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Bruins Week Ahead April 8-15

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
THIS WEEK’S NEWS, NOTES AND NUMBERS:

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
: The Bruins will announce their playoff game/practice schedule, credential information and media availability late Sunday night, April 10 after the NHL’s regular season officially concludes.

FAN APPRECIATION DAY:
The Boston Bruins will host "Fan Appreciation Day" during the Bruins/Senators contest at the TD Garden on Saturday, April 9 at 1 p.m. in an effort to thank fans for their continued support throughout the 2010-11 season. Immediately following the Bruins/Senators game, Bruins players will remain on the ice and throw t-shirts into the stands, then hand 23 fans that were chosen throughout the game the "Shirt off their Backs."

CUTS FOR A CAUSE RAISES OVER 40K:
Shawn Thornton and 98.5 The Sports Hub raised more than $40,000 at their Cuts for a Cause event on Thursday ($42,722.35).

TWO GAMES LEFT: The Bruins have just two regular season games left before the playoffs begin. On Saturday they will square off against the Ottawa Senators at the TD Garden (1:00 p.m., TV: NESN, RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub). The B’s have gone 4-1-0 against the 13th-place Sens this season, outscoring Ottawa 15-4 in those games. Jason Spezza paces the Senators with 21=35=56 totals, despite only playing in 61 games so far this season. Defenseman Chris Phillips has the lowest plus/minus rating in the NHL at minus-34.

On Sunday, the Black & Gold travel to New Jersey to wrap up the regular season against the Devils (3:00 p.m., TV: NESN, RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub). The Devils have managed to get only 169 goals this season, the fewest in the league (2nd fewest: EDM- 189). Ilya Kovalchuk reached the 30-goal plateau for the eighth straight season. He only has 28 assists this year, and this could be the first year since 2002-03 that he has not reached the 30-assist mark. Boston has gone 3-0-0 against New Jersey this year, outscoring the Devils 11-2.

POTENTIAL PLAYOFF OPPONENTS: There are currently three teams that the B’s could face in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs: The Montreal Canadiens, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. Here is a statistical breakdown of how the Bruins have performed against each of these teams this season:

MONTREAL CANADIENS (43-30-8, 6th in Eastern Conference)

BOS record vs. MTL: 2-3-1
BOS goals: 22
MTL goals: 20
Leading BOS scorer vs. MTL: Milan Lucic (4-5=9)
Leading MTL scorer vs. BOS: Brian Gionta (5-1=6) and Max Pacioretty (4-2=6)
BOS PP vs. MTL: 3-24 (12.5%)
BOS PK vs. MTL: 19-28 (67.9%)
Leading MTL scorer this season: Tomas Plekanec (21-35=56)
MTL goaltender: Carey Price (37-28-6, 2.37 GAA, .923 SV%, 8 SO)

Notes: In their six meetings this season, the B’s and Habs have combined for 337 penalty minutes, with 182 of those coming in an 8-6 Boston win on February 9 at the TD Garden… Carey Price started all six games against the Bruins and had a 3.46 GAA and .899 SV%. Price is also tied for the league lead in wins (37) and is third in minutes played (4,146)… The Bruins have fought more against Montreal than any other opponent this season (10 fights)… Boston and Montreal have met more times in the playoffs (32) than any other two teams in the NHL.

BUFFALO SABRES (41-29-10, 7th in Eastern Conference)

BOS record vs. BUF: 2-2-2
BOS goals: 21
BUF goals: 22
Leading BOS scorer vs. BUF: Zdeno Chara (1-4=5) and David Krejci (1-4=5)
Leading BUF scorer vs. BOS: Drew Stafford (7-1=8) and Jason Pominville (3-5=8)
BOS PP vs. BUF: 2-22 (9.1%)
BOS PK vs. BUF: 19-26 (73.1%)
Leading BUF scorer this season: Thomas Vanek (31-39=70)
BUF goaltender: Ryan Miller (33-22-8, 2.60 GAA, .915 SV%, 5 SO)

Notes: Cody McCormick has 34 PIM against Boston this year… Tyler Ennis is fourth among rookies in points with 19-19=48 totals… After winning the Vezina Trophy last year, Ryan Miller is not in the top 10 in goals against, save percentage, wins or shutouts… Three of the six matchups between these teams this season have gone to overtime… Buffalo and Boston faced off in the first round of the playoffs last year, with the Bruins prevailing in six games.

