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Bear Essentials On The Road: Ottawa

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Bear Essentials on the Road: OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA (Scotiabank Place)

Where are we going?
Ottawa's Parliament building.
Back in 1857, Queen Victoria was asked to choose a capital for Canada (modern Quebec and Ontario) and chose Ottawa.

At the time, the city was a small logging town, far away from main cities, and the choice seemed strange at the time.  Folktales exist about the queen’s decision: “She [chose] by sticking her hatpin on a map roughly halfway between Toronto and Montreal,” explains Wikipedia.  “[Or] she liked watercolors she had seen of the area.”

However, her advisors helped her choose Ottawa for numerous reasons.

“It was the only settlement of any significant size located right on the border of Canada East and Canada West (Quebec/Ontario border today),” continues the online encyclopedia.  “The War of 1812 had shown how vulnerable major Canadian cities were to American attack,” and Ottawa was far away from the America-Canada border.

Other reasons included government land ownership near Ottawa, accessibility, its proximity to both Toronto and Montreal, and the small size of the city.

Where are we playing?
Scotiabank Place
Trolling the Internet, we found some facts about Scotiabank Place, which officially opened on January 17, 1996.
  • There were 5,150 tons of steel used to build the arena, along with 108,000 square feet of metal siding, 500,000 concrete blocks, 11 acres of drywall, and 3,800 square yards of glass.
  • The rink in the arena uses 22 kilometers of refrigeration piping and 300 cubic meters of concrete where used to create the rink.  The roof is five acres.
  • 2,800 years worth of labor were used for construction, which was completed six months ahead of original schedule.  Scotiabank Place is owned by Eugene Melnyk of Capital Sports Properties and operated by Live Nation.
  • The 2003 Juno Awards were held at the arena, and the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals were the first to ever be held in Scotiabank Place.  In December 2004, the arena hosted the largest crowd ever – 20,081 – to watch a Canadian Hockey League game.
Who are we playing?
Last season, the Ottawa Senators went from a team struggling to reach the .500 mark to near-Stanley Cup winners, thanks to success in the latter half of the season.

They finished second in their division with 105 points, making 2006-2007 their fourth 100-point season in a row and the sixth in the last eight seasons.

After defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres, the Sens advanced to their first Stanley Cup Playoffs in 80 years and faced the Anaheim Ducks.

One fan managed to attend games in both the 1927 and 2007 playoff series.  “The third game of the series and first home game for Ottawa on June 2nd, was attended by 99–year old Russell Williams as a guest of the Senators,” says Wikipedia.  “He had attended the last Finals game in Ottawa on April 13, 1927, played in the old Ottawa Auditorium. 

“Both the 1927 and 2007 games were won by the Senators.”

The series also marked another milestone.  With Daniel Alfredsson as their captain, Ottawa became the first team in the NHL with a captain from Europe to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Unfortunately for Ottawa, and despite tremendous community support and hard work, the Ducks took the Cup in five games. This made the Sens the third consecutive Canadian team to lose in the finals, along with the Calgary Flames in 2004 and the Edmonton Oilers in 2006.

When are we playing?
7:30 p.m. Just a little extra time to get your popcorn and chips ready.

Who's playing for us?
Expect Andrew Alberts to remain in the fold and Andrew Ference was feeling better yesterday -- perhaps we will see his return.

Is the game on?
NESN Plus and WBZ will be covering the games. A NESN Plus channel listing can be found here at

9:19 a.m.
It's already been a busy morning.

We have a new gallery in the Cuts for Charity story a new piece on the Bruins newest NESN commercial, complete with video and a behind the scenes photo shoot.

And I think there is a hockey game tonight...

1:58 p.m.
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.
Where's Matt Damon when you need him?

After consultation with several mathematicians, none of whom would qualify for the Field's Medal (or even undergraduate admission at MIT, for that matter), we here at the Bear Essentials (not a genius amongst us) have attempted to come up with the playoff scenarios for this evening.

As you know, tonight marks the penultimate game of the regular season for Boston and the club's last road game of the 2007-08 campaign. Standing in the Bruins way are the Ottawa Senators, who, by virtue of their win over the Maple Leafs on Thursday night, are just one win away from clinching a playoff spot.

