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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 3/14 - 3/20

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY WATCH (as of March 13th):

Entering the weekend’s games, the Bruins are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the most points in the league, although the Bruins have played one more game. Here is a breakdown of the top three Presidents’ Trophy Contenders with the number of games remaining in the regular season and opponents listed:

BOSTON 97 points (13 games remaining)
NYI, @ PIT, LAK, NJD, @ TOR, @ PHI, TBL, OTT, NYR, @ OTT, MTL, @ BUF, @ NYI

DETROIT 97 points (14 games remaining)
@ STL, @ CBJ, PHI, @ ATL, @ CGY, @ EDM, NYI, NSH, STL, MIN, @ BUF, NSH, CHI, @ CHI

SAN JOSE 96 points (16 games remaining)
LAK, @ ANA, @ PHX, NSH, DAL, COL, @ CHI, @ NSH, PHX, @ CGY, @ EDM, ANA, @ ANA, COL, PHX, @ LAK

Since the Presidents’ Trophy was first awarded during the 1985-86 season, the Bruins have captured the Trophy once in 1989-90.

HISTORY OF THE BRUINS DVD LAUNCH PARTY APPROACHES:

The entire 2008-2009 Boston Bruins roster, Bruins alumni, coaching staff and management will be celebrating the release of The Original Six: History of the Boston Bruins DVD, which chronicles 85 years of the most memorable Bruins moments, at the Hard Rock Cafe Boston on Tuesday, March 24 from 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Hard Rock Cafe, 22-24 Clinton Street, Boston, MA 02109). In addition to meeting the team, the Boston Bruins Foundation will be holding live and silent auctions to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and the Ellis Memorial & Eldredge House. Fans, 21 plus, are invited to purchase tickets to the DVD launch party at bostonbruins.com.

“RINKSIDE CHATS” RETURN:

BostonBruins.com’s online interactive feature “Rinkside Chats,” presented by Covidien, have returned with Blake Wheeler, David Krejci, General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Byron Bitz participating in the first chats of the season. The Rinkside Chats will run every other Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. ET for the remainder of the season on BostonBruins.com. The next chat is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 with the guest to be determined at a later date.

RINKSIDE CHAT RUNDOWN (all chat transcripts can be read on BostonBruins.com):
February 11: Blake Wheeler
February 25: David Krejci
March 4 (Trade Deadline Day): Peter Chiarelli
March 11: Byron Bitz
March 25: Guest TBD

“BRU FEST” DATES SET:
On Thursday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 31 the Boston Bruins will hold their third and fourth Bru Fest events of the 2008-09 season sponsored by Boston’s own Samuel Adams brewery.

The outdoor festivities will start at 5:00 p.m. and conclude at 7:00 p.m. (with last call at 6:45 p.m.) in the West Plaza outside of the TD Banknorth Garden. Tickets to Bru Fest can be purchased online at bostonbruins.com and cost $46.50. The $46.50 covers admission to the Bru Fest party, a voucher for one free beer or free soda, discounted concessions and a ticket to that evening’s Bruins home game. The B’s take on the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, March 19, at 7:00 p.m. ET and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, March 31, at 7:00 p.m. ET.

BRUINS BY THE NUMBERS (as of March 13th)
13- Number of games left in regular season
5- Number of games remaining against teams in playoff position as of March 13.

33- NHL best plus/minus rating for Bruins Dennis Wideman and David Krejci and New Jersey’s Travis Zajac

94- Points the Bruins had during the 2007-08 season
97- Points the Bruins have through 69 games of the 2008-09 season
104- Points the Montreal Canadiens had during the 2007-08 season to earn the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference

THE STAT OF THE WEEK, COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…
As of Friday, March 13 Boston’s “magic number” to clinch a playoff spot is at seven. In order to clinch a playoff berth, the Bruins need to amass more points than SEVEN Eastern Conference opponents. They have already attained more points (97) than can be reached by FIVE clubs: NY Islanders (maximum 82), Tampa Bay (86), Atlanta (88), Toronto (93) and Ottawa (94).

