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Boston Bruins Week Ahead, 12/13 -12/19

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
QUICK TURNAROUND: After the Bruins meet the Thrashers in Atlanta on Friday night, the two teams will fly directly to Boston for their game Saturday night at the TD Banknorth Garden. In their first meeting of the season on October 25, Boston claimed a 5-4 victory behind Milan Lucic's first career hat trick.


WHEELER OF FORTUNE: Bruins rookie Blake Wheeler ranks in the top five in multiple offensive categories among first-year players. He is tied for second in goals with 9, fifth in points with 15, first in plus/minus with +15, second in shooting percentage with 22.9%, and tied for first in game winning goals with 2. Drafted by Phoenix with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Wheeler signed an entry-level deal with the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2008.

PHIL STILL STREAKING:
Phil Kessel has extended his consecutive-games-with-a-point streak to 13 games entering Friday night's game against the Thrashers, tying Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for the longest such streak on the season. Kessel currently owns the longest active streak in the NHL.

HIT MAN: Winger Milan Lucic currently leads the NHL in hits with 113, an average of over four per game. Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik and Washington's Alex Ovechkin are the only other players with over 100 hits this year, as they have 107 and 101 respectively.

HOME ICE ADVANTAGE:
Boston has won their last 10 contests on home ice. This win streak is their longest such stretch since an 11-game home win streak from December 5, 1982-January 29, 1983. Their last loss at home came on October 23 against Toronto.

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. Each week, Mike, Andy and Jack set aside one extra hockey topic for NESN.com that they debate in "Two Minutes for Instigating." The Instigators made its on-air debut on Thursday, December 4.

A LONG DECEMBER:
The Bruins have 13 games slated in the month of December, nine of which are on the road. However, the Bruins have three home games in the next week with tilts against the Thrashers on Saturday the 13th, the Maple Leafs on Thursday the 18th , and the Hurricanes on Saturday the 20th.

BRUINS UPCOMING GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE (PLEASE CALL 617.624.1910 FOR THE LATEST UPDATES TO THE SCHEDULE):
Saturday, December 13 (Boston, MA)
-Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. ET- 11:00 a.m. ET
Please note that this practice is not open to the general public.
-Game vs. Atlanta Thrashers, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, SPSO, RADIO: WBZ 1030)

Sunday, December 14 (Boston, MA)
-Practice at TD Banknorth Garden, 12:00 p.m. ET- 1:00 p.m. ET
Please note that this practice is not open to the general public.

Monday, December 15 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET- 11:30 a.m. ET

Tuesday, December 16 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET- 11:30 a.m. ET

Wednesday, December 17 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET- 11:30 a.m. ET

Thursday, December 18 (Boston, MA)
-Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. ET- 11:00 a.m. ET
Please note that this practice is not open to the general public.
-Game vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, SNET-O, RADIO: WBZ 1030)

Friday, December 19 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. ET- 12:30 p.m. ET

AROUND TOWN:
WHAT: Boston Bruins "Toys for Tots" Toy Collection
-The Boston Bruins are collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Greater Boston Toys   
for Tots program
-Toys will be available for purchase at each of the entrance turnstiles for fans that forgot to
purchase a toy for donation
- Fans will receive a raffle ticket for each toy donated.
- Prizes include an autographed team jersey, an autographed novelty highway sign or an autographed hockey stick.
- At each Bruins home game in December, any Bruins fan that donates a toy will receive a
voucher for a free kids ticket for children 12 and under. The offer is valid with the purchase of an adult ticket for the Thursday, Feb. 26 game vs. the Anaheim Ducks (in select locations and subject to availability).
WHEN: Saturday, December 13, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
After 7:15 any fan that wants to donate must go to Loge Section 4
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
-    Donation areas will be set up at entrance turnstiles and Loge Section 4 (after 7:15 p.m.)
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Bruins wives

WHAT: Bruins Ornament Silent Auction
- Individual ornaments decorated and autographed by the entire Boston Bruins 2008 – 09 roster and coaching staff will be up for silent auction
- Each ornament was created by a different member of the Bruins
WHEN: Saturday, December 13 and Thursday, December 18 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
- All bids must be placed by the second intermission of each of the games
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
- The Boston Bruins Foundation Table, Loge Section 4
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: The entire Boston Bruins 2008 – 09 roster and coaching staff

