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Bear Essentials: Rainy Monday

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.
10:02 a.m.

Our Boys are on the ice for an early practice before an afternoon flight to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Your intrepid reporter will be on that plane giving you the latest and greatest from the next three games.

Minus Alberts, Bergeron and Fernandez, it looks like a full complement of  Bruins out on the ice this morning, and as I watch, they are getting a lengthy talking to by Coach Julien.

10:16 a.m.
Looking twice, Petteri Nokelainen is missing, and Peter Schaefer is back...lots of school kids on hand. And quite a few flashbulbs popping.

10:25 a.m.
Somehow, Phil Kessel lost a glove and it landed out of the rink behind Tim Thomas' goal. One of the kids watching practice gave it to an adult who handed it back.

11:53 a.m.
Coach Julien said that Schaefer is going to be on the trip, as will Nokelainen who has a bit of the flu-bug, but will meet the club at the airplane.

1:20 p.m.
I made Bear Force One with time to spare. Everyone is in very good spirits and seems ready for the next three games.

Perhaps it was a positive sign that the sun came out as we were driving to the airport.

5:10 p.m.
The sun is out here in North Carolina, too! Life is good...

Those of you who have skipped the front page may have missed this little news item:
The Boston Bruins are launching " Rinkside Chats: presented by Covidien," a new, interactive feature on the club's website that will give Bruins fans the opportunity to chat live with Bruins players, coaches and front office staff.  These online chats will take place every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. ET - 3:00 p.m. ET for the remainder of the season.  Each week, a different Bruin will be online and allow fans to ask questions, share their hockey interests, or to just say hello.

The first Rinkside Chats: Presented by Covidien will kick off Wednesday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET with goaltender Tim Thomas booked as the guest.  Fans are encouraged to log on to to check the latest upcoming guest schedule.  The next two guests will be rookie forward Milan Lucic on Wednesday, February 27 and all-star center Marc Savard on Wednesday, March 5.

We here at are very excited to offer this method of interacting with the Bruins, so we hope that you will log on to the site on Wednesday!

9:40 p.m.
It was a pretty effortless day. A downright good day.

Forgot to mention that Pettri Nokelainen comprised the "sick" portion of the plane, as he and I, suffering from the same cold/flu shared an aisle (although both of us are feeling better) and discovered a mutual affinity for Indiana Jones films.

Also, knowing that I suffer from a mild case of white knuckled flying, Bear Force One's flight crew welcomed me to the cockpit to show me how everything works. And, as I suspected, the view from the cockpit and actually seeing someone in control of the whole thing made me feel a whole lot better.

So when we hit turbulence later in the flight, I was riding the roller coaster like a pro. UNTIL one big drop (it was windy here in NC) had me grabbing for the hand rails and had Pettri laughing to himself.


By the way, thanks to everyone on the plane who makes our flights so nice: Captain George, First Officer Philip, Flight Engineer Patricia Ann, Flight Mechanic Eric and flight attendants Lisa, Nicole, Margaret and Rachel.

Finally, I discovered that our hotel is nearby a video store and a book store. Nice.

Hopefully, tomorrow goes just as well!
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