This means that the Bruins need to overtake two of the remaining Eastern Conference teams to clinch a playoff spot. If two teams finish with the same number of points, the first tie-breaker is wins. All opponents would have more wins than Boston if they tie in points, so Boston will need one more point than the opponent’s maximum to clinch.

The “magic number” is any combination of points gained by Boston and/or loss by the opponent.

Their status vs. the remaining Eastern Conference teams:

Team            (Current Conf. Rank)    Games Remaining     Maximum Points  “Magic Number”
Carolina       (8)                                    12                                   102                          6
Buffalo          (10)                                  14                                   103                          7
Florida          (9)                                    14                                   105                          9
Pittsburgh    (6)                                    13                                   105                          9
Rangers       (7)                                   14                                    106                          10
Montreal       (5)                                   14                                    108                          12
Philly             (4)                                   16                                    114                          18
Washington (3)                                   13                                    116                          20
New Jersey (2)                                    15                                    121                         25


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


Saturday, March 14 (Boston, MA)
-Game vs. New York Islanders, 1:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN; RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Pittsburgh, PA

Sunday, March 15 (Pittsburgh, PA)
-Game vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 3:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN; RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Boston, MA

Monday, March 16 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET

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

Wednesday, March 18 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. ET

Thursday, March 19 (Boston, MA)
-Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. ET
Please note: This practice is not open to the public
-Game vs. Los Angeles Kings 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN; RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)

Friday, March 20 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET

AROUND TOWN
What: Boston Bruins Foundation St. Patrick’s Day Silent Auction
-Throughout the Bruins/Islanders contest the Boston Bruins Foundation is holding a special St. Patrick’s Day silent auction
-Fans can celebrate the holiday by bidding on autographed Bruins jerseys of Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Marc Savard, Tim Thomas and Shawn Thornton.
-The white jerseys have the player’s name in green with their number centered in a green shamrock on the back.
-All of the proceeds from the silent auction benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation
When: Saturday, March 14 throughout the Bruins home game against the New York Islanders
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
-The Boston Bruins Foundation table is located at Loge 4, Section 4
Bruins participating: Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Marc Savard, Tim Thomas, Shawn Thornton

What: Squirt Tier IV State Championship Hockey Tournament
-Squirt Tier IV teams will compete over the course of the weekend in a tournament to determine the State Champion at their respective age and skill level
-Fans in attendance can enter a raffle to win autographed Bruins memorabilia
When: Saturday, March 14, from 10:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
Where: Olympia Center, 125 Capital Drive, Springfield, MA 01089
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Hummer

What: Girls Tier III 14 & under State Championship Hockey Tournament
-Eight teams of girls Tier III, 14 & under, will be competing over the course of the weekend in a tournament to determine the State Champion at their respective age and skill level
-Fans in attendance can enter the raffle to win autographed Bruins memorabilia
When: Saturday, March 14, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Flynn Rink, Woodland Road, Medford, MA 02155
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Hummer

What: Girls Tier III 10 & under State Championship Hockey Tournament
-Six teams of girls Tier III, 10 and under, will be competing over the course of the weekend in a tournament to determine the State Champion at their respective age and skill level
-Fans in attendance can enter a raffle to win autographed Bruins memorabilia
When: Saturday, March 14, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stoneham Arena, 101 Montvale Avenue, Stoneham, MA 02180
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Hummer

What: PASS Clinic
-The 9th clinic in a 10-clinic series conducted by the Boston Bruins and sponsored by TD Banknorth
-The PASS or Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters, focuses on teaching youth hockey players between the ages of 8 and 12 skating and shooting skills.
-The Norwood Nuggets will be participating in 2 separate clinics divided by age.
When: Monday, March 16 from 4:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m.
-9 and 10-year-olds will be on ice from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
-11 and 12-year-olds will be on the ice from 5:00 p.m. – 6 :00 p.m.
Where: Roche Arena, 1275 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins alumni Tommy Songin and Bob Sweeney