WHAT: The Boston Bruins Annual Toy Delivery Sponsored by Volvo
- The team will be divided into seven groups, each group will visit and deliver toys to seven different hospitals in the Greater Boston Area.
- The toys were purchased during the team’s Annual Toy Shopping Event at Target on December 2.
- The Boston Bruins and coaching staff donated money from their own pockets, which was
  matched by the Boston Bruins Foundation.
- An estimated $25,000 worth of toys were purchased by the Bruins for the Toy Delivery.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 16, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Floating Hospital at Tufts NEMC, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Franciscan     Hospital for Children, Shriners Hospital for Children, Children's Hospital, Mass General Hospital, Boston Medical Center
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Entire current 2008-2009 Boston Bruins roster and coaching staff

WHAT: Second Boston Bruins "Toys for Tots" Toy Collection
- The Boston Bruins are collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Greater Boston Toys for Tots program
- Toys will be available for purchase at each of the entrance turnstiles for fans that forgot to bring a toy for donation
- At each Bruins home game in December, any Bruins fan that donates a toy will receive a
voucher for a free kids ticket for children 12 and under. The offer is valid with the purchase of an adult ticket for the Thursday, Feb. 26 game vs. the Anaheim Ducks (in select locations and subject to availability).
WHEN: Thursday, December 18, 12:00 p.m. through the end of the game
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114. 
- Donation areas will be set up at entrance turnstiles and Loge Section 4
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Boston Bruins Ice Girls

COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…
The longest point-scoring streak in Bruins history is owned by Bronco Horvath, who tallied points in 22 consecutive games during the 1959-60 season.

THE BUZZ:  Check out the Buzz this week for another installment of "This Week in Bruins History," a recap of Manny Fernandez’ first shutout of the season against the Panthers last Saturday and analyst Barry Pederson’s list of the top five NHL Defensemen.  The Buzz airs on Saturday, December 13, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

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 8:20: Marc Savard on WZLX 100.7 FM
Wednesday afternoons at 4:00:  Aaron Ward on WBCN 104.1 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:

- The Bruins hold the top record in the Eastern Conference at 19-5-4 and 42 points.
- They have the second-best road record overall in the league at 9-4-3 and 21 points.
- The Bruins have the league's best home power play at 32.6% (16 goals on 49 advantages) and fifth best power play overall (23 goals on 101 advantages).
- Marc Savard is tied for third in the NHL in assists with 24.
- Phil Kessel is third in the NHL in goals with 17.
- Milan Lucic leads the NHL in hits with 113.
- Patrice Bergeron is third in the NHL in faceoff percentage for those skaters that have taken more than 300 draws this season with a 58.0 % success rate.
- The Bruins have four players among the league's top 15 plus/minus ratings with Blake Wheeler and Savard are tied for fourth at +15, David Krejci tied for eighth at +14 and Matt Hunwick is tied for 12th at +13. Wheeler and Hunwick are ranked first and second respectively, among rookies in plus/minus.
- Wheeler is also fifth in the overall rookie scoring race and is tied for second among league rookies in goals with 9-6=15 totals.
- Tim Thomas owns the NHL's best goals against average at 1.90 and ranks second in save percentage at .940.
- Manny Fernandez has the league's fifth-best goals against average at 2.08.
- The Bruins as a team have the league's best goals against average at 2.03.

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS:
Goals
1. P. Kessel     17
2. B. Wheeler    9
t3. M. Savard      8
t3. D. Krejci      8
t3. M. Lucic       8

Assists
1. M. Savard       24
2. D. Krejci       16
3. P. Bergeron  12
t4. M. Lucic       10
t4. M. Ryder      10
t4. D. Wideman 10

Points
1. M. Savard            32
2. P. Kessel    26
3. D. Krejci    24
4. M. Lucic               18
5. M. Ryder             17

Plus/Minus
1. M. Savard  +15
2. B. Wheeler +15
3. D. Krejci     +14
4. M. Hunwick +13
t5. P. Kessel    +12
t5. M. Lucic      +12

Penalty Minutes
1. M. Lucic 53
2. S. Thornton  50
3. M. Savard    38
4. M. Stuart             36
5. S. Hnidy               30

MEDIA AND FAN INFORMATION LINE:  Call 617.624.1910 for the latest updates to the Bruins practice schedule. 
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