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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 4/11 - 4/17

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BRUINS WRAP UP REGULAR SEASON WITH TWO GAME ROAD TRIP TO EMPIRE STATE: With the top seed in the Eastern Conference sewn up, the Bruins conclude the 2008-2009 regular season with road games at Buffalo on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET and at the New York Islanders on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. ET. After their overtime victory against Montreal on Thursday, the Bruins now have 114 points, which is their highest point total since they finished the 1971-72 season with 119 points.


DOWN TO TWO: The top seeded Bruins will face either the Montreal Canadiens or New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. Montreal and New York are currently tied with 93 points, however the Rangers own the tie-breaker over the Canadiens with one more win (42 to 41). Montreal hosts the Penguins on Saturday, while the Rangers visit the Flyers in Philadelphia on Sunday.

MEDIA INFORMATION FOR PLAYOFFS: The Bruins Communications Department is expected to release information regarding playoff schedules, credential policies, hotel information and other pertinent playoff-related information for members of the media on Monday, April 13.

PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY WATCH: The Bruins will need to win their final two contests and have the Sharks lose in their final game of the season to capture the Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the NHL team with the most points during the regular season. San Jose currently has 117 points with one game to play, while the Bruins are at 114 with two to play. The Sharks close out their regular season at Los Angeles on Saturday.

B’S RECALL LEHTONEN: Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has recalled forward Mikko Lehtonen from the Providence Bruins on an emergency basis (American Hockey League). This is Lehtonen’s first career recall to the NHL. He is expected to join the Boston Bruins today and accompany the team on their two game road trip to Buffalo and Long Island this weekend.

Lehtonen was the P-Bruins’ leading goal scorer this year after potting 28 goals in 72 games. His 10 power play strikes ranked tied for first and his 53 total points were the fourth most on the squad. 2008-2009 was the first professional season for the 6’3’’ 196-pound winger from Espoo, Finland, as he played the last four years with the Blues of the Finnish Elite League.

The 22 year-old Lehtonen was originally drafted by the Bruins in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

GROW ONE FOR THE TEAM: The Boston Bruins are inviting fans to grow their own playoff beards to support the B's during their playoff run by kicking-off the "Bruins Beard-A-Thon" on www.bostonbruins.com. The 2009 "Bruins Beard-A-Thon" gives Bruins fans the opportunity to show their support for the team and raise money for the Boston Bruins Foundation.

Fans can create their "Bruins Beard-A-Thon" profile by uploading their photo at www.bostonbruins.com. Participants can choose to grow their own beard and update their growth throughout the playoffs or they can grow their beard virtually by choosing the ‘Build-A-Beard’ option, giving women and children an opportunity to get involved.

Beard growers may pledge themselves by making a donation and their friends and family may also pledge their efforts. Donations can be made in two ways, a one-time pledge (minimum $10) or a daily pledge (minimum $0.50/day). Throughout the playoffs, fans will have the opportunity to win tickets if their beard is voted the best on BostonBruins.com. At the end of the contest there will be various prizes for the best and worst beards as well as a prize for most money raised.

RINKSIDE CHATS: BostonBruins.com’s online interactive feature “Rinkside Chats” Presented by Covidien gives fans the opportunity to chat live with Bruins players, alumni, coaching staff and management. Visit BostonBruins.com for the latest updates to the Rinkside Chats schedule.

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 20: Derek Sanderson
April 1: Matt Hunwick

BRUINS BY THE NUMBERS:
33: Phil Kessel scored his 33rd goal of the season against Montreal on Thursday. That is the most goals scored by a Bruin since 2002-03 (Glen Murray, 44 and Joe Thornton, 36).

19: Zdeno Chara scored his 19th goal of the season against Montreal on Thursday. That is the most goals scored by a Boston defenseman since Ray Bourque netted 19 in 1996-97.

4: Number of Bruins who have played in all 80 games to date thus far this season (Marc Savard, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Mark Stuart)

3: Number of Bruins who played in all 82 games last season (Glen Metropolit, Mark Stuart, and Phil Kessel)

THE STAT OF THE WEEK, COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…
With two games to play, the Bruins goaltending tandem of Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas are the leading candidates for the William Jennings Trophy, which is awarded to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it in the regular season. The Bruins have allowed the fewest goals in the league with 188, while Minnesota is second having allowed 193. Both teams have two games remaining, with Minnesota playing Nashville at home on Friday and at Columbus on Saturday.

Coincedently, Fernandez won the Jennings Trophy in 2006-2007 as a member of the Wild along with teammate Niklas Backstrom.

