Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Bear Essentials: Washington 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.

To say that this afternoon's contest is big is understating the issue and, believe it or not, there is a little bit of "grrrrrr" in even the ancillary members of the Bruins organization this morning.

So, I for one am very interested to see what Our Boys bring to the rink at 1 p.m.

The schedule:
Not much until 10:30
10:30 a.m. Possible player availability.
11:15 a.m. Coach Julien
12:30ish p.m. Warmups
1:00 p.m. Game
After game -- Fly to NYC.

10:02 a.m.
Packing a book or two for the trip. And my beaten and worn copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Crack Up" opened to the essay of the same name.

Scott wrote, "the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."

"One should," he continues, "be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise."

The Bruins do face a daunting task this morning. The appearance of Alexander Ovechkin on an opposition bench is enough to give any team the willies, never mind a team that has had a week like the B's.

However, nobody in the Bruins locker room appeard to be out of sorts yesterday. They seem determined to turn this ship around.

"Obviously, everybody is dissapointed with the result," said Bobby Allen. "We want to change that.

"That is not what we are all about in this room and that's not what we expect out of ourselves or how we usually play.

"So, we are going to put the past behind us...and move on," he said.

Mark Stuart, across the locker room, had a similar attitude.

"I mean, it's good to have a tough practice, battle a little bit, sweat a lot," said Stu. "That's especially when you are in a situation like we are in.

"You just have to work hard, kind of think about it for a little while and get your frustrations out...and then get back at it!"

11:01 a.m.
Well, I was thinking F. Scott and the Bruins are thinking Bee Gees and Daft Punk.

Heard when I walked by the Black & Gold's locker room, a funky baseline and the lyrics:

You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Feel the city breakin'
And ev'rybody shakin'
And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin' alive.
Stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin' alive.

I like it. Previous to that there was some techno. Cue the drum machine:

One more time
We gonna celebrate
Oh yeah...

One more time

One more time
We gonna celebrate
Oh yeah, all right
Don't stop dancing

So, at least there was an upbeat feeling in the room.

And outside the room, with the base still audible, Coach Julien set the table.

Asked if he and the Bruins were ready to go, Claude said, "Absolutely! I think at this time of year you have to be ready. We know what's at stake. We know what we're up against and we know what we've been through. It's up to us to respond right now!"

The determination I witnessed yesterday also seemed apparent as the B's filed into the locker room -- without as much as a "Hello" for anyone in the hallway.

Not rude. Just intense.

Milan Lucic seemed to predict this yesterday.

"We want to get things rolling again," said Luch. "We want to stay away from blaming each other and just go out there and play.

"We have to get back to 'Bruin hockey' because...we went from cloud nine to rock bottom in one week.

"And if we want to get back to where we were last week we are going to have to do the things we were doing...and we need everyone on board," he said.

Even the Bee Gees.

11:21 a.m.
No Aaron Ward. Alex Auld in net, by the way.

12:24 p.m.
My guess:
Chara-Wideman (sg) Auld
Stuart-Ference (bg) Thomas
Allen-Hnidy Go Bruins!

12:37 p.m.
An adjustment:
Chara-Wideman (sg) Auld
Stuart-Ference (bg) Thomas
Allen-Hnidy Go Bruins!

Christobal Huet in goal for Washington.

12:46 p.m.

Johnny Cash on the P.A. folks. "Ring of Fire."

Almost 20 minutes until game time and, holy cow, has the pregame dragged. Drop the puck!

12:55 p.m.
BTW: Click this link to catch Andrew Alberts, Patrice Bergeron, Manny Fernandez and Aaron Ward in action this morning.

1:00 p.m. 
Gametime. This is a big one, folks. Hang on tight.

First Period
0:00 Thunder sticks in the crowd today. Lucic and Co. on the ice to start.

0:05 Milan just destroyed Matt Bradley. Right off the faceoff. Amazing energy in the crowd.

0:14 That took guts. Thorts just took on one of the toughest human beings on skates and earned at least a draw against Donald Brashear who outweighs and outreaches the gritty Boston forward.

1:27 Chara just jettisoned Ovechkin's stick into the stands. Ovechkin insisted on having the stick back. Big Zee got a minor for his troubles.

3:36 Huge PK. By the way, my compatriot from The Globe, certainly with our fighting debate in mind, is not gloating -- yet.

4:52 Mr. Hnidy just caught Mr. Ovechkin with his head down. B's on the PK on an unrelated incident.

5:26 Big scrum in front of the goal. No penalties, but plenty of fists and elbows thrown. Shortly thereafter -- on the next play -- Sturmie got into the act and popped Backstrom in the head three times.

6:17 Auld, who has been outstanding, made two pad saves, but couldn't stop Laich, who puts the Capitals up, 1-0. Old friend Tom Poti, late of the BU Terriers, had an assist.

7"12 I think we just saw the "big save" Coach has talked about recently. Auld with a big glove stop on Mike Green.

8:35 First B's shot.

9:11 Very close...looked like Metro had tied the game. Post. Boston on the PP.

12:45 Not much to show for it yet, but the B's 'O' is waking up.

13:07 I don't say this much. But Bobby Allen's high sticking call never happened. Bad call.

15:20 Good PK. Good kill.

16:50 Didn't see that one either, but, hey, the B's can use the PP. Washington's Cooke in the box.

20:00 1-0, Wash. Not too bad, but the Bruins have to put some of that intensity into their work in the offensive zone. They are being outshot 11-5.

Second Period
0:00 The B's have to solve Huet early. He seems to get better and better as the game goes on.

1:15 Luch almost tied it up. Nice slapper hit the crossbar and went out of play.

4:06 Bobby Allen on the ice after a knee-on-knee with Cooke. Bob was not able to put any weitght on it as he left the ice with support. Cooke gets a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. He is out of the game.

8:36 Not good. Big Zee just left the bench. Hopefully just an equipment problem.

9:49 Another nice save by Auld . He has 16 saves through almost hafl a game.

11:45 Small miracles. Bobby Allen is back on the bench. He doesn't look all that comfortable, but he is there.

20:00 A very even period. Chara has not returned to the bench.

Third Period
0:00 An early score would be clutch. As would the appearance of Mr. Chara. No word thus far.

CHARA RETURNS. He is on the bench to start the period.

2:08 Auld stops Ovechkin. 20 saves for the big man.

4:15 Huet stops Savvy. He has 17 saves.

BTW: It's a sellout. 17,565. The 10th sold out game of the year...Thank you, Fans!

13:19 A little bit of an odd occurance -- six minutes to Brashear. Double minor for high sticking and two minutes for roughing. Long PP. The B's must take advantage.

14:32 Another penalty. This time to Waskington's Erskine for hooking. B's on 5-on-3.

14:59 CHARA SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORES! A rocket. Beats Huet through a screen.

16:03 B's still on a 5-on-3 for 30 seconds. Wideman, who had left the bench, is back.

17:04 Slashing call to Poti. 5-on-3 for 1:55.

17:24 Boston has taken over the lead in shots -- 25-24.

17:44 Goal, Stuuuuuuuuuuuurm! Gorgeous, patience. Outstanding pass by Krejci sends Sturmie bouncing off the glass in the corner in celebration.

20:00 Bruins win. 2-1.  Later -- I gotta catch a plane to NYC!
View More