NEW YORK RANGERS (43-33-5, 8th in Eastern Conference)

BOS record vs. NYR: 1-3-0
BOS goals: 8
NYR goals: 11
Leading BOS scorer vs. NYR: Nathan Horton (2-2=4)
Leading NYR scorer vs. BOS: Derek Stepan (2-2=4) and Michael Sauer (1-3=4)
BOS PP vs. NYR: 1-11 (9.1%)
BOS PK vs. NYR: 17-19 (89.5%)
Leading NYR scorer this season: Brandon Dubinsky (24-29=53)
NYR goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (35-27-5, 2.28 GAA, .923 SV%, 11 SO)

Notes: Henrik Lundqvist leads the league in shutouts with 11, including one against Boston on March 26… Ryan Callahan is out for the season after sustaining a broken leg on March 26 blocking a shot from Zdeno Chara… The Bruins and Rangers have not met in the playoffs since 1973.

EXCHANGING PLEASANTRIES: The Bruins have not fought in their last three games and currently sit in second place in the NHL in fighting majors with 70 (STL- 78). This season, the Bruins have gone 24-12-7 when a fight occurs, including 8-3-3 when there are multiple fights in one game. The B’s have fought against 22 different teams. Shawn Thornton has dropped the gloves 14 times, more than the entire roster of the Detroit Red Wings. Gregory Campbell has fought 11 times this year, a career-high for the 27-year-old. David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille and Tim Thomas all recorded their first career fight this season. In the AHL, the P-Bruins have fought 85 times this season, getting 26 fights from Nathan McIver and 20 from Lane MacDermid.

THE STAT OF THE WEEK, COURTESY OF THE BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE: Tim Thomas currently leads the NHL in goals against average and should he retain that standing, it will be the third straight season a Boston goalie has led the league in that category (Thomas, 2.10 in 2008-09; Rask, 1.97 in 2009-10) … The last team with goaltenders who had the NHL’s top goals against average for three consecutive years was Montreal, as Ken Dryden or Michel Larocque led the league in four straight seasons from 1975-76 through 1978-79.

BRUINS, NHL MOURN MCGUIRE: Edward John “EJ” McGuire, Vice President of the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Bureau and one of the most beloved and respected men in hockey, died of cancer on April 7. He was 58.

McGuire had been director of Central Scouting since 2005. Prior to that, over nearly four decades in the sport, the congenial Buffalo native served as a head coach at the collegiate, junior and AHL levels; as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators and as a scout. He also served as the series supervisor of Bruins playoff series.

"The National Hockey League was privileged to benefit from EJ's expertise and enthusiasm, both of which were limitless,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “EJ loved scouting games and loved the internal debates over the strengths and weaknesses of Entry Draft prospects. The way he ran Central Scouting made it vitally important to every one of our Clubs.

“The NHL family has suffered a tremendous loss,” Commissioner Bettman added. “As we celebrate EJ’s contributions and mourn his passing, we send our condolences – and our gratitude – to EJ's family and friends."

70 AND COUNTING… After Thursday’s capacity crowd at the Garden, the Bruins have now sold out 70 straight games (regular season and postseason, does not include Winter Classic at Fenway or 2010 Premiere Game in Prague). The Bruins sold out every regular and postseason game during the 2010 calendar year, the first time the organization has done so since the 1972 calendar year.

1ST GOAL POOL ON TWITTER: Congrats to the following followers of @NHLBruins who correctly guessed Mark Recchi as the Bruins first goal scorer during the Bruins/Thrashers game on Saturday, April 2: @AnthonyDugas6, @leiliani, @TKirwin, @Ksim23, @emily6108, @kflo12, @mkdoosh.

Recchi scored the first Bruins goal at 4:34 of the first period on Saturday.

Also, here are those who correctly guessed Shawn Thornton as the Bruins first goal scorer during the Bruins/Islanders game on Wednesday: @OneStopToGlory, @knowles79, @bruins22, @vickievictoria, @MmMmmBlueLabel, @amandaklep, @PeachesOReilly, @jennifer03878.

Thornton scored the first Bruins goal at 19:59 of the first period on Wednesday.

The Bruins first goal pool takes place on Twitter just before the puck drop every Bruins home game.

BOSTON MEDIA TWEET OF THE WEEK: Comcast Sportsnet’s Mike Giardi on Thursday, April 7 after seeing CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty’s new ‘do after the Bruins Cuts for a Cause event: @MikeGiardi “Joey, great job at "Cuts for a Cause" but damn...you might need to borrow one of Curran's hats.”

