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Bear Essentials: Bruins @ Senators

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for 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 - A big game by Boston. A terrific win and a VERY strong road swing.

Can you wait until Monday night?

It should be a great return to Boston for the Bruins, who worked very hard to overcome some early woes to come home 2-1-1.

2:24 - Krejci draws a penalty, simply by working hard and going to the net. A great time for the Bruins to have a Power Play. Another goal would be outstanding.

2:53 - Ottawa is in panic mode, and has not been able to bring much of an attack since the Lucic goal.

5:16 - Lucic picks up the garbage, and finishes on a Ryder rebound. His first of the season. OUTSTANDING play by Ryder to get to the net and a good decision by Luch to follow him into the net. 4-2, B's.

5:59 - Save Fernandez, through traffic. His 21st. Ottawa increasing the pressure.

6:47 - Another save by Fernandez, but, as Jack Edwards says, "Tempers are on the rise."

8:44 - Yelle returns.

10:21 - More good pressure for Boston from Bergeron and Savard, each of whom had good shots on Gerber. BTW: The Ottawa goalie has really had a pretty good night.

13:23 - A pair of chances for Boston, one for Sturm, one for Begeron. Almost a shortie, but no luck.

14:03 - What a block by Stephane Yelle, but the veteran center looked like he might be hurt.

14:26 - Ference in the box for tripping. 

17:45 - Marc Savard is playing better than I have ever seen him play. Outstanding. He just found Ryder with a nifty pass which sent the winger on Gerber. No goal, but a great scoring chance.

18:30 - A critical kill by Boston, who find themselves with a faceoff in the Ottawa zone.

19:25 - A big cover by Manny, slows down the Sens.

19:45 - Ottawa controls the opening seconds. They are on the power play.

20:00 - Start of the Third Period. The B's have played 40-minutes. Let's get 20 more.
0:00 - A good period for Boston. BUUUUT, too many penalties and a broken stick hurt the B's and let the Sens back into the game after Kess' goals.

1:07 - Ward for hooking. Another Ottawa PP.

3:10 - Lucic blocks a shot and spoils an Ottawa scoring attempt.

4:20 - Ooooof. Ottawa kept the puck in the zone and were aided by Stephane Yelle's stick being broken. Sens score, still 3-2, Boston.

6:02 - Interference called on Wheeler. This is a really big kill for Boston, who have the Senators right where they want them and could really go far towards a win with a stop and a goal.

6:38 - Nice work by Gerber is spoiled by Phil Kessel, who scores his second of the game! Beautiful work on the PP by Boston. 3-1, B's.

8:11 - I missed who, but there is a Senator in the box. Play is four-on-four and Boston will get a PP.

9:31 - Kessel in the box for a slash.

10:41 - Another nice play by Manny, who goes punt return with catch that baskets a tumbling puck coming straight down on him.

11:09 - A smart play by Fernandez, who grabs a thigh high shot to slow down the proceedings.

13:59 - Marc Savard with a nice interception of a Ottawa outlet in the Boston zone and backhands it out of the zone. He is having a heck of a game.

14:39 - BIG stop by Fernandez, who calms things down in the Boston zone.

15:13 - Nice pass by Savard from the end boards to a waiting Kessel who scores. 2-1, Boston. Terrific start to the period for Boston!

15:26 - Good shift by Patrice Bergeron, who has really turned up the juice.

16:13 - Getting chippy.

17:36 - Boston has a couple of nice chances (again), but the puck heads back down the ice and Fernandez needs to make a save and pounce on the puck.

19:31 - Milan Lucic takes the puck out front of the Sens net, but nothin' doin.

19:59 - Boston wins the first draw and sends it into the Ottawa zone.

20:00 - Start of the Second Period. Up the tempo! Up the tempo! Score!
0:00 - A very typical 2008-09 period for Boston. The B's really need to pounce on those early scoring chances to augment their solid all-around play. Not sure about the Sens goal, I'd like to see another replay.

1:35 - A few shoves in front of the Boston net is the first sign of a nasty edge to anyone tonight.

2:31 - Big hit by Fischer on Hnidy seemed to turn out worse for the Senator.

3:48 - The Ottawa goal really neutralized the Bruins early momentum. Boston has not mounted much of an attack, since.

6:00 - Chara slams Winchester with a hit that pops off the Ottawa forward's helmet.

7:22 - Not much of a power play by Ottawa. Boston had a couple of shorthanded opportunities.

9:46 - A Bruin in the box for holding. Lucic will sit.

11:56 - Foligno beats Fernandez quickly from the top of the circle to Manny's left. Low, to the stick side. 1-1.

13:32 - Wheels is fine, just took a heavy hit in the corner.

14:18 - NESN's Jack Edwards reported Wheeler going to the bench -- possibly hurting.

17:15 - Boston is really testing Gerber.