Boston also remains in the hunt to clinch a playoff position.

BTW: Buffalo is officially eliminated, owing to a loss to Montreal last night.

The first, and most straightforward way for the B's to gain entry into the Stanley Cup tournament is the aforementioned three-point scenario, whereby the B's win one and get at least a point in their last two games.

Or, in much more colorful fashion, if the Bruins win tonight, a Philadelphia loss (in regulation or OT) puts Boston into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Or, if Boston takes a point out or more out of tonight, a Carolina Hurricane's loss in regulation would put the B's in the playoffs, as well.

Lastly, since the B's have a chance at another two points tomorrow against the Buffalo Sabres, a win over Ottawa this evening, either in regulation or overtime, also gives Boston a chance to overtake the Sens in the Eastern Conference standings and improve their playoff position.

How about them apples?

3:42 p.m.
Going into this evening's matchup with Ottawa, Bruins head coach Claude Julien's philosophy has not changed.

"I think it is pretty simple," he said. "You have to win hockey games.

"You can control your own destiny by doing that and both teams are in that situation, so I don't think  it's been much different for the last couple of weeks."

Julien did not think he had to approach the game any differently with his squad.

"If I did, I'd be in trouble -- if they didn't know what they have to do by now," he said. "That's why we have rolled our sleeves up and played [so hard] for the last week or so and have put ourselves in the position where we are right now which is in control of our own destiny."

Coach is not expecting any help and assumes his crew will need to earn three more points to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We haven't had any. I don't think we will and I don't think we should [count on it]," said Julien. "That hasn't changed."

But what has changed is the Ottawa lineup.

The Senators are facing personnel issues this evening and will be missing Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher.

Coach Julien was asked about the Senators injuries.

"We've had that problem all year," said the Bruins bench boss. "Every team has their own problems to deal with and you move forward with them.

"Nobody has ever felt sorry for us [while missing Andrew Alberts, Patrice Bergeron and Manny Fernandez], I don't think we should start feeling sorry for other teams."

6:06 p.m.
The following is from "Boston Bruins Week Ahead", but I thought all of you would be interested to read them before the game. JB

Making Sense of the Playoff Picture
Heading in to the final weekend of the regular season, there is still much to be decided in the Eastern Conference.  Currently five teams are jockeying for the final four playoff spots.  Pittsburgh, Montreal, New Jersey and the New York Rangers are in, however their seeds can potentially change depending on the results of their final games.  Meanwhile, the fates of Boston, Carolina, Ottawa, Washington and Philadelphia are yet to be decided.

Eastern Conference Standings
(team, point totals, games remaining, and opponents)
1-Pittsburgh Penguins 102 (1) - 4/6 @ Phi
2-Montreal Canadiens 102 (1) - 4/5 Tor
3-Carolina Hurricanes 92 (1) -  4/4 Fla
4-New Jersey Devils 97 (2) - 4/4 @ Phi; 4/6 NYR
5-New York Rangers 95 (2) - 4/4 NYI; 4/6 @ NJ
6-Ottawa Senators 94 (1) - 4/4 Bos
7-Boston Bruins 92 (2) - 4/4 @ Ott; 4/5 Buf
8-Washington Capitals 92 (1) - 4/5 Fla
9-Philadelphia Flyers 91 (2) - 4/4 NJ; 4/6 Pit
10-Buffalo Sabres 88*
11-Florida Panthers 83*
12-Toronto Maple Leafs 80*
13-New York Islanders 75*
14-Atlanta Thrashers 72*
15-Tampa Bay Lightning 67*
*- mathematically eliminated from playoff contention

Carry the One, Multiply by Pi, etc, etc & etc...
To guarentee  their spot in the postseason, the Bruins need a minimum of three points in their final two games.  However, there are a number of other scenarios that can secure a spot as well, which involve losses by teams such as Ottawa, Carolina, Washington and Philadelphia. 

Always keep in mind the tiebreaking procedures:
1.  Fewer number of games played (this becomes irrelevant after the end of the regular season and every team has played 82 games).
2. Higher number of wins.
3. Total points in season series between the two clubs.
4.  Better overall goal differential.

