant hockey figure, with the first being in Cole Harbour Place -- the home of Sydney Crosby -- during training camp.

Despite his arch-villian status in Bruins history, Dryden (who talked quite eloquently about his love for Boston in his book, The Game) is actually coming closer to becoming a significant figure in Toronto and Canadian history.

Canada.com reported recently that he was named to Liberal leader Stephane Dion's shadow cabinet as the Liberal Party created a strategy group to shape "contstructive opposition at a time of economic turmoil."

I am not all that sure what the heck that means, but apparently Mr. Dryden will concentrate on the environment -- and that seems like a good thing for all of us.

Read more from his bio from KenDryden.ca:
Ken Dryden and Phil Esposito
Ken Dryden was first elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for York Centre in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006. During the last session of Parliament, he served as Minister of Social Development.

Mr. Dryden is the author of four best-selling books: The Game, HomeGame, The Moved and the Shaken, and In School. In 1984, he was appointed Ontario’s first Youth Commissioner. Before entering federal politics, Mr. Dryden served as President of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Mr. Dryden has been involved with several community and charitable groups with a particular focus on children, youth and education. In 1996, he created the Ken Dryden Scholarship, awarded to young people currently or formerly in the care of the Canadian child welfare system who demonstrate great achievement and promise. Each scholarship covers up to $3,000 of the cost of tuition and fees related to completing an undergraduate degree in a Canadian university or college.

Mr. Dryden is well-known for his achievements as goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens hockey team from 1971 to 1979, during which time the team went on to win six Stanley cups. Mr. Dryden is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame.

Mr. Dryden holds a degree in history from Cornell University and a degree in Law from McGill University. He has also received honorary doctoral degrees from the universities of Ottawa, Windsor, York, McMaster, St. Mary’s, Niagara and British Columbia.

Currently, Mr. Dryden is the Chair for the Caucus Committee on Social Development.

Mr. Dryden and his wife, Lynda, have two grown children, Sarah and Michael. He also has two grandchildren.


And in his spare time, Mr. Dryden sleeps.

This turned out to be a pretty cool little stop, as I remember the Hall of Fame goalie talking in an interview about how it seemed so far from Humber Valley to the NHL.

And today I saw plenty of Humber Valley players walking around the arena just watching our guys and no doubt thinking the same thing. It just goes to show that you never know.

By the way, According the the very nice woman at the snack stand, the area will get a brand new arena complex in the next year or so. This one has been around for 55-years.


12:54 p.m.
Our Boys have hit the ice and are sending a cacophony of pucks around the Lakeshore Lions Arena... Marc Savard was given the day off and went to visit his children, but it looks as if the rest of the club, including goaltending guru Bob Essensa (who lives in nearby Michigan), is on the ice.

One characteristic of this arena -- no nets.

So I am going to shut down before I lose some teeth to an errant puck. JB


10:30 a.m.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Aaron Voros #34 of the New York Rangers positions himself in the crease in between Matt Hunwick #48 and Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins on November 15, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Bruins return to practice on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. and by the time the first blade cuts ice, there will surely be a plan in place to mitigate the issues that led to the third period on Saturday.

Moments after the game, as the team prepared to leave for Toronto, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien met the media in a corridor outside the visiting coaches’ room in Madison Square Garden. As usual, Julien was very clear and concise about his feelings.

Speaking about the third period specifically, Julien said, “I think we didn’t move the puck well from the back end.

“It was one of those nights where we were a little hesitant and we weren’t moving pucks quickly, the way we have been lately, and it ended up costing us.”

Looking at the entire game, Coach Julien saw the usual ebb and flow.

“We had a slow start, maybe in the first half of the first, but we got going in the second half of the first,” he said. “In the second period, I thought we were doing fine.

“For whatever reason, we took a couple of penalties…and we weren’t going to get a break in that area anyway.
 
“I think the thing that sticks out the most is how poorly we moved the puck (in the third),” he said.

In the visiting players’ locker room, the opinion was not much different.

“I thought we kind of lost our composure with the puck,” said B’s captain Zdeno Chara, who scored the B’s first goal. “Obviously, they started to really pressure and attack us.

“And we could probably have made some smarter play (and) play ‘more simple.’

“We’ll take the point, but I think we can learn from that,” he said.

“Frustrating,” was how defenseman Dennis Wideman, who picked up Boston’s first shorthanded marker of the campaign, described the final stanza.  “We had a two-goal lead going into the third period and playing for what we were playing for -- you can’t blow that lead.

“I felt like we kind of sat back a little bit and didn’t get much of a forecheck going and we turned some pucks over.”

Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33), of Slovakia, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second period of a hockey game against the New York Rangers, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
With a little prodding, however, Wideman did concede that the week had been successful. He didn’t like losing the New York game in a shootout, but said, “If you had told us at the start of this week that we were going to get 5 out of 6 from Chicago, Montreal and New York, I think we probably would have taken that.”
 
“It was frustrating, but it’s good that we got a point.”

With that point, Boston remains in second place in the Eastern Conference, and first in the Northeast Division. They play Toronto on Monday night and go into the contest with a 8-1-1 record in their last ten.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 34 20 10 4 112 90 44
2 MTL 33 20 11 2 88 82 42
3 DET 33 17 8 8 93 82 42
4 TOR 32 19 10 3 110 91 41
5 FLA 30 14 8 8 68 76 36
6 BOS 33 16 14 3 82 85 35
7 OTT 32 14 12 6 88 88 34
8 BUF 32 13 17 2 62 100 28

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 33 6 16 2 22
C. Soderberg 33 6 16 6 22
B. Marchand 30 8 11 8 19
L. Eriksson 33 6 11 6 17
D. Hamilton 33 5 12 0 17
R. Smith 33 8 8 1 16
M. Lucic 33 6 9 3 15
T. Krug 29 6 6 4 12
C. Kelly 31 2 9 3 11
D. Krejci 13 3 7 2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 4 4 0 .925 2.24
T. Rask 12 10 3 .914 2.50
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