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Bear Essentials: Game Day @ Philadelphia

by John Bishop / 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. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
This morning, The Boston Herald's Rich Thompson had the quip of the season when describing the Bruins feelings about this evening's game -- the first on-ice meeting between Boston and Philadelphia since Randy Jones and Patrice Bergeron met at the boards in the Garden, and only one came out on their own two skates.

Thompson writes, "The Bruins find themselves in the middle of conflicting biblical policies. They can’t pursue an eye-for-an-eye agenda, but it galls them to turn the other cheek."

And judging by this morning's news stories out of the City of Brotherly Love, Boston's boys have their eyes set on points, not punches. After all, this is 2007, not 1977, and the type of activities that used to accompany these squads (Broad Street Bullies vs. Big Bad Bruins) really can't return tonight.

The present day NHL is simply not built like that.

Even captain Zdeno Chara, one of the first Bruins to Patrice Bergeron's side on October 27th, and someone who has fought with success in the past, was quick to dispel any thoughts about corporal punnishment on the Flyers.

“It is something where you really have to focus on the points - it’s the points we are playing for,” said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara to the Herald. “You can’t just go blindly out there looking for revenge, and revenge isn’t worth two points.

“The best revenge would be for us to win the game and get those two points. We have to play hard, compete for every puck and battle for every puck.”

Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, another man not afraid to fight when he played, agreed and told Thompson, “I know there is going to be a big buildup whether we like it or not, and it will probably come more from (the media) than from us.

"A win is the most important thing.”

True, and with a 11-8-2 record and 24 points (good for 7th in the conference, 3rd in the division), the B's can't take any game lightly.

However, Tim Panaccio of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes this morning that the Philadelphia Flyers coach does not know what to expect and may prepare for the worst by dressing Riley Cote (known pugilist) for this evening's contest -- despite the fact that Boston may be without heavyweights Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic.

"I don't know," said Philly coach John Stevens to Panaccio. "There remains a lot of ill feelings with the young Bergeron player. He is still hurt, and it is unfortunate he is still hurt. I stand by what I said from day one.

"No one felt worse than Randy Jones. He was distraught," Stevens said. "He was really concerned for the player. He had no intent other than defending the play. It's unfortunate a player got injured in that situation.

"They are rallying around their player, and we'll rally around ours. It's part of the game, and we're going to come out and play hard like we always do."

Fluto Shinzawa, of The Boston Globe writes that there are many arguments indicating that both clubs will keep the gloves on:

The referees will be on the lookout for flammable situations. And the Bruins need a win more than they need revenge. The Flyers are coming off a 4-3 road win over Ottawa, the Eastern Conference leader.

In any case, Flyers vs. Bruins always has, and always will be, must-see-TV.

Thinking of Tom
Just an F.Y.I.

For those of you who are interested in paying your respects to Mr. Johnson, here is the info:

Tom Johnson Memorial Service
Friday, November 30, 11 a.m.
St. Elizabeth Seton Church
481 Quaker Road, North Falmouth, Mass.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Boston Bruins Foundation (100 Legends Way, Boston MA 02114)
Friends of Falmouth Dogs (150 Blacksmith Shop Road, Falmouth MA 02536)

6:04 p.m.
Got some word from Philly -- both Tim and Tuukka left the ice at the same time, so no clear word as to who is starting in net.

Milan Lucic did not make the trip...

6:32 p.m.
Tuukka Rask will make the start for Boston tonight.

6:34 p.m.
Rob Simpson reports that Cote (Philly's fighter) will not play.

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