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Bear Essentials On the Road: Long Island

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Bear Essentials On the Road: Long Island, New York (Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum)

Today, the Bruins take on foe number three on this four game trip -- the New York Islanders. The Bruins had yesterday off (except the scratches from Saturday) and following another restful night off, and team breakfast, Our Boys hit the ice at the Nassau Coliseum at 11:30 a.m. JB

Where are we going?
Long Island ( says, "Whether you choose a barefoot walk on the beach… an adventuresome climb atop a lighthouse where the ocean view takes your breath away… an afternoon sampling the latest vintages at a local vineyard… or touring the stately halls and gardens of Long Island’s Gold Coast mansions… Long Island has it all.… How about challenging your self with a round at a championship golf course… or enjoying the many cultural and historic treasures Long Island has to offer… Children’s attractions, sporting events, special performances… Create Your Own Long Island Memories."

The Bruins are hoping to do just that, thank you very much.
Where are we playing? says,"Mitchel Field is a former Army/Air Force base located in the center of Nassau County. This 1,200-acre base was shut down in 1960 and declared surplus property by the U.S. Government. Nassau County obtained much of this property from the government in 1961. With the obtainment of Mitchel Field, many proposals were put forth. Some of the recommendations included a civic center, a large central library, residential housing, museum and cultural center. After consideration of these recommendations, the result was to build a 15,000 seat arena (additional seats were added from 1981-1984 that increased the seating capacity to over 18,000). The arena was built at the cost of 32 million dollars and sits on sixty-three acres of Mitchel Field. The building was dedicated to those who had made the supreme sacrifice for their country; hence the name Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum."

Who are we playing?
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.
So sayeth the Wikipedia, whose synopsis is outstanding (and worth a look):
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in Uniondale, a hamlet located on Long Island in Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, United States. The team is a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Islanders began play in 1972 and rapidly developed a dominant team that won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships in the early 1980s. They play their home games at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum...During their run of four Stanley Cup championships and a fifth finals appearance, the Islanders won 19 straight playoff series, the longest streak in the history of professional sports (one more than the Boston Celtics' 1959-67). Unlike the 1976-79 Montreal Canadiens who only needed to win three series in the 1976 and 1977 playoffs under the playoff format in place at that time, the Islanders had to win four series in each of their Stanley Cup seasons.

When are we playing?

7:00 p.m. ET. Regular game time! It should be a beaut...

Who's playing for us?
The skate was at 11:30 a.m. Milan Lucic will re-enter the lineup this evening. Aaron Ward is out with a high ankle sprain and will remain in Boston for evaluation and treatment. Mr. Hunwick will take his place on the blueline.

Is the game on?
Yes. NESN and WBZ will cover the game. So make sure to tune in to Dave, Bob, Brick, Rob and Jack.
5:40 p.m.
Hey folks, welcome to Nassau Coliseum -- I am right near the orange row of Banners near on the Canadian flag side of the press box.

I would have to say that these are the most unique seats I have ever had for a hockey game. I am with the rest of the Bruins people in the second row of the press box with a bit of a drop behind me and a doozy in front of me.

I am sitting in the same type of chairs they had at BU, with the swing-up desk in case you wanted to bother and take notes.

Idiosyncrasies aside, I have found my whole experience here on the Island to be outstanding -- I love the building (nee' barn) and the views.

My view in the press box is unprecedented in my estimation and short experience.

Now, hopefully we have something to watch!

5:56 p.m.
"It's definately going to be a pretty good game, I think," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien after the pregame skate. "The fact (is) that we weren't very happy with our overall effort last game and (tonight) is about bouncing back.

"When you lose a game you have to make sure that you come back with a solid effort."

No doubt there will be a couple of rookies ready to provide some spark on Monday night.

"I am excited to be back in the lineup," said Milan Lucic. "Obviously I am going to come in and try to do everything I can to help the team win.

Veteran Bruins reporter, Steve Harris said to Milan that his line (Lucic-Sobotka-Reich) should be able to raise some serious "heck" on the ice tonight.

"I think all three of us can be physical when we want to," said Big Lu. "That's an asset to our line and I think if we can use that to our advantage we can be successful."

Jeremy Reich agreed, but said that no matter what happens, he and his linemates must bring energy to the ice.

"It doesn't matter who is out there (on the fourth line) that's our job -- to create energy," said Reicher. "We all get things going and stir things up and do whatever we have to do to get the momentum going our way."

Here is the lineup as I could tell from pregame...

Stuart-Chara (sg) Thomas
Alberts-Hunwick (bg) Rask
Allen-Wideman Go BRUINS!

6:14 p.m.
The Bruins are about to go on the ice for pregame warm ups. Before I left pregame skate this morning, I asked Andrew Alberts if he felt any extra pressure with Aaron Ward out.

"I think (the defense corps) need to just play our game," said Albe. "Hunwick is in tonight, and he is a good defenseman...Stuwie is lining up with Z and they've been together before.

7:40 p.m.
By the way, I am over at the running recap. Go Bruins!

"I think we've just have to have a strong start...and go from there."
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