TWEET OF THE WEEK LEADERBOARD: Here are the current standings on the Tweet of the Week Leaderboard through tweets on April 8:
@HackswithHaggs: 3
@DJ_Bean: 3
@TheBruinsBlog: 2
@ESPNJoeyMac: 2
@douglasflynn: 1
@kluedeke29: 1
@MurphysLaw74: 1
@NaokoFunayama: 1
@MikeGiardi: 1

B’S WINDBREAKER TALLY: After a Bruins win, the team has begun awarding what can best be characterized as a late 80s Bruins windbreaker to the player who has the best game. The player then wears the jacket in the locker room during the media access period and hangs it in his stall until the team’s next win. After the next win, he will select a different teammate to pass it along to. Here is the tally thus far:
3/22 vs. NJ: Milan Lucic
3/24 vs. MTL: Zdeno Chara
3/27 @PHI: Tim Thomas
3/29 vs. CHI: Mark Recchi
4/2 vs. ATL: Tuukka Rask
4/6 vs. NYI: Daniel Paille

Worth mention is that the windbreaker was purchased on eBay by defenseman Andrew Ference for $35.

BRUINS PROSPECT REPORT: The Bruins Communications Staff has created the Boston Bruins Prospect Report, which will be emailed out every two weeks. The Report will contain updated statistical information, news and notes on all players in the Bruins system, as well as a “Prospect Spotlight” section that will highlight two players in a feature article format. The latest report was sent on March 31 and featured P-Bruins defenseman Ryan Button (in Providence on an Amateur Tryout Agreement) and Kitchener Rangers (OHL) forward Tyler Randell. The final Prospect Report will be sent April 15.

AROUND TOWN

WHAT: SKATE WITH THE ICE GIRLS
The Boston Bruins Ice Girls will be participating in their “Skate with the Ice Girls” free open skate program on Sunday, April 10. Bruins Ice Girls will be skating with kids of all ages, taking pictures and signing autographs. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to win player-autographed memorabilia.
WHEN: Sunday, April 10, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
WHERE: Chelmsford Forum, 2 Brick Kiln Road, North Billerica, MA 01862
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Boston Bruins Ice Girls

WHAT: WARRIOR CLINIC
The Boston Bruins and Warrior Hockey have partnered to host six on-ice sessions as part of the “Warrior Clinic Series” throughout New England this season. The clinic features two hours of on-ice instruction led by Boston Bruins Alumni and members of the Boston Bruins Youth Hockey Development Team. The session will focus on developing player’s individual offensive and defensive games, while also improving overall team play. Each participant will receive a gift bag, jersey and raffle ticket for the chance to win Bruins autographed memorabilia and Warrior hockey gear. The newest Warrior equipment will be showcased throughout the event and a private Bruins Alumni autograph session will be held for all clinic participants.
WHEN: Monday, April 11 from 6:10 p.m. – 7:50 p.m.
WHERE: Burlington Ice Palace, 36 Ray Ave., Burlington, MA 01803
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Boston Bruins alumni Tommy Songin

WHAT: BRUINS WIVES AND GIRLFRIENDS COOKING CLASS AND WINE TASTING
On Monday, April 11, the Bruins wives and girlfriends will head to the restaurant Dante for a cooking class and wine tasting. Chef Dante de Magistris will be teaching the girls to make meatballs three different ways and about the different wines to compliment their meal.
WHEN: Monday, April 11 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Restaurant Dante, 40 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge, MA 02142
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Sheena Burletoff, Tatiana Chara, Brittany Carneige, Tammy Horton, Kim Lazur, Jasmiina Nikkila and Rebecca Seidenberg

WHAT: JUMP ROPE FOR HEART SCHOOL VISIT
As part of the Jump Rope for Heart program the Boston Bruins mascot, Blades and the Boston Bruins Ice Girls will be making a special visit to the Grafton Elementary School. During the assembly, they will discuss the importance of eating healthy and exercising to maintain a healthy heart.
WHEN: Thursday, April 15 from 6:10 p.m. – 7:50 p.m.
WHERE: Roosevelt Elementary School, 1006 Grafton Street, Worcester, MA 01604
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Boston Bruins mascot, Blades and the Boston Bruins Ice Girls

WHAT: BELLE OF THE BALL SHOPPING BOUTIQUE
The Boston Bruins Ice Girls have once again donated their time and energy into collecting new or gently used prom, cocktail and evening dresses in support of Belle of the Ball.  This year the Ice Girls collected 233 dresses. The Ice Girls will be on hand at the Belle of the Ball Boutique Day to act as personal shoppers to the young ladies who will be browsing the selection to find their perfect dress.
WHEN: Friday, April 16 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Boston Bruins Ice Girls

UPCOMING PRACTICE SCHEDULE AND MEDIA AVAILABILITY
-(Ristuccia Arena, 190 Main Street, Wilmington, MA 01887) (TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114)
-Schedule is subject to change. Please check the Bruins Media Website for the latest updates.
-All times are local

