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Bear Essentials: Happy Birthday Milt!

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Milt Schmidt (in blue) with John Bucyk, Ray Bourque, Bobby Orr and Cam Neely

Before I get started with anything else on this, very late, Bear Essentials, I wanted to send Birthday well-wishes to Milt Schmidt.

Recently, the B's Alumni sent out a notice, some of which read thusly:

Milt Schmidt will be celebrating his 90th birthday on March 5, 2008.

Many of us have been associated with Milt during his long Bruins career and have seen what he has meant to this organization.  Milt was the only Bruins player to serve as player, captain, coach and General Manager. He then continued his career at the Garden as General Manager in the Madison Square Garden Club for another almost 20 years.  And then coached our Bruins Alumni team for several years after that.

Now Milt is enjoying his retirement, golf whenever possible and, most importantly his friends and family.

Milt is an amazing guy. I got to meet Milt last season in Montreal and we did a podcast:
 Bruins Legends: Milt Schmidt  

Join me in celebrating his life and his career in Black & Gold! Happy Birthday Milt!

Watch Shawn Thornton's Vlog
6:38 p.m.
We here at tried something new -- a player video blog.

Bruins beat cop Shawn Thornton was kind enough to be a guinea pig (nothing personal in that metaphor, Shawn) and with my handy dandy digital camera with video capabilities.

Thorts gave his intinerary for the day, some thoughts on the playoff push and the Bruins mood. Just click on Shawn's picture to see his first vlog or click this link.

BTW: We are trying to make this a regular feature, so let us know what you think! JB

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.
7:52 p.m.
Ok, with some help I got the video links working and am happily winding down my NHL evening.

You're saying to yourself, "So Bish, what went on at practice?"

Well, for those of you who did not click on Shawn Thornton video, Coach Julien gave most of the team a day off from on-ice training.

But the club had to sit through a video session.

"That was definitely better than stepping on the ice, today," said Julien. "We are going to have to be careful [with our players] to make sure that we have enough gas to pull through this whole month.

"Sixteen games in thirty days is not an easy schedule, so we have to make sure we utilize our players in a proper manner."

I asked coach if he had done anything different in terms of motivating his players.

"No," said Julien. "I think that was what the video sessions are for.

"I am one of those guys who needs to visualize, see things and talk about certain situations.

"It's a lot clearer when I see it and a lot of players are like that, too," he said.

Coach said that oftentimes players will actually think they are doing something the right way.

"But then when you look at it on video, you realize, 'Maybe I am not doing as well as I should'," said Coach. "It's about getting guys to [know] that we have to be a little better.

"And what I said last night, is still the same -- we have to keep doing the little things well [in order] to win hockey games.

"We just have to bring our guys back to understanding what needs to be done to get there," he said.

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