Therefore, the B's can clinch a spot as soon as tonight if any of the three outcomes happen:
1. A Bruins win and any Philadelphia loss against New Jersey (regulation or OT).
2. A Bruins win and any Carolina loss against Florida (regulation or OT).
3. A Bruins win or OT loss and a Carolina loss in regulation against Florida.

I completely understand now. Don't you?

6:40 p.m.

With all the stuff that is going down today, I forgot to mention that I had a great time in downtown Ottawa on Thursday.

I took some pictures (don't expect too much) and I've captioned them as best I can. If anyone from Ottawa wants to give me some background on what I was looking at -- I simply did not have time to grab a tourist guide.

I really think this is a beautiful town and I am hoping to be back for the draft this summer when there is no snow!

In any case, here is the [ Photo Gallery ].

7:02 p.m.
Timmy led the boys out! He is the starter. Anderew Ference is NOT on the ice.

This is a decent guess, but I am going to check on it:
Chara-Ward (sg)Thomas
Stuart-Wides (bg)Auld
Alberts-Hnidy Go Bruins!

The above is correct according to warmups...

7:18 p.m.
The Flyers just scored. It's 1-0 Philadelphia over NJ.

First Period
0:00 The teams will be coming on the ice very soon. Hopefully they are doing everything they said that they were doing -- concentrating on their own game.

BTW: The Sens are missing Richardson, Alfredsson, Fisher and McGrattan.

Gerber in net for Ottawa.

This place is PACKED! And LOUD!

:01 Metro wins the face off.

:49 Huge Timmy save. From his stomach using his trapper. WOW! The play is under review.

No Goaaaaaaaaaaaal!

It's 2-1 Florida over Carolina right now, folks.

2:25 No flow as of yet.

3:48 Another big save by Tim. Ottawa has had two excellent scoring chances.

5:35 Thomas is tested again. Save Thomas!

6:35 B's on the PP. They have pressed the Sens hard in the last minute. Two-minutes for holding on Donovan.

9:21 Gerber's turn. Two outstanding saves in the last minute of play.

9:53 Kessel makes a nice save to get to the middle of the ice and gets hauled down. B's remain on PP.

10:24 Sturmie in the box for a high stick. Four-on-four for a bit, then a short PP for Ott.

14:25 The B's killed off that short PP and nobody has garnered the momentum since. Lots of back and forth.

15:00 Another big scrambling stop by Tim Thomas. First star thus far!

20:00 Some outstanding work by both teams in the last five minutes. Shots are 8-6, Bruins. Really, a very good period of hockey.

BTW: It's 3-1, FLA in the second.

Second Period
0:00 Let's dial up two more like that period and a couple of goals for the B's.

2:30 Huges save by Tim, who had a Senator in on him alone.

5:20 Outstanding action. Both teams are putting pucks on net and thus far both goalies are keeping it 0-0.

6:39 Goooooooal. Big Zeeeeeeeeeeee. Nice work by Sobotka and a screen set by Schaefer. It's a career high for the big defenseman.

And, hey, it's 4-2 Florida over Carolina.

10:43 Phil came this [                     ] close to scoring on a breakaway. Still 1-0, B's.

13:03 Ottawa goes on the PP.

15:21 B's killed that PP, but Chara and Neil go to the box for roughing.

20:00 Another good period for Boston.

Just had a nice visit from former Bruin Jason York. Yorkie gave me a good share of his time last year and I appreciate every minute. Good luck with the TV and radio, my man!

Third Period
0:00 How about another goal for the B's?

3:25 Tim stands tall on the goal line and refused to be pushed into the net. Biggest save of the game!

4:22 Great feed from Schaefer sets up Kessel for a 2-0 Boston lead...

Around seven minutes to go and while I was running to the Bruins locker room the Sens scored.

15:30 Sitting across from the B's locker room. 2-1, B's...Stomach hurting.

Can't see the clock, Timmy standing on his head.

19:10 Tim stops the clock. Less than a minute to go. Timeout Boston.

20:00 We're in! Bruins go to the playoffs!
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