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Bish's Blog

Game Day: April 4th

Saturday, 04.04.2009 / 1:20 PM / Bish's Blog
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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Game Day: April 4th
4:48 p.m.
Annnnnnnd one more thing...
My friends at the Boston Bruins Foundation wanted me to pass this on to everyone.

Here's your chance for the ultimate Bruins game experience, your own luxury box at a Bruins Game vs. the Montreal Canadiens and a meet and greet with NHL Hall of Famers Ray Bourque and Cam Neely.

Drawing Date: Monday, April 6, 2009
Entry Deadline: 2:00 PM EDT, April 6, 2009
Enter the Boston Bruins Foundation Suite Night Raffle and join the Boston Bruins Foundation in its efforts to support New England Area Charities.

Winner will win a Luxury Suite (Seats 14) for the Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens game on April 9, 2009 (TD Banknorth Garden, Thursday, April 9, 2009, 7PM Face-off)
Winner and his guests will enjoy a meet and greet with NHL Hall of Fame players Ray Bourque and Cam Neely


Go here for info...
---
Third Period: If it’s one thing the NY Rangers learned tonight, it’s that you don’t mess with Tim Thomas. In, or out of, the crease.

During a TV timeout with 5:24 remaining in the final period of play, NY’s Sean Avery skated by a kneeled Thomas and hit him square in the back of the head with his stick. The move appeared intentional, but Avery feigned innocence.

The resulting scuffle saw Thomas chasing Avery down and then conking Fredrik Sjostrom (a nearby target) when he could not get resolution with Avery.

A final power play for the B’s (with 35.6 seconds left in regulation) gave the Boston squad that last little push to close out the game 1-0 and clinch the Eastern Conference’s top spot.

Thomas get the shutout and proves, once again, why he is the best NHL goaltender for the season.

---
0:00 - Eastern Conference regular season champions! Shutout Thomas.

15.0 - Lundqvist out again...

35.6 - Gomez grabs Recchi from behind to give the B's a power play.

1:12 - Rangers net empty...

1:49 - Ryder shot, wide.

2:58 - Avery into Timmy...again.

3:31 - Yelle stops the lates Rangers drive and clears the zone...

4:55 - Make that four-on-three. Cross-checking on Savard.

5:24 - Scrum behind Thomas. Nothing big...waaaaaaaaaaaait. Avery hit Tim Thomas with his stick as the teams went to the TV timeout. Thomas charged Avery and hit him in the head. Then Timmy turned around and popped another Ranger. Wow. We're at four-on-four.

6:28 - A near miss by Ryder off a three-on-two.

6:53 - Icing Bruins.

7:47 - Good kill by Boston.

8:50 - Save Thomas. I did not think he would be this busy today.

12:09 - Save Thomas.

13:00 - Exciting sequence. Lucic stole the puck from Avery. Breakaway. Stop by Lundqvist. Breakaway toward Timmy. Shot. Save Thomas.

16:06 - Another stop by Timmy.

19:09 – Dennis Wideman was hit by a shot and went down pretty hard. The trainer came out but he was up after a few tense seconds to much applause.

19:11 – Andrew Ference will not return to today’s game. Just FYI we are at full capacity: 17,565 fans on Fan Appreciation Day!

20:00 – The Third. Starting off with both Avery and Chara in their respective sin bins.
---
Second Period: With less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Sean Avery, who was pushing a last-minute attempt up the ice toward the B’s defensive zone, ended up with his face glued to the boards – courtesy Zdeno Chara.

Chara, who finished the hit, ended up in a small altercation with Avery. But with only .1 seconds left in play, the on-ice officials seemed in no mood to entertain the fisticuffs and broke it up quickly.

Shots for the period are at 18-17 in favor of NY.

---
0:00 - End of the period.

00.1 - Zee buried Avery. Mara went after Chara. All five skaters on both sides had a waltz partner. But nothing came of it. A comical moment -- Tim Thomas seemed to think that Henrik Lundqvist was heading for the scrum and went to center ice to meet him. But pantomime looked to indicate that Lundqvist was indicating that the period was over and he was going to the net. I'd like a closer look.

39.0 - Icing Boston.

1:50 - Too much happening in front of Tim.

3:43 - The Rangers just dodged a bullet, with two scrambly scoring chances for Boston. Avery got checked by Lucic pretty hard -- to the delight of the crowd.

4:14 - Hunwick's turn. Lundqvist save.

6:51 - Avery shot, Thomas save. A bad tennis match. Back and forth and back and forth. Ugh.

7:20 - Drury shot, Thomas save.

8:00 - Lunqvist save. Mara chopped at Wheeler. Could have been a call.

8:05 - Icing New York. Yuck.

8:53 - Icing Boston.

9:45 - Holy Cow! Split save Thomas.

10:05 - Save Lundqvist. Things are picking up...

