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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 4/4 - 4/11

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
MAKING SENSE OF THE PLAYOFF PICTURE:  Heading in to the final weekend of the regular season, there is still much to be decided in the Eastern Conference.  Currently five teams are jockeying for the final four playoff spots.  Pittsburgh, Montreal, New Jersey and the New York Rangers are in, however their seeds can potentially change depending on the results of their final games.  Meanwhile, the fates of Boston, Carolina, Ottawa, Washington and Philadelphia are yet to be decided.


Below are the current Eastern Conference Standings with point totals, (games remaining), and opponents:
1-Pittsburgh Penguins 102 (1) - 4/6 @ Phi
2-Montreal Canadiens 102 (1) - 4/5 Tor
3-Carolina Hurricanes 92 (1) -  4/4 Fla
4-New Jersey Devils 97 (2) - 4/4 @ Phi; 4/6 NYR
5-New York Rangers 95 (2) - 4/4 NYI; 4/6 @ NJ
6-Ottawa Senators 94 (1) - 4/4 Bos
7-Boston Bruins 92 (2) - 4/4 @ Ott; 4/5 Buf
8-Washington Capitals 92 (1) - 4/5 Fla
9-Philadelphia Flyers 91 (2) - 4/4 NJ; 4/6 Pit
10-Buffalo Sabres 88*
11-Florida Panthers 83*
12-Toronto Maple Leafs 80*
13-New York Islanders 75*
14-Atlanta Thrashers 72*
15-Tampa Bay Lightning 67*

*- mathematically eliminated from playoff contention

CARRY THE ONE, MULTIPLY BY PI r2…:  To GUARANTEE their spot in the postseason, the Bruins need a minimum of three points in their final two games.  However, there are a number of other scenarios that can secure a spot as well, which involve losses by teams such as Ottawa, Carolina, Washington and Philadelphia.  Always keep in mind the tiebreaking procedures: 1.  Fewer number of games played (this becomes irrelevant after the end of the regular season and every team has played 82 games). 2. Higher number of wins 3. Total points in season series between the two clubs 4.  Better overall goal differential

Therefore, the Bruins can clinch a playoff spot as soon as tonight if any of the three outcomes happen:

1. A Bruins win and any Philadelphia loss against New Jersey (regulation or OT).

2. A Bruins win and any Carolina loss against Florida (regulation or OT).

3. A Bruins win or OT loss and a Carolina loss in regulation against Florida.

TV ALERT:  Due to a conflict with the Red Sox, tonight's Bruins/Senators game will be broadcast on NESN-Plus.  Fans should look on www.nesn.com to find out exactly which channel it will be in their area, as the station numbers vary depending on your cable provider.

RINKSIDE CHATS:  BostonBruins.com finished their regular season Rinkside Chats series on Wednesday, April 2 when Patrice Bergeron joined fans for an hour-long session.  Be sure to visit BostonBruins.com on Sunday, April 6 to find out next Wednesday's guest.

RINKSIDE CHAT RUNDOWN
02.20: Tim Thomas
02.27: Milan Lucic
03.05: Marc Savard
03.12: Dennis Wideman
03.19: Shawn Thornton
03.26: Andrew Alberts
04.02: Patrice Bergeron
04.09: TBD

LEADERBOARD:
Bruins forward Marc Savard is third in the NHL in assists with 63 behind Joe Thornton and Pavel Datsyuk, while his 78 points are tied for 20th overall in the league.

AROUND TOWN: 
04.05.08:  The Bruins will host Fan Appreciation night at the Garden for their final regular season home game of the 2007-2008 season.  The team will also present four awards prior to the game's puck drop:  the Eddie Shore Award (exceptional hustle and determination), the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy (outstanding performance during home games), the John B. Bucyk Award (outstanding contributions to charitable endeavors) and the WBZ Three Stars Awards (Three Stars of the 2007-2008 season).