18:54 - Kessel brings the puck to the middle, Bergeron picks it up, shoots, and Sturm tips it home! Boston scores, 1-0, Bruins!

19:59 - Savard wins the opening faceoff. But there is an icing call and the play comes back to the circle to the right of Fernandez.

20:00 - Start of the First Period. Although a nice quick start by the offence is in order, Manny Fernandez likes to see a few shots early. So, let's hope that the Sens get a couple of easy ones on goal

Let's switch to time on the clock...

7:01 p.m.
The Ottawa contingent of the Black & Gold report that Lucic, Savard, Ryder, Wideman and Ward will start, with Fernandez in net.

6:51 p.m.
Uh oh. The official word from Canada is that P.J. Axelsson is inured and will not play. So much for yesterday's lines. The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa reports that the lines look like this:
Lucic - Savard - Ryder
Sturm - Bergeron - Kessel
Wheeler - Krejci - Nokelainen
Sobotka - Yelle - Thornton
Chara - Wideman
Ference - Ward
Stuart - Hnidy

Axelsson and Hunwick are the scratches.

6:40 p.m.
Gerber is in goal for Ottawa.

6:13 p.m.
It's almost game time. Still awaiting word on tonight's scratches.

12:49 p.m.
News from the North: Manny Fernandez was the first goalie off the ice this morning at Scotiabank Place. That should indicate that he will be the starter for Boston this evening.

Ottawa had an optional this morning after their game against Phoenix (a 6-3 win over the Coyotes).

It looks like old friend Alex Auld will go for the Sens. Should be interesting...

12:11 p.m.

We're awaiting word from Ottawa as to the lineup and roster.

Thankfully, Angela Stefano checked in this morning. She went around the locker room yesterday and asked the players about leadership and the development of leadership throughout an NHL career:

Wilmington, MA -- Looking at this season’s Bruins roster, one would think the wisdom of age might be hard to come by. With 13 of the Bruins 23 players under the age of 30 – 10 of them are under 25 – this season’s team is decidedly young.  And with many of those young players in only their first or second years in the NHL, the team’s pro hockey experience level is less than that of other teams in the league.

But as they say, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.”

And this year’s B’s can still find a good amount of leadership in the veteran players they do have. Defenseman Andrew Ference, and a dad, likened a player’s early years in pro hockey to a young child’s development.

“(Kids) can go two ways: the kids with manners, the kids who are well behaved, and the kids that are uncontrollable,” he explained.  “In your first couple years pro, you form a lot of habits, and you form a lot of ways that are going to define your career.”

The veteran players, then, have the important job of, much like a parent, setting good examples and being mentors to younger players, on and off the ice.

“They’re both equally important, as far as having a good career,” Ference said.

Actions speak louder than words, and the older B’s are definitely aware that, with such a young team, their habits should reflect what the rookies should do.

“Zee’s in the gym each day, all the time,” said Ference.  “We have a lot of good older guys who are there working out, taking care of their bodies, and, on the ice, practicing with intensity.

“In practice and in the locker room, and how you’re eating, and how you’re conducting yourself – I think [those examples] go a lot further than just sitting down and telling someone what works best.”

And now that he’s one of the team leaders, Ference gives credit to the leaders that helped him when he was in the other position – guys like Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman.

“Mario…the way he handled himself off the ice, the way he always had class, he always talked well, and he was educated,” he said.  “When he opened his mouth, it wasn’t just garbage coming out.

“Guys like Yzerman…when you play against them, they’re superstars, and they’re on the ice, they just do their job, they’re not yapping all the time.

“I always had a lot of respect for guys who went out, played hard, and were very honest players,” Ference said.

As one of this year’s rookies, Blake Wheeler watches the way veteran players prepare for the long season.  Although he’s been in a college hockey locker room, and the veteran player-rookie player relationship is always the same, he sees the NHL as a different level.

“[The leaders] have really been around the block, seen everything, so they know how to conduct themselves,” he said.  “They really have high expectations of everyone on the team, and everyone has to hold to that standard.”

Being paired with second-year players Milan Lucic and David Krejci on the ice helps as well.

“They’re obviously going to be in their right position, they’re always going to be doing the right things,” Wheeler said, “so it makes your job a lot easier out there.”

Krejci may be a veteran compared to Wheeler, but he says, as one of the youngest players on the team, he’s still learning.

“They’ve got lots to teach us,” he said of the vets.  “We’re in the learning process, and we’ve got to listen.”

Come to FAN FEST on Monday!
Kick off the season the right way, join us for Fan Fest prior to our Home Opener on Monday, October 20! Fan Fest will be held in the West Garden Lot from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Boston Bruins Alumni will be in attendance, as well as the Bruins Ice Girls and Blades! Get here early and enjoy live music, interactive games and giveaways, the first 1,000 fans will walk away with a limited edition Bruins T-shirt.

Today's Bear Essentials was written by John Bishop & Angela Stefano
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