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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 1/3 - 1/9

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins


FERNANDEZ, THOMAS SHARE FIRST STAR HONORS FOR MONTH OF DECEMBER:
Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas, who combined to post a 12-1-0 record, 2.00 goals against average and .929 in 13 games were named co-recipients of the NHL's First Star award for the month of December. Fernandez registered a 5-1-0 record with a 1.58 goals against average and .946 save percentage in six appearances, while Thomas won all seven of his decisions with a 2.40 GAA and .922 save percentage. They each had a shutout, with Fernandez' coming on a 27-save performance on December 6 in Florida while Thomas' came during a 25-save effort in New Jersey on December 23. Of the 13 games in December, nine of those were played on the road.

Philadelphia's Jeff Carter who totaled 21 points on 11 goals and 10 assists in December was named the Second Star while Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who led the league with 12 goals scored in the month, captured the Third Star.

B'S HOMESTAND ROLLS ON:
The Bruins have a six-game homestand to start the New Year and will play four of those six in the next seven days. After hosting the Sabres on Saturday at 1:00, the Black and Gold will face the Wild on Tuesday, January 6 at 7:00, the Senators on Thursday, January 8 at 7:00 and the Hurricanes on Saturday, January 10 at 1:00. The Bruins kicked off the homestand with a 4-2 victory over the Penguins on Thursday night.

Of the 13 Bruins games scheduled in January, 10 of those will be played at the TD Banknorth Garden.

RYDER'S ON THE STORM: Michael Ryder has 11 goals and five assists in his last 16 games. He now has 14-13-27 totals on the season and leads the NHL in game winning goals with 7. Signed to a multi-year deal as a free agent on July 1, 2008, Ryder has already matched his total goal output from last year as a member of the Canadiens (14).

A FINE LINE: Speaking of the last 16 games and Michael Ryder, the Bruins line of Blake Wheeler, David Krejci, and Ryder has combined for 27 goals and 30 assists over that span. Wheeler has seven goals and eight assists in the last 16 games, Krejci nine goals and 17 assists, and Ryder 11 goals and five assists.

STREAK 1: The Bruins extended their home win streak to 14 games after Thursday night’s victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It is the Bruins longest home winning streak since a 16-gamer from January 10 – March 25, 1976, the longest such streak in the NHL this season and the fifth longest in team history. Their last loss at home came 70 days ago on October 23.

STREAK 2:
The Bruins have won 10 straight games overall, their longest consecutive win streak since a 10-gamer from March 9 through March 28, 1973. It is the longest such streak in the league this season and is tied for the fourth longest in team history behind streaks of 14, 13 and 11 games.

STREAK 3: David Krejci is currently riding a 10-game point streak, with 6-11=17 totals during this span.  It is the longest active streak in the NHL.

CHECK PLUS: Four Bruins own the top four plus/minus ratings in the NHL as of Friday, January 2, while seven B's rank in the top 11. Dennis Wideman leads all skaters with a +26, Marc Savard is second with a +25, Blake Wheeler is third in the league and tops among rookies with a +23, and David Krejci ranks fourth with a +22. Meanwhile, Zdeno Chara is tied for seventh (+18) and Milan Lucic and Michael Ryder are tied for 11th (+17).

THE STAT OF THE WEEK, COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…

The Bruins are currently off to the second-best start in their history with 62 points through 38 games. That is a higher point total than in 28 of their previous 84 full seasons and is tied with two other full campaigns (however, please note that the number of games played in a season has changed throughout the years).

Last season on January 2, 2008 the Bruins were tied for eighth place in the conference with 42 points (19-16-4). They didn't reach the 29-win mark or the 62-point mark last year until February 13 (57 games, 29-23-5).

BRUINS UPCOMING GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE (PLEASE CALL 617.624.1910 FOR THE LATEST UPDATES TO THE SCHEDULE):

Saturday, January 3 (Boston, MA)
-Ice available at TD Banknorth Garden 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. ET
Please note that this practice is not open to the public.
-Game vs. Buffalo Sabres, 1:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)

Sunday, January 4 (Boston, MA)
-Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival, Presented by Floating Hospital at Tufts Medical Center 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday, January 5 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. ET

Tuesday, January 6 (Boston, MA)
-Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET
-Game vs. Minnesota Wild, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: VERSUS, RADIO: WBZ 1030)

Wednesday, January 7 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, January 8 (Boston, MA)
-Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET
Please note that this practice is not open to the public.
-Game vs. Ottawa Senators, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)

Friday, January 9 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. ET- 12:30 p.m. ET

AROUND TOWN:
WHAT: Zebra Cares
-The Boston Bruins are teaming up with the official charity of the NHL Officials - Zebra Cares. 
-Two families from Massachusetts General Hospital will be attending Saturday's Bruins/Sabres game.
- Before the game the families will have the opportunity to meet the officials in their locker room and have a photo taken on the Bruins bench. 
WHEN: Saturday, January 3rd at 11:45 a.m.
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114 
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: None

WHAT: 19th annual Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival, Presented by Tufts Medical Center
- The Bruins will host their 19th annual Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival, presented by Tufts Medical Center, on Sunday, January 4 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
- The proceeds from this year’s carnival will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Fans will have the opportunity to compete against the Bruins players in their favorite games
- The Carnival is broken down into three different sessions:

The VIP Autograph Session goes from 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. Tickets cost $250 for non-season ticket holders and $200 for season ticket holders, and includes entrance to the carnival during the Early Bird session. Fans will meet and get an autograph from every Boston Bruins player on the 2008-09 roster. This session is limited to 100 people and includes complimentary access to participate in all carnival games, with a one-use-per-activity limit.

