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Bear Essentials: Game Day vs. Montreal

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Before we begin: I have been getting questions about the site not being updated. It is being updated (often more than three times daily), but a glitch is causing those people using Internet Explorer might see a version of the site that looks almost a week old. If you can, and for now, try using Firefox, reloading or pressing CTL F5. A solution is in the works at a higher level, and I appreciate your patience. JB

Get up to speed with today's news with these mp3's [ Julien | Julien (Fr) | Chiarelli]
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.
After landing late last night, the on-ice Bruins took this morning off.

But the off icers were very, very busy.

With Manny Fernandez now on a rehab assignment in Providence (announced this morning) and Tim Thomas on the shelf until next week (announced this morning), Boston closed a deal that put a solid backup behind the B's new (or most recent) starter, Tuukka Rask.

That man is #29 Alex Auld (also announced this morning) -- Nate DiCasmirro and a fifth round draft pick in 2009 went to Phoenix in exchange for Auld who is 49-50-2-11 in 117 games.

"He is a big goalie and had tremendous success against us last season," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, who had been previously working on a deal. "He kind of got caught in a goaltending shuffle last year in Phoenix and we have been working on (the acquisition) for a little bit. 

"We need some depth with (our current) uncertainty (in the crease). 

"So it turns out to be good timing," he said.

Judging by the buzz in the building, and with my ear to the boss' door I think that Auld will be on the ice backing up the Tuukster, tonight.

Chiarelli is not concerned with having his rookie carry the load.

"One of our concerns with Tuukka as backup was that he wasn’t getting the game experience to develop," explained the B's behind-the-scenes boss.  "The silver lining is that he is going to get into games in the NHL

"He is a good prospect and has shown that he can play at this level."

Rask will have to let go of last night's B's loss -- Rask played just over four minutes in relief and got the loss after Thomas went down.

"I don’t think you have to do too much with these guys," said of Rask's confidence. "He is a 20-year-old kid but he understands the game more than most people think. 

"He knows he was put in a tough situation but I mentioned it to him.  He was certainly not the guy to blame on that goal.  It was a screened shot between the legs and it happened to go in. I think we could have played a lot better than that in front of him."

5:27 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens lineup has changed a bit, as well.

Scratch Josh Gorges, Patrice Brisbois and Michael Ryder from your lineups...

"We decided to bring two kids up from Hamilton," said Canadiens bench boss Guy Charbonneau. "We wouldn't want to bring them here and not play them.

"It's not as if we have six or seven wins in a row.

"We are struggling lately, we need some change and this is obviously a shakeup," he said.

One area that seems to never need  a shakeup in Montreal is the goal crease --  Carey Price is the newest would-be superstar to don a mask for the bleu, blanc et rogue and he should be between the pipes for the Habs this evening.

5:49 p.m. reports:
Michael Ryder skated as an extra forward on the third line during Monday's practice then was dropped to the fourth line against Detroit on Tuesday...The Bell Centre fans weren't as charitable, as they booed Ryder through the third period. Maxim Lapierre was just recalled - he was 2nd in scoring with Hamilton Bulldogs - and was one of four players skating in third line colours (Begin, Kostopoulos and Ryder were the others). A trio of Begin - Lapierre - Kostopoulos would be a compelling energy line. Ryan O'Byrne was just recalled and was paired with Roman Hamrlik in practice, which reprises a training camp experiment. also predicts:
Markov-Komisarek (sg) Price
Hamrlik-O'Byrne (bg) Halak

5:59 p.m.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien has just said that Tim Thomas is suffering from a "slight groin pull." Earlier today he said Tim's injury would put him out of comission for a bit.

"Right now we are looking at maybe a week," said Julien.

6:21 p.m.
I met new B's goalie Alex Auld before the game. He seems genuinely excited to be here -- except that he had just moved into a house in Texas all of two days ago.

After introducing himself to the press, Alex said:
"It's great to be back up (in the NHL), that's for sure...things change in a hurry in this business, but it sure is a lot of fun...I'm just looking forward to a fresh start here."

6:34 p.m.
Our Boys are on the ice...and I have to put up release. Hang on...

6:50 p.m.
I don't believe the lines will be altered from last night, however, since there was no skate the following could be a rough draft:

Stuart-Chara (sg) Rask
Alberts-Wideman (bg) Auld
Hunwick-Allen Go BRUINS!

Over to the Running Recap -- but before I do: Thanks to whomever was looking over my Dad, Big Bish. He was in the hospital over the last couple of days, and comes home tomorrow!

7:09 p.m.
One more thing...Sobotka is out, Bochenski is in.
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