Saturday, April 9 (Boston, MA/Newark, NJ)
-No Morning Skate scheduled
-Players available on request basis beginning at approximately 10:45 a.m.
-Claude Julien available at 11:50 a.m.
-Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators, TD Garden, 1:00 p.m.
-Game Broadcast Info: TV: NESN, RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub
-Travel to Newark, NJ

Sunday, April 10 (Newark, NJ/Boston, MA)
-No Morning Skate scheduled
-Players available on request basis beginning at approximately 12:50 p.m.
-Claude Julien available at 1:50 p.m.
-Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, 3:00 p.m. (165 Mulberry St., Newark, NJ 07102)
-Game Broadcast Info: TV: NESN, RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub
-Travel to Boston, MA

Monday, April 11
-TBD

Tuesday, April 12
-TBD

Wednesday, April 13
-TBD

Thursday, April 14
-TBD

Friday, April 15
-TBD

BRUINS ON THE AIRWAVES:
“THE AT&T HOCKEY SHOW”
: The Hockey Show is back for year two on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Listen in every Wednesday (excluding gamedays) from 7-8 p.m. as host Damon Amendolara and the B’s radio team of Dave Goucher and Bob Beers take calls from fans, interview players and talk all things Bruins.

BIG BAD BRUINS SHOW ON NESN: This week on the last edition of the Big, Bad Bruins Show (First Air: 4/9 at 12pm)
-Presidential Address: Andy Brickley with Cam Neely
-Legendary Lunch: “The Life & Times of the Big Bad Bruins” with Harry Sinden, Pie McKenzie, and Derek Sanderson
-NHL Plays of the Year
-BC Hockey Player Brooks Dyroff the Humanitarian
-Behind the B: Jack Edwards with Mark Recchi Part 2 of 2
-Boston Bruins Plays of the Year

WEEKLY RADIO SPOTS:
Tune in to the following local stations for weekly segments with Bruins personnel:

Tuesdays
101.7 FM WFNX
9:10 a.m. Shane Hnidy with the FNX Breakfast Show

98.5 The Sports Hub
4:20 p.m. Cam Neely with “Felger and Massarotti”

Wednesdays
98.5 The Sports Hub
8:20 a.m. Peter Chiarelli with “Toucher and Rich”

98.5 The Sports Hub
Patrice Bergeron with “Gresh and Zolak” (rotating times between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Thursdays
98.5 The Sports Hub
8:20 a.m. Shawn Thornton with “Toucher and Rich”

100.7 FM WZLX
8:25 a.m. Brad Marchand with “Karlson and McKenzie”

107.3 FM WAAF
8:30 a.m. Cam Neely with “The Hill-Man Morning Show”

Fridays
107.7 FM The Pulse (New Hampshire)
4:30 p.m. Johnny Boychuk on “New Hampshire Today with Jack Heath”


BRUINS STATISTICAL LEADERS (as of Friday, April 8)

Goals
1. M. Lucic, 30
2. N. Horton, 25
3. P. Bergeron, 22
4. B. Marchand, 21
5. M. Ryder, 18

Assists
1. D. Krejci, 49
2. P. Bergeron, 35
3. M. Recchi, 34
4. M. Lucic, 31
5. Z. Chara, 29

Points
1. D. Krejci, 62
2. M. Lucic, 61
3. P. Bergeron, 57
4. N. Horton, 52
5. M. Recchi, 48

Plus/Minus
1. Z. Chara, +31
2. N. Horton, +30
T3. M. Lucic, +29
T3. A. McQuaid, +29
5. B. Marchand, +25

Penalty Minutes
1. S. Thornton, 122
2. M. Lucic, 117
3. A. McQuaid, 96
4. G. Campbell, 93
5. Z. Chara, 88

2010-11 Bruins “Stars”
Tim Thomas, First Star of the Week, Week ending October 31
Tim Thomas, Second Star of the Month, October
Patrice Bergeron, Second Star of the Week, Week ending January 16
Tim Thomas, NHL All-Star
Zdeno Chara, NHL All-Star, Hardest Shot record 105.9 MPH in 2011 NHL SuperSkills Competition
Tyler Seguin, One of 12 NHL rookies selected to participate in All-Star festivities
Tim Thomas, First Star of the Week, Week ending January 23
Patrice Bergeron, First Star of the Month, January

The 2010-2011 Boston Bruins season is presented by the Massachusetts State Lottery. Fans interested in learning more about Boston Bruins players, or ticket options, should visit the team website at www.bostonbruins.com or call 617.624.BEAR (2327)
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