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Bear Essentials: Game Day vs. Ottawa

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
I love my job…Random Thoughts With a Soundtrack from TDKM

"I wish I had seen them at the Garden a couple of years back." JB
Driving in to Boston on the most gorgeous Sunday morning -- the fall colors of the trees just having reached their zenith -- it just made me feel good.

Then, in the distance, the Pru and the Hancock towers welcomed me like the outstretched arms of a distant relative [sigh].

It's just "too bad" that I "had" to get up early and report on hockey. Boston Bruins hockey.

What a "Bummer."

Seriously though, coupled with my wife (the General), my family (Bish x 4), my friends (hello, New England and Quebec) and my house (the Bish Cave), if I am not the luckiest man on the planet, well, I'd like to meet that guy and ask for a grant.

Anyway, the only thing that could have made this morning better was a doughnut and my Dropkick  Murphys mix CD, which was lost somewhere between LA and Boston last month. I

n any case we dedicate this song to you, my dear Boston, Andrea, Mom, Dad, Andy & Mary. Close your eyes and pretend you can hear it:

"...Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you..."


A brawl breaks out between the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins after the Senators won 3-2 in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, in Ottawa. (AP Photo/Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press)
Not to mention the fact that Our Boys stayed with the best hockey team in the Eastern Conference for most of 60-minutes and (but for a couple of ticky-tack penalties) almost scared the heck out of Senators.

I take that back -- they did scare the heck out of the Sens (who are pretty darn good, by the way).

Then, when he took some exception to an Ottawa player's handling of our sniper Marc Savard, Dennis Wideman challenged most of the Sens on the ice and set up what is sure to be an intense affair this evening.

I know most everyone is focusing their attention on the Pats this afternoon (and why not, I will watching, too), but this evening don't forget our Black & Gold.  And heck, if you are so able, swing on in for a what is sure to be a terrific hockey game.


These Bruins are for real…they might not run away with it most nights, but NOBODY is going to out work these boys.

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, right, addresses the team.
Did you see Coach Julien giving it to the refs last night during the game and then on the way to the locker room? Haven't seen that in a while -- LOVED IT!

Coach Julien, this is for you:

"We won't listen to their stories or be waylaid by their lies
it's a dram that's still attainable for kids like you and I
So if we all stand together singing one defiant song
our voice will reach the heavens, so sing with all your heart
Join us in a song
we shall rise and sing stand up and be counted
sing a song for liberty join us in this song
together we shall sing rise up and be counted
sing it loud, sing it proud"

A Few Good Men

Philadelphia Flyers' Riley Cote (32) and Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton (22) fight .
Did you see Shawn Thornton take on that monster last night and then, and then, pop him so that his helmet flew off? Ya, the big guy wrestled Thorty to the ground and landed a few of his own, but the much smaller Bruin stood his ground and didn't give an inch despite the obvious height, weight and reach advantage of his opponent -- strong work, buddy. Strong work.

We dedicate this track to you:

"You're the fighter you've got the fire
The spirit of a warrior, the champion's heart
You fight for your life because the fighter never quits
You make the most of the hand you're dealt
Because the quitter never wins

The Warriors Code

Boston Bruins' Chuck Kobasew, left, celebrates his second period goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammate Phil Kessel.
Oh, and how could I forget our two former New England college hockey superstars who gave Bruins fans a real boost last night. Chuckie Kobasew used to score a couple of goals a night for Boston College back in the day, and let's just say this -- I didn't see many goalies when I was a fan in the stands at BU, BC, NU or Harvard that I feared more than Timmy Thomas.

To these two adopted New Englanders, we play this one:

"Say hey Johnny boy, the battle call.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Together we are what we can't be alone,
We came to this country, you made it our home..."

Boys on the Docks

Alrighty then, my histrionics out of the way, I can get down to reporting.

And no, I can't do the Papelbon dance. Although I've tried.

Hystrionics are fun, but not too deep...but I digress, often.