04.05.08: The Boston Bruins Foundation will once again be running it's much anticipated game used stick auction at the final regular season home game.

Autographed game used sticks from ALL of your favorite Bruins will be auctioned off in-game to benefit area children's charities!

Stop by the Boston Bruins Foundation table located on level 4 at section 4 during the next two home games to place your bid!

Bidding will conclude with 5 minutes remaining in the 2nd intermission of the 4/5/08 home game. Winners can pick up the item that night or arrange for pickup/delivery.

The Boston Bruins and the New England Sports Museum have partnered to present the Stand Strong Character Search field trip program. During the morning of select Boston Bruins home game, field trip program students participate in a scavenger hunt designed to guide them through the museum and encourage them to utilize interactive exhibits and to examine artifacts. Interpretive panels relating to character in sports are spread through out the Museum.  Staff leads students through a discussion of the concepts of Determination, Courage, Fairness, Teamwork, and Responsibility.

The Boston Bruins have partnered with Village Automotive Group for their Keys to Success program.  The program aims to provide high school administrators with the tools to motivate students to achieve academic success.  Students have the chance to qualify for various prizes by exemplifying achievement of success in areas such as grade point average, improved attendance, tutoring, and volunteer work.  The grand prize is a car courtesy of Village Automotive Group, The Bruins have partnered with the program to provide incentives and to be involved with in-school rallies and events.

UPCOMING GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE (PRACTICE SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE; ALL TIMES EASTERN STANDARD TIME):
Saturday, April 5 (Boston, MA)
- Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. ET- 11:00 a.m. ET
- Game vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
Sunday, April 6
- TBD
Monday, April 7
- TBD
Tuesday, April 8
- TBD
Wednesday, April 9
- TDB
Thursday, April 10
- TBD
Friday, April 11
- TBD

Media availability for the week will be determined on Sunday, April 6.

BRUINS POINTS LEADERS AS OF 04/04:
RANK/PLAYER GOALS/ASSISTS/POINTS
1. M. Savard        15/63/78
2. M. Sturm     27/29/56
3. Z. Chara     16/34/50

ICE GIRLS ONLINE:  Be sure to visit the recently-launched Ice Girls homepage on BostonBruins.com for pictures, profiles and appearance schedules of the 2007-2008 Bruins Ice Girls.

HARD HAT TALLY:  Alternate Captain Glen Murray introduced the Bruins Hard Hat to the locker room on February 19 following the team’s win over Carolina.  The Hard Hat is awarded to the hardest working Bruin during a B’s win and is selected by the previous game's Hard Hat recipient.  Here are the winners thus far…

02.19 at CAR: Milan Lucic
02.21 at FLA: Marco Sturm
02.23 at TB: P.J. Axelsson
02.26 vs. OTT: Shawn Thornton
02.28 vs. PIT: Vladimir Sobotka
03.01 vs. ATL: Tim Thomas
03.08 vs. WSH: Zdeno Chara
03.15 vs. PHI: Andrew Ference
03.25 at TOR: Petteri Nokelainen, Jeremy Reich, Shawn Thornton (The Fourth Line)
03.27 vs. TOR: Peter Schaefer
03.29 vs. OTT: David Krejci

ON THIS WEEK'S BUZZ:  Check out NESN's weekly show The Buzz for the latest Bruins happenings on and off the ice.  On this week's show, join Hazel Mae as she visits WBCN 104.1 FM studios for the "Cuts for a Cause" head-shaving event with Aaron Ward, Andrew Alberts, Dennis Wideman, Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron and catch an all new five questions with Andrew Ference and Dennis Wideman.  The Buzz airs at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 5.

TEXT IN YOUR QUESTIONS:  NESN encourages fans to text their questions on gamedays to NESN at 83733 to have them answered live by NESN analyst Andy Brickley during the game or by Bruins coaches and players during intermissions and postgame interviews.

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