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Bear Essentials: Odds and Ends

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins

Well, we had some nice news yesterday afternoon, with Brad Marchand officially becoming part of the organization. I got to know Mr. Marchand during development camp, where he distinguished himself as one of the B's best and brightest.

Bravo Brad! Hope to see you here, soon.

In other news...
Here is yesterday's (Tuesday's) lineup at practice:

White: Schaefer-Savard-Kobasew
Gold: Sturm-Bergeron-Murray
Gray: Lucic-Krejci-Kessel
Brick: Axelsson, Metropolit, Thornton, Reich, Bochenski
Black: Alberts, Allen, Chara, Ference, Stuart, Ward, Wideman
Goal: Fernandez, Thomas

Goaltending coach Bob Essensa was in for the second straight day, working alternately with Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez.

There were a bunch of (by now) familiar drills, including some breakouts, but the most entertaining stuff was happening in the corners when 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 battles for puck control made a lot of noise.

Coach Julien also took the centers aside and spoke to them about face offs.

"Face offs are a little bit of skill and a lot of attitude," said Coach. "And basically we need to get a little better in that area.

"Again, we obviously don't want to point the fingers at the guys taking the draws -- there's also some battles for loose pucks after those draws.

"We as a team have to get batter at winning those and we need to be sharp and alert in order to jump on top of those loose pucks," he said.

Coach Julien agreed with one of the writers that face off success comes from a combination of determination and skill.

"But I think right now…it is probably more a question of determination," added Julien. "The guys have the skills to take draws. We just have to be a little more determined and a little more focused on knowing what to do. Certain players take face offs a certain way and once you get to know the players around the league you should be able to counter with the right approach."

Waiting: Bochenski & Reich
Many fans have written in asking about Brandon Bochenski and Jeremy Reich and their prospects of returning to the Bruins lineup. Yesterday, one of the writers covering the team took the question a little farther. He asked what had Julien been seeing in practice as far as readiness to play goes.

"It's been good," said Julien. "I've had my chats with them and it's important that they stay positive.

"We can only dress 20 players for games and those 20 players who are in the lineup right now earned those spots through training camp.

"(Reich and Bochenski) just need to work hard and they will get an opportunity, but the bottom line is that they have to be ready when that opportunity comes."

Aaron Ward does the radio circuit
As I drove in his morning I though t I heard familiar voices -- no they were not in my head.

It was Aaron Ward and Patrice Bergeron on the Matty in the Morning Program as heard on Kiss 108. They had a few fun stories to pass on and were very entertaining. You can catch Ward-o again later this afternoon, too:

4:00 PM - Aaron Ward live in studio with WBCN (104.1 FM)
4:45 PM - Aaron Ward on "In the Slot" on XM Radio

Ward is also taping an interview today with the Mix 98.5 morning show. That piece will air during tomorrow(Thursday)'s show.

And one more thing!
TD Banknorth had recently teamed-up with youth hockey teams around Massachusetts to develop the Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters (PASS).  As a component of PASS, the Boston Bruins host a hockey clinic series at local hockey rinks around Massachusetts.

On Tuesday night over 80 youth hockey players from the Natick Comets league participated in a clinic hosted by Bruins alum Bob Sweeney, Lyndon Byers and Craig Janney.

These players learned shooting and skating skills from the former Bruins and received a PASS goodie bag and autographs.

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