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

Saturday, April 11 (Buffalo, NY)
-Game vs. Buffalo Sabres 4:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN; RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Long Island, NY
 
Sunday, April 12 (Long Island, NY)
-Game vs. New York Islanders 5:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN; RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Boston, MA

Monday, April 13 (TBD)
-TBD

Tuesday, Apri 14 (TBD)
-TBD

Wednesday, April 15 (TBD)
-TBD

Thursday, April 16 (TBD)
-TBD

Friday, April 17 (TBD)
-TBD

AROUND TOWN:
What: The Hockey Project
-The Hockey Project is a program that takes at-risk boy and girls ages 10 to 12 in urban communities and puts them on the ice.
-The Hockey Project provides inner-city kids with certified training, equipment, and ice-time as well as scholarships for participation in youth leagues and summer hockey camps.
When: Monday, April 13, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St, Springfield, MA 01103
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Hummer

What: PASS Clinic
-The 10th and final 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.
When: Tuesday, April 15, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Where: Icenter, 60 Lowell Rd, Salem, NH 03079
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Alumni, Tommy Songin

What: “Bruins Beard-A-Thon”
-The Boston Bruins are inviting fans to grow their own playoff beards to support the B’s during their playoff run by kicking-off the “Bruins Beard-A-Thon”
-By “growing one for the team” and inviting family, friends and business associates to pledge their playoff beards they will be raising money for the Boston Bruins Foundation.
-Fans can create their “Bruins Beard-A-Thon” profile by uploading their photo at www.bostonbruins.com.
When: Beginning Thursday, April 9 and continuing throughout the Bruins playoff run
Where: www.bostonbruins.com

MEDIA:
THE BRICKS -- The Postseason version of The Bricks – NESN Analyst Andy Brickley’s countdown of the best moments of the 2008-2009 season – airs on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. He will take a look back at his preseason prognostications and look ahead to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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: This week’s Buzz is the final show, and host Naoko Funayama will recap the top 10 Bruins games of the regular season.

Buzz Air Dates
4/11   3:00/7:30pm
4/12   12:30/3:00pm
4/13    6:00pm
4/16   7:00pm

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 APRIL 10):
-The Bruins lead the entire NHL in goal differential (+79) and goals against (188).
-The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference in points (114), most wins (52), fewest losses (18) and goals against (188).
-The Bruins are tied for the NHL’s fourth ranked power play (23.3%) and are tied for eleventh in penalty kill (82.3%).
-Marc Savard is tied for tenth in the league in points with 85 (E. Malkin 112) and is sixth in the league in assists with 61 (E. Malkin 78).
-Zdeno Chara is tied for tenth in the league in points scored by a defenseman with 50 (M. Green 73) and Dennis Wideman is tied for twelfth with 49.
-David Krejci is second in the entire NHL in plus/minus with +36, Blake Wheeler is third and is tops among the rookies with +35, Dennis Wideman is tied for fourth with +33 and Michael Ryder is tied for ninth with +28.
-Milan Lucic is fifth in NHL in hits with 261 (C. Clutterbuck 346).
-Shawn Thornton is tied for fifth in amount of away fights with 11 and is tied for thirteenth in total NHL fights with 17.
-Blake Wheeler leads the rookies plus/minus ranking with a +35. He is tied for fifth in goals scored by a rookie with 21 (B. Ryan 30), is tied for ninth in assists by a rookie with 22 (K. Versteeg 30) and is sixth among rookies in points with 43 (B. Ryan 56).
-Matt Hunwick is third in rookie plus/minus with +18.
-Tim Thomas ranks first in both Goals Against Average (2.10) and Save Percentage (.933).

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)
David Krejci- NESN’s Seventh Player Award (voted online on NESN.com by the fans)
Milan Lucic – Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle and determination)
Aaron Ward – John P. Bucyk Award (great charitable contributions)
Marc Savard – Elizabeth Dufrense Trophy (outstanding performance during home games)
Marc Savard – Bruins First Star (performance during home games throughout entire season)
Zdeno Chara – Bruins Second Star (performance during home games throughout entire season)
Tim Thomas – Bruins Third Star (performance during home games throughout entire season)

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS (AS OF APRIL 10):

Goals
1. P. Kessel    33
2. M. Ryder    26
3. M. Savard    24
t4. D. Krejci    22
t4. M. Recchi    22
5. C. Kobasew    20

Assists
1. M. Savard    61
2. D. Krejci    50
3. M. Recchi    37
4. D. Wideman    36
t5. Z. Chara    31
t5. P. Bergeron    31

Points
1. M. Savard    85
2. D. Krejci    72
3. M. Recchi    59
4. P. Kessel    56
5. M. Ryder    51

Plus/Minus
1. D. Krejci    +36
2. B. Wheeler    +35
3. D. Wideman    +33
4. M. Ryder    +28
5. M. Savard    +24

Penalty Minutes
1. S. Montador    141
2. M. Lucic    134
3. S. Thornton    123
4. Z. Chara    95
5. M. Stuart    74

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