10:15 - Save Thomas.

12:00 - Icing Boston.

13:06 - Uh oh. Avery antics.

15:06 - Bergeron puts a solid shot into the Rangers on Lunqvist's chest. Shots are 10-9, New York.

16:13 - Icing. New York. Zzzzzzz.

17:36 - Icing Boston. Snore.

18:50 - Icing Boston. Slow start to the second.

20:00 - Second Period. The B's are 24-4-3 when leading after one.
---
First Period: Sometimes the first time’s a charm. And for the Bruins tonight, the first shot against New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was all the charm they needed.

Blake Wheelers zinger from the far point slid right past the stunned Lundqvist at 10:56 to give the home team the 1-0.

Despite being shotless after a power play and nearly 10 minutes of play, P.J. Axelsson deftly moved the puck around the offensive zone and dished it cleanly to a wide-open Wheeler, who put the weight of the world into his slapshot.

The Rangers, who seem to be an even match for the Boston squad (discounting the score), have delivered an equal number of scoring chances to Tim Thomas’ doorstep. But the recently re-signed Boston goaltender maintains the goose egg.

Shots on net are tied at 7 apiece.

---
0:00 - A late bid by Michael Ryder almost put a crooked number on the board for Boston, but the B's go to the room up 1-0. Shots are 7-7.

1:58 - Hunwick almost snuck a goal-line dribbler past Lundqvist as it's speed and direction seemed to handcuff him.

4:07 - This time it's Gomez turn. Tim shouldered his latest blast to the glass.

4:45 - Thomas looked to have stopped Naslund and Drury in succession as the pair dove the net.

6:18 - A diving poke check by Mara prevented Savard from completing a two-on-one breakout.

8:17 - Stoppage. Boston could swing the momentum permanently with another quick game.

10:56 - Wheeler, blast from the point, score. Lunqvist just missed it. That was the B's first shot of the game.

11:22 - New York slows the pace, trying to reset their offense.

12:45 - Drury wrists a shot into the glove of Thomas for Timmy's second save.

14: 06 – The Rangers kill the power play and the home team has yet to hit Lundqvist square-on.

15:14 – NY registers the first shot, on the PK, at Thomas, who holds it off. I hope Boston gets a few good ones in on this man-advantage.

15:22 – Either this is a very evenly matched game or something is magnetically deflecting pucks from the net. We’re still shotless.

16:06 – In ya go! Two minutes for NYR’s Paul Mara for  holding.

16:40 – Another rush on the NY goaltender…still shotless

18:00 – B’s look sharp, crisp passing, but still no shot on either net.

18:56 – Icing on NY

19:14 – An early rush on Lundqvist (no shot on net) had the fans oohing.

20:00 - Start of the First Period.

New York starters: Girardi, Staal, Gomez, Callahan, Avery, Lundqvist
Boston starters: Ference, Wideman, Axelsson, Savard, Wheeler, Thomas.

Switching to time on the clock..

1:08
Award presentation...
The Eddie Shore Award
Milan Lucic

The Elizabeth C. Dufresne Trophy
Marc Savard

The John P. Bucyk Award
Aaron Ward

The Boston Bruins Three Stars Awards
#3 Tim Thomas
#2 Zdeno Chara
#1 Marc Savard


1:06 p.m.
Press Box Notes...
With five games left including tonight, the Bruins “magic number” to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference is one (1) for Washington, meaning that a Bruins win today or overtime loss would clinch the top spot in the East. The magic number is any combination of points gained by Boston and/or lost by Washington. Washington is idle today, after losing last night to Buffalo in overtime 5-4. The Caps return to action tomorrow when they host Atlanta.

Other stories...
  • The Bruins enter tonight’s matchup having won their last five games, and are 7-1-1 in their last nine.
  • Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman is playing in his 300th career NHL game.
  • Aaron Ward is expected to miss today’s game with an undisclosed injury.
  • Prior to today’s matinee against the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins will present six awards. The awards are the Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle and determination), Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy (outstanding performance during home games), John P. Bucyk Award (greatest off-ice charitable contributions) and Bruins Three Stars Award (top performers at home over the course of the season).  In addition to the awards, the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) will make a $15,000 donation that will be divided among three local organizations: Camp Harbor View, Best Buddies, and the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.
  • Today is “Fan Appreciation Day” as the Bruins organization and players thank fans for their continued support throughout the 2008-09 season.  Immediately following the game, Bruins players will remain on the ice and throw t-shirts into the stands, then hand 24 fans that were chosen at random throughout the game the “Shirts Off Their Backs”. Also throughout the game, fans will have the opportunity to win raffle prizes including Bruins playoff tickets, tickets to next week’s game against Montreal, and gift certificates to some of Boston’s best restaurants.
  • With four games remaining in their 2008-09 regular season, the Rangers occupy the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with 89 points. Following today’s game, the Rangers will host Montreal and Philadelphia, before visiting Philadelphia in their last game of the season on April 12. They are two points clear of ninth place Florida, who also has four games left.
  • Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward and WBCN 104.1 FM have teamed up to host the second annual "Cuts for a Cause" to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and Mass General Hospital for Children’s Pediatric Oncology Unit on Wednesday, April 8 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at The Harp (85 Causeway Street, Boston, MA 02114). Thirteen members of the current Boston Bruins roster including Aaron Ward, Patrice Bergeron, Byron Bitz, Matt Hunwick, Phil Kessel, Chuck Kobasew, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, Mark Stuart, Tim Thomas, Blake Wheeler and Dennis Wideman will have their heads shaved by auction winners on stage, in front of fans to show their support and raise money for children battling cancer.