The Early Bird Session runs from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tickets cost $50, and the ticket includes entrance to the carnival and one free autograph from a Bruins player of their choice. This session will be limited to only 800 people to ensure shorter lines and more time with players.

The General Admission Session provide guests entrance to the Carnival from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for ages 12 and older, $10 for ages 6-12, and are free for kids under 5. The ticket includes entrance in to the carnival only.

Family packs are available for the early bird session as well. The pack includes 4 carnival tickets and 2 free autographs for $150. The family pack price is only available until December 20.
WHEN: Sunday, January 4, 11:00 – 12:00 p.m., 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114 
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Entire Boston Bruins 2008-2009 roster, coaching staff and wives

WHAT: Rock Band 2 video game competition
- Throughout the General Admission Session of the Wives Carnival, fans will play the video game Rock Band 2 with Blake Wheeler while special guest judges from Harmonix - the creators of Rock Band - evaluate the participants based on technical ability (accuracy) and performance (enthusiasm).
- The best players will be selected to move on to compete against the Bruins Band in the Rock Band 2 finale.
- The Bruins and Harmonix will be giving away a special prize to the top performer of the competition: a full Rock Band 2 retail bundle for the Nintendo Wii system autographed by the Bruins players
- The Bruins Band consists of Mark Stuart on vocals, Blake Wheeler on drums, Milan Lucic on lead guitar and Matt Lashoff on bass.
WHEN:  Sunday, January 4, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. during the General Admission Session of the 19th Annual Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival
- Rock Band 2 finale at 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA, 02114
- Finale will be on stage at center ice
BRUINS PARTICIPATING:  Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic and Matt Lashoff

THE INSTIGATORS: Every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., the gloves come off on NESN, as Mike Milbury, Andy Brickley, and Jack Edwards debate the hottest and most controversial issues in hockey on The Instigators.

THE BUZZ:
Check out the Buzz this week for the Bruins Best Games of the 2008-2009 season to date.  The Buzz airs Saturday, January 3 at 12:00 noon.

"5 TO WATCH": On Sunday, January 4 at 11:00 tune in to WCVB Channel 5 as they kick off their "5 to Watch" series with a feature on the Boston Bruins.

BRUINS RADIO APPEARANCES:
Check the following radio stations for exclusive live interviews with Bruins players every week:
Tuesday mornings at 7:20: Andrew Ference on WFNX 101.7 FM
Wednesday mornings at 8:00:  Aaron Ward on WBCN 104.1 FM
Wednesday mornings at 8:20: Marc Savard on WZLX 100.7 FM

STUDENT NIGHTS:  Every Bruins home game on Monday through Thursday is “Student Night” at the Garden, where students can purchase discounted tickets for $23.50.  The Bruins Student Sections are in sections 320 and 321, rows 3-15.

BRUINS ON THE NHL LEADERBOARD (AS OF JANUARY 2):

-The Bruins lead the entire NHL in points (62), wins (29), goals for (141), and goals against (84, tied with Minnesota).
-The Bruins own the NHL’s third ranked power play overall (24.7%).
-Marc Savard ranks tied for fourth in the league in points with 48 (E. Malkin, PIT 60)
-Phil Kessel ranks fourth in the league in goals scored with 23 (J. Carter, PHI 27)
-Marc Savard ranks tied for second in the league in assists with 35 (E. Malkin, PIT 45)
-Dennis Wideman leads all skaters with a +26 rating, Marc Savard is second with a +25, Blake Wheeler is third in the league and tops among rookies with a +23, and David Krejci ranks fourth with a +22. Meanwhile, Zdeno Chara is tied for seventh (+18) and Milan Lucic and Michael Ryder are tied for 11th (+17)
-Michael Ryder leads the NHL in game-winning goals with 7
-Milan Lucic leads the NHL in hits with 144
-Blake Wheeler leads all rookies in goals scored with 13 and plus/minus with a +23. He ranks fourth among rookies in points with 24 (K. Versteeg 31).
-Matt Hunwick ranks second among rookies in plus/minus with +15 (B. Wheeler, BOS +23)
-Manny Fernandez ranks second in Goals Against Average with a 2.02 mark (S. Mason, CBJ 1.69) and fourth in Save Percentage (.930).
-Tim Thomas ranks third in Goals Against Average with a 2.04 mark, tied for second in Save Percentage (.935) behind Craig Anderson (.940) and tied for third in shutouts with 3 (R. Luongo VAN, S. Mason CBJ 5).

BRUINS 2008-2009 "STARS":
Tim Thomas- Second Star, Week ending November 2
Marc Savard- First Star, Week ending November 23
Phil Kessel- First Star, Week ending December 14
Manny Fernandez/Tim Thomas- First Star, Month of December

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS (AS OF JANUARY 2):

Goals
1. P. Kessel    23
t2. D. Krejci   14
t2. M. Ryder    14
t4. M. Savard   13
t4. B. Wheeler  13

Assists
1. M. Savard    35
2. D. Krejci    27
3. D. Wideman   18
4. P. Kessel    16
5. Z. Chara 15

Points
1. M. Savard    48
2. D. Krejci    41
3. P. Kessel    39
4. M. Ryder 27
5. D. Wideman   26

Plus/Minus
1. D. Wideman   +26
2. M. Savard    +25
3. B. Wheeler   +23
4. D. Krejci    +22
5. Z. Chara +18

Penalty Minutes
1. M. Lucic 80
2. S. Thornton  74
3. Z. Chara 48
4. M. Stuart    45
5. M. Savard    44
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