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Bish's Blog: April 28th

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
12:11 a.m.

Here is the complete schedule:
#1 vs. #6
Friday, May 1 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.  
Sunday, May 3 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.  
Wednesday, May 6 at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.  
Friday, May 8 at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.  
*Sunday, May 10 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.  
*Tuesday, May 12 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.  
*Thursday, May 14 at Boston, TBD  

10:19 p.m.
Whew. On to the second round.

After the dismissal of the President's Trophy winner and two razor-close Game 7 showdowns in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins are the new owners of home ice advantage throughout the playoffs--as long they are in contention for hockey's coveted Stanley Cup. Boston will face the Carolina Hurricanes, who pulled  an improbable 4-3 last-minute win in a Game 7 Tuesday night at New Jersey.

The other Eastern matchup will feature 2008 Stanley Cup finalist Pittsburgh opening on the road against the Washington Capitals, who pulled out their own 2-1 Game 7 heart-stopper Tuesday.

The matchups in the Western Conference were set Monday night after the No. 8 Anaheim Ducks closed out intrastate rival and top seed San Jose in six, and Chicago's young Blackhawks did the same six-and-out number on the Flames at the Saddledome. Anaheim travels to Detroit to open its second-round series in a battle of the last two Stanley Cup championship teams, while Chicago travels to Vancouver to open its conference semifinal series.

10:15 p.m.
What a night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The bottom line: The Bruins will take on Carolina in round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Keep checking for the series schedule...

3:30 p.m.
"I think it's important that we don't let ourselves slip," said Coach Julien after the on-ice session. "[We have] to try and stay on top of our game.

"The was the idea behind today -- a little bit of a scrimmage, with game-like situations as best we can [replicate] -- to make sure we stay on top of our game."'s Matt Kalman noted that the last time the B's had a scrimmage, Coach Julien came away impressed with the club's focus and execution.

The same could be said about today.

"It was one of those scrimmages where we wanted the guys to do the right thing," said Julien. "We put them through different situations...and they were good.

"It's a tough challenge right now -- we all know that -- but it's a challenge that we have to face. There's no excuses this time of year. You just have to do it."

3:16 p.m.
First, don't miss Mark Stuart on Comcast Sportsnet at 5:35 p.m.

The newest member of the Chara family is named Elliz Victoria.

12:08 p.m.
The scrimmage is over...

Sprints! This should make for a "happy" group postpractice.

Scrimmage: 0 - 0, Tie

And that might be it...

Phil and Zee chop at the puck.

Axelsson goes hard into the boards, but popped right back up.

Breakaway for White. Thornton hit the post...

Another save by Fernandez.

Savard is calling for a penalty as the Black put the puck out of play.

Five-on-four with White on the PP. Save Fernandez.

Thornton shot, save Fernandez.

Nice pokecheck Savard, save Thomas.

Special teams work. White is three men, Black is four.

Save Fernandez.

Thomas save. Scramble. Whistle.

Yelle intercepts but is unable to put anything on net.

We're four-on-four...

Axelsson dumps into the corner, but Black recovers.

Shot by Lucic, on Thomas, missed wide.

Save Fernandez.

Axelsson shot. Save Fernandez. Whistle.

Start: White dumps deep.

Kessel, Wideman, Savard, Ference, Bitz, Yelle, Wheeler, Thornton, Axelsson, Stuart, Thomas.
Recchi, Bergeron, Chara, Ward, Lucic, Krejci, Hnidy, Kobasew, Ryder, Fernandez.

Scrimmage time. But I don't think there is a clock. So bear with me...

11:39 a.m.
The ice is getting cleaned, pre-scrimmage. I'll blog the game as best I can.

10:57 a.m.
Hail, hail.
It looks like everyone (minus Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm) is on the ice for Boston.

The club is going to practice for 20-minutes and then the Bruins will scrimmage.

FYI: We have a Baby Zee, a girl (working to track down her name), born at 7:20 p.m. last night. Congrats to Zdeno and Tatiana! 

10:45 a.m.
Zee is back...
After what was tabbed "a personal day" Zdeno Chara has returned to the ice in Wilmington. He was joined on the ice by Marc Savard and Andrew Ference.

9:27 a.m.
P-Bruins Preview
Brad Marchand, Providence Bruins
Our southern neighbors are gearing up for their own big series and the local media have stood up and taken notice.

From The Sharks come into the series playing as well as they have all season.

After going 8-2 in the final 10 regular-season games to beat out Manchester for the last Atlantic Division playoff slot, the Sharks lost the first two games to top-seed Hartford before roaring back with four straight wins, sending the Wolfpack home for the summer.

"They’ve been playing a playoff brand of hockey for over two months now, because every game was do-or-die for them coming down the stretch,’’ said [P-Bruins head coach Rob] Murray, who attended Worcester’s clincher over Hartford on Saturday night

9:18 a.m.
No Doubting Thomas
Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is congratulated by teammates after defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 to sweep their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff hockey series in Montreal Wednesday, April 22, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Count Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien amongst those who thought Tim Thomas' selection as a Vezina Trophy candidate a no-brainer.

"[I’m] not surprised," said Julien, postpractice on Monday. "I think it’s obviously warranted.

"I think he deserves it and hopefully he gets it...he’s done enough for this team that he certainly deserves the recognition and hopefully people that vote will be looking his way," he said.

As always, Thomas' competitive nature sets Thomas apart.

"I mean, it’s just something that I think everybody’s learned to see from Timmy day in, day out," said the B's head coach. "I know that's what really stood out to me.

"I’ll still remember that one day when we were trying to get our team to score more a couple years ago. We did those three-on-O’s and you had to stay until you scored and at one point I had to blow the whistle because Timmy wouldn’t let them score.

"That just showed me his competitiveness. He was diving everywhere and he was determined not to let them score," he said.

Julien was asked if he saw the Vezina as more of a team accomplishment.

"Well, I don’t think there’s a ton of awards that are really a reflection of [an individual]," said Julien. "This is a team game, so it’s hard to say this award is definitely all because of him -- no matter whether you’re a Norris Trophy winner or a Vezina Trophy winner, the people around you have to help you along the way."

However, it was clear that Coach believes his goaltender was most deserving of the prestigious goalie trophy.

"Let’s not take anything away from Timmy because he has been outstanding," said Julien. "There’s no doubt that his story is going to make for a real good story when it’s all said and done.

"I mean he’s getting recognition now for being possibly a Vezina Trophy winner. He’s played All-Star games.

"He’s earned...everything he’s got," he said.

9:01 a.m.
Ryder to Chat, Rinkside

Boston Bruins right wing Michael Ryder will chat with fans on Wednesday, April 29 at 3:00 p.m. as part of Covidien's Rickside Chat series. Going into the second round, Ryder leads the B's in points with a 4-3-7 line ...more
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