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Bear Essentials: Nashville vs. Boston

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.
12:58 p.m.

I just hopped out of the Beanpot luncheon to give a little update. Looks as if there might be some lineup changes this evening, but I will wait to confirm in the warm up.

Tim Thomas was first off the ice and that should indicate that he is the starter.

P.J. Axelsson was on the ice and looked comfortable, but there was no sign of Glen Murray.

Patrice Bergeron made an appearance in the locker room. He remains out indefinitely with post concussion syndrome.

Andrew Alberts has begun to show positive progress in his rehab from the same.

Was able to reacquaint myself with friends from Harvard (Bill Cleary, Ted Donato, Diane Metcalf, Neil Murphy, Fran Toland), Northeastern (Jack Grinold, Jon Litchfield), Boston College (Jerry York) and Boston University (Jim Prior, Bernie Corbett).

Hey guys! It was great to see you...

3:56 p.m.
The game is coming up fast, but there will not be too much to report until nearer to game time.

And sorry for the late update, but I was talking college hockey (my old beat) for quite a while today and was having a blast reminiscing.

Speaking of college hockey, Nashville Predators GM Dave Poile, who played at Northeastern when he was a collegian during the 60's, had some outstanding things to talk about today in the Garden's Legend's restaurant when he took the podium for the Beanpot Luncheon's "Special Spot" (or The Beanpot Charge).

Poile reiterated how important the Beanpot is to the four schools who participate and Boston in general. He went as far as to say that the BU, BC, Harvard and Northeastern players who toil on the first two Monday's in February, might be performing for their future employers -- be it on the ice or otherwise.

He suggested that the Beanpot player might be today's prototypical template for a hockey administrator -- a motivated, college grad with a high-level hockey background.

As an example the Nashville GM pointed at Boston University alum Paul Fenton and said that he had seen him play in the Beanpot during the 1982 classic, and now Paul works with him in the Predator's front office.

Poile also pointed out a more recent example of Jeff Kealty -- a former BU (class of '98) defenseman who played in the IHL and then made it to "the show" as a scout with Nashville.

Just looking around our building provides similar examples as in the Bruins front office where GM Peter Chiarelli (Harvard '87), scout John Weisbrod (Harvard '91), Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development Don Sweeney (Harvard '88) and Director of Development of the Boston Bruins Foundation Bob Sweeney (BC '86) all play key roles in the Boston organization.

In the press box, I would also point out off the ice Beanpotters like BU's Kevin Paul Dupont (Boston Globe), Fluto Shinzawa (Boston Globe), Matt Kalman (NEHJ)and Mike Loftus (The Patriot Ledger)-- all men who cut their teeth as reporters in Beanpot university classrooms -- and now cover NHL hockey as a living.

Finally, you just need to look at Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna (Harvard '73), Boston University coach Jack Parker (BU '68), Boston College coach Jerry York (BC '67) and Harvard coach Ted Donato (Harvard '91, former Bruins player) for Beanpotter success in amateur hockey.

5:06 p.m.
Back to the B's.

That lineup change that I was talking about was (what I think) will be the substitution of Peter Schaefer for Jeremy Reich.

"I think anyone who has seen him play...when he's at his best (knows) he's a really good player," said head coach Claude Julien this morning. "His play will dictate how much he plays and his play will definitely dictate whether he makes a difference on this hockey club."

Peter has played two of the last five games, missing two with the flu.

6:28 p.m.
Schaefer is in and Timmy is in goal.

Here are your Boston Bruins...
Chara-Wideman (sg)Thomas
Ference-Ward (bg)Auld
Stuart-Hnidy Go Bruins!

6:53 p.m.
Not much else to report at present. I'll meet you at the running recap. JB
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