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Bear Essentials: Monday Musings

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.
Bergy Skates

Both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald report this morning that Patrice Bergeron skated at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington on Sunday.

Add that to news about Andrew Alberts skating, and the team's 4-0-1 road trip, and you have a downright amazing stretch for the Black & Gold.

"Welcome home" never sounded so appropriate.

Steve Harris of the Herald writes:
The Bruins [team stats] received some good news yesterday when Patrice Bergeron skated for the first time since suffering a severe concussion Oct. 27...“He just went out and cruised around lightly for about 10 minutes. It went well, no (post-concussion syndrome) symptoms,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “It’s a good step forward for him.”Bergeron was injured when Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones checked him from behind at TD Banknorth Garden.

Fluto Shinzawa of the Globe writes:
Bergeron had been stretching, working out on an elliptical machine, and lifting light weights at Ristuccia Arena, keeping his heart rate below 120 beats per minute. Yesterday's 10-minute spin, characterized as "very light" by general manager Peter Chiarelli, was no more intense than his off-ice workouts, but Bergeron had set a goal to get back on skates this season.
So in Chiarelli's view, yesterday's skate was just as important for Bergeron mentally - he could take satisfaction in knowing that he had reached the on-ice stage of his comeback.

One thing to remember Bergeron and B's fans, and yes this an attempt to stem the countless well-meaning e-mails we get on the question, a date for Bergy's return is unknown.

In his Globe article, Shinzawa also adds:
Bergeron…still is not considered close to returning to action.

In any case, here is a big congrats to Patrice!

We are all hoping to see #37 on TD Banknorth Garden ice ASAP.

The lay of the land…
The Black & Gold wake up this morning alone in seventh place -- two points behind the New York Rangers and two points in front of the Buffalo Sabres. Boston remains five points behind the Montreal Canadiens and seven points behind fourth place Pittsburgh.

Fourth place also garners home ice for the first round of the playoffs for the Pens.

Boston faces Ottawa on Tuesday, Pittsburgh on Thursday and Atlanta on Saturday.

At practice, 10:55 a.m.
The Bruins are on the ice as we speak and the only person missing from the equation is Chuck Kobasew. That's not surprising as he had tweaked something on Thursday versus Florida and had missed the game on Saturday night.

So as far as anyone being missing due to a trade -- nothing doing this morning. Yet.

Patrice Bergeron will be skating AFTER the regular practice, so I should have some quotes from the forward later this afternoon.

Our Boys are running through some line rushes, some odd-man rushes, etc. The bottom line here is that the goalies are seeing a lot of shots and that the skaters are skating a whole lot.

11:09 a.m.
Coach Julien has been less than thrilled with the team this morning.

Lots of whistles and lots of yelling...stay tuned.

11:23 a.m.
Now the Bruins are skating laps -- HARD!

Bergy returns...
2:17 p.m.
So here is what went down. The boys got off the ice and Patrice Bergeron went on about 15 minutes later.

He skated for 20 minutes, from 12:16 to 12:36, and spoke to the media for just under 10 minutes.

"I felt good yesterday and today I felt good again," said Bergeron. "It's tough for me to stop.

"I want to keep going, but we have to take it easy.

"After [just] the second time in four months, it feels great," he said.

Bergeron, who admitted to losing 15 or so pounds, also said, "When you get away from it you realize that you miss it so much -- it's such a great game."

Bergeron's return to the ice punctuated what was really a banner day for Bruins media coverage in the city.

Three television stations covered his return to the ice and the B's return to the playoff race. No less than three TV cameras and two still photographers were waiting as Patrice walked out of the B's locker room and onto the ice.

10:11 p.m.
Folks, it's late, and I hope that you have enjoyed some of the stuff we have posted on the front page, today. I also wanted to say thank you to Angela & Colleen for their fine contributions this afternoon.

I know I enjoyed reading their stuff about Bergy and Albe and I look forward to a similar story on Manny Fernandez in the near future.

Moving on, here is the deal on tomorrow, Trade Deadline Day:
  1. Don't miss hourly podcasts with the Bruins brass, including Peter Chiarelli. Listen in so as to learn how the process works and the timbre of the proceedings around the league.
  2. You'll find, unique and up-to-the-minute coverage should any trade be made during the day. And if the B's make a move, look to us for interviews, stats -- the whole shebang. Other sites might have rumors, but we'll give the straight news to you.
  3. Angela Stefano, who has pitched in with some serious prose recently, will also report from practice, and will keep us updated with anything going on upstairs on the rink. She's have a looksie at Ottawa's pregame skate and will also cover Coach Julien's morning presser.
  4. She'll also take over on the game recap so I can be free to cover Trade Deadline Day up until game time, blog during the game and then give an extra angle on the game, itself.
  5. We plan to have a photo gallery with pictures updating every hour -- from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  6. Coverage of any press conference that might be staged during the day.
  7. As much info as is humanly possible!
Lastly, just like you I will be trolling the web for info all day. But when you see news on, you can be sure it is the real deal, so make sure you keep your browser here for official word and updates!
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