12:46  p.m.
Julien talks about Timmy...
Claude Julien weighed in on Tim Thomas.

"I think we’re all very happy for him," said Julien. "He’s a guy that’s really worked hard getting to where he is today.

"He’s certainly been a good solider for us, giving us his best game-in and game-out; not only games and practices, he sets a good example when it comes to work ethic.

"Just being rewarded with a new contract for us…it’s very fitting. As a coach I’m extremely happy to have him around," he said.

I asked Coach if Tim's competitiveness was his greatest asset.

"Yeah, but at the same time I don’t think we give him sometimes enough credit for his skill level," said Julien. "Whether it’s acrobatic or whatever, he still makes those saves.

"I think that it’s a certain amount of skill to make those saves.

"[But] if you were going to rank something up top it certainly is his competitive level. He competes hard...game-in, game-out, every practice that he’s on the ice.

Coach was also asked what Thomas had improved on the most.

"Probably something that I’ve seen him do is probably be a little more poised," said Julien."Because the team in front of him has probably been a little bit more poised, and he certainly feels confident with the guys that are in front of him, so he doesn’t have to overreact too much.

"So, I think you’re seeing a calmer Timmy -- although he does still make those acrobatic saves -- for the most part he is in control of his games."


12:38 p.m.
The lines...
Axelsson-Savard-Wheeler
Recchi-Bergeron-Kobasew
Lucic-Krejci-Ryder
Bitz-Yelle-Montador
Chara-Hunwick
Ference-Wideman
Stuart-Hnidy
Thomas
Fernandez

Scratches:
Ward, Kessel, Thornton (all undisclosed injuries)


12:28 p.m.
Tim Thomas in goal for Boston. Henrik Lundqvist for New York.


12:24 p.m.
Wait? There's a hockey game?
Coach Julien just gave his report to the media.

There will be some lineup changes this afternoon.

"Yeah. Ward won’t be in and Montador is going to be going into the lineup," said Julien.  "It was just something from the game before and just felt uncomfortable.

"[He] could have played if it was a different situation, but definitely best decision was to give him today off and I don’t see any reason why he’s not going to play on Tuesday.

"It’s a one game thing."


10:38 a.m.
The Tim Thomas Era Continues
...
The first time I saw Tim Thomas he was on the wrong end of a BU blowout of UVM. The next time I heard about him, he had put my alma mater in his place.

Tim's always proving people and pundits wrong, and after years of wondering where he would be the following season, Thomas knows exactly where he is and what he is.

"I'm a Boston Bruin," is how he put it.

A transplanted Michigander, Thomas now sees himself as a Bostonian, and wears that distinction on his Black & Gold sleeves.

"I have great teammates, great fans and I'm very happy to be looking at the next [few] years in Boston," he said, simply.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli said, "When we talk about the Tim Thomas story, we talk about perseverance.

"We talk about a long journey. And we talk about an unorthodox, hybrid style...but what sometimes gets lost in the translation is the uncanny ability to stop the puck.

"Tim has shown that, with all the other things, and that's why we've extended him for a long time."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 11 8 2 1 29 29 17
2 TBL 11 7 3 1 38 29 15
3 DET 10 6 2 2 27 21 14
4 OTT 9 5 2 2 26 22 12
5 BOS 12 6 6 0 32 30 12
6 TOR 10 5 4 1 29 26 11
7 FLA 8 3 2 3 12 17 9
8 BUF 11 2 8 1 13 36 5

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 9 3 6 3 9
C. Soderberg 12 3 5 0 8
M. Lucic 12 2 6 1 8
C. Kelly 12 2 5 3 7
B. Marchand 12 3 3 2 6
D. Hamilton 12 2 4 1 6
L. Eriksson 12 2 4 3 6
T. Krug 11 2 4 2 6
P. Bergeron 12 1 5 -1 6
S. Griffith 8 3 2 -1 5
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 2 2 0 .940 1.67
T. Rask 4 4 0 .899 2.81
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