Our Boys are not skating this morning, but have recalled Petteri Nokelainen. Ottawa is about to have an optional, but I did not see many people upstairs near the locker room. I would venture an educated guess that we have Timmy again tonight and that Ottawa will start Emery.

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.
12:25 p.m.
Only 6 1/2 hours until face off. 

The Bruins should be employing similar lines to last night, and I agree with The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa who pencils in Nokelainen in between Lucic and Thornton.

So, I expect the following:

Chara-Ward (sg) Thomas
Alberts-Ference (bg) Sigalet
Stuart-Wideman GO BRUINS!

That is a pretty fun fourth line, True Believers. A lot of thump and not a little bit of scoring ability.

3:00 p.m.
I think I reported this yesterday, but here is confirmation...

"Jason Spezza (groin) will not play tonight. He skated Saturday morning but is still feeling discomfort. He says that Tuesday or Thursday is a more realistic target for his return."

3:18 p.m.
Heard on NESN last night...
"It's a road game and it hasn't been pretty, but we won that period and it's basically 0-0 going into the third...I think we made some plays and got our forechecking going which caused some turnovers. Chuck made a good pass out to the point and we were just trying to get pucks deep and down to the net."
Andrew Alberts, between periods 2 and 3, last night

"The scored some power play goals and that was the difference tonight...there were times where we need to put more pressuer on their D, and we did it at (some) points in the game -- we need to get back to that tomorrow night."
Chuck Kobasew, after the game, last night

"That was pretty disappointing tonight, that it was called one way (not) both ways and wasn't really pleased with that area of the game, tonight."
Claude Julien, on the officiating in Ottawa on Saturday

5:16 p.m.
New Bruin Petteri Nokelainen was smiling from ear to ear as he walked into the building with Bobby Allen.

Noke, who had a 3-5-8 line in eight games with Providence looks to make an impact, but also hopes to enjoy his first NHL game in some time.

"I found out last night on the way home from Portland," said the Finn. "Coach pulled me up front (on the bus) and told me I was going up, tomorrow and you'll play against Ottawa.

"Of course you get excited -- I've been waiting, almost two years now.

"(After my injury) it was a hard road to come back," he said.

Nokelainen, who will most likely fit between Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton, simply loves hockey and feels like he can bring some good things to the table.

"I have to play my best," he said. It's just so much fun to play hockey and I was getting tons of ice time (in Providence) and we were winning games...I think the coaching staff there is great.

"I hope I can bring some 'fresh air' (to Boston) and some new energy. I've seen some of their games and I think they are playing pretty well.

"(To fit in) I have to take care of my own end, too...maybe a couple of hits...I hope I can score, too."

5:34 p.m.
Best guess for Ottawa:
Foligno- Fisher-Neil
Phillips-Volchenkov (sg) Gerber
Redden-Mezsaros (bg) Emery

However, Schubert might take the place of Richardson on defense.

Again, best guess for Boston:
Chara-Ward (sg) Thomas
Alberts-Ference (bg) Sigalet
Stuart-Wideman GO BRUINS!

Warmups are about an hour away...

6:29 p.m.
Gerber vs. Thomas...Martin and Timmy led their respective squads onto the rink.

The Senators away uni might be the nicest one outside of the Original Six. Very nice redesign.

By the way, Petteri Nokelainen is #56 in your program...

6:38 p.m.
Pardon me for not mentioning this earlier -- I was so taken with the arrival of Noke, that I failed to mention that Andrew Ference is missing from warm ups.

Bobby Allen anyone?

And as I look, Milan Lucic is missing, as well.

So, here's my new guess, for what it's worth:
Chara-Ward (sg) Thomas
Alberts-Allen (bg) Sigalet
Stuart-Wideman GO BRUINS!

6:51 p.m.
Nothing new in the last few. See you on the flip side. Go B's!

6:55 p.m.
Ference is an upper core injury. Lucic is a healthy scratch.

7:01 p.m.
The Boys in the Video booth switched up the intro -- Gladiator music followed by the Dropkick Murphys. My goodness, I love my job...
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