What: “Fill The Skate” Night
-Prior to the Boston Bruins game on Thursday, March 19, members of the Boston Fire Department will be collecting donations to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Similar to the Fire Department’s “Fill The Boot campaign” where donations are collected in a fireman’s boot, the donations during the Bruins fundraiser will be collected in skates.
-Every fan helping to “Fill the Skate” with donations will be entered to win Bruins autographed merchandise.
-The MDA will be the Boston Bruins Foundation beneficiary. Donations can be made located at Loge Section 4.
-The Boston Bruins Foundation raffle items for the evening includes a team autographed, authentic, Boston Fire boot.
-Children suffering from muscular dystrophy will be the bench assistants, will participate in the high-five experience and have a meet and greet with Shawn Thornton and Mark Stuart following the game.
When: Thursday, March 19, from 5:30 p.m. until end of game
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
-At each of the entrance turnstiles
Bruins Participating: Current Bruins players Shawn Thornton and Mark Stuart, Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Boston Bruins mascot, Blades

What: Samuel Adams “Bru Fest”
-The Bruins and Samuel Adams will host the third Bru Fest pregame party of the 2008-09 season
-Tickets include: A seat at the Bruins game, access to Bru Fest located in the front parking lot of the TD Banknorth Garden, a Samuel Adams beer, reduced concession, live music and giveaways!
-The cost of tickets start at $46.50
When: Thursday, March 19, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. before the Bruins/Kings contest
Where: TD Banknorth Garden Parking lot, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Boston Bruins mascot, Blades

MEDIA...
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.

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

TICKET INFO...
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.

LEADERS AND STATS...
BRUINS ON THE NHL LEADERBOARD (AS OF MARCH 13):
-The Bruins lead the entire NHL in goal differential (+71), goals for (231) and goals against (160).
-The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference in points (97) and goals for (231).
-The Bruins own the NHL’s fourth ranked power play (22.6%) and are tied for twelfth in penalty kill (82.1%).
-Marc Savard is eighth in the league in points with 75 (E. Malkin 97) and is tied for fourth in the league in assists with 54 (E. Malkin 67).
-Dennis Wideman is tied for eighth in the league in points scored by a defenseman with 44 (M. Green 58).
-David Krejci and Dennis Wideman lead all skaters with a +33 rating and Blake Wheeler is fourth with a +32.
-Milan Lucic is fifth in the NHL in hits with 223 (C. Clutterbuck 275).
-Blake Wheeler leads the rookies plus/minus ranking with a +32. He is tied for fourth in goals scored by a rookie with 17 (B. Ryan 23), is fourth in assists by a rookie with 21 (K. Versteeg 28) and is fourth among rookies in points with 38 (K. Versteeg 46).
-Tim Thomas ranks first in both Goals Against Average (2.08) and Save Percentage (.932).

HARDWARE...
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
Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Tim Thomas- Eastern Conference All-Stars
Milan Lucic, Blake Wheeler- NHL YoungStars participants
Claude Julien- Eastern Conference All-Star head coach
Blake Wheeler- NHL YoungStars Game Most Valuable Player
Zdeno Chara- NHL’s Hardest Shot Competition winner (105.4 MPH, NHL record)

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS (AS OF MARCH 13):
Goals
1. P. Kessel    29
2. M. Ryder 23
t3. M. Savard   21
t3. D. Krejci   21
t5. B. Wheeler  17
t5. C. Kobasew  17

Assists
1. M. Savard    54
2. D. Krejci    41
t3. M. Recchi   32
t3. D. Wideman  32
t5. Z. Chara    25
t5. P. Bergeron 25

Points
1. M. Savard    75
2. D. Krejci    62
3. P. Kessel    50
4. M. Recchi    47
5. D. Wideman   44

Plus/Minus
t1. D. Krejci   +33
t1. D. Wideman  +33
3. B. Wheeler   +32
4. Z. Chara +27
5. M. Ryder +26

Penalty Minutes
1. S. Montador  125
2. S. Thornton  117
3. M. Lucic 98
4. Z. Chara 76
5. M. Stuart    70

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