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Carolina vs. Boston

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Congrats to the captain!

"The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has been named a starter for the Eastern Conference team in the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, which will be held on Sunday, January 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta (6 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio).  The starters for the game were chosen through fan voting at"

As a result Chara should see some outstanding ice time during the mid-winter classic.

'I thank the fans for giving me their votes and my teammates," said a humbled Chara in front of his locker after morning skate. "It's a big privilege and a big honor to be selected."

Earlier, out of earshot on the ice, the team gathered at center ice started tapping the ice with their sticks and Chara could be seen bowing his head and saying thank you. A touching display from a club that clearly knows how important "Big Z" is to their cause.

Tim Thomas, who has the best view of Chara's work, said he was sure that Z took pride, not only in being selected, but being selected multiple times -- the irony being that the Bruins captain is consistently booed while on the road.

"Just because they are booing him doesn't mean that they don't appreciate what he does," said Thomas. "(They do) after the game. They just don't like it when (their team) is playing him."

Dennis Wideman, who is experiencing a defensive renaissance this season said that Chara has helped him, big time.

"He talks to you quite a bit out there on the ice," said Wideman. "But he doesn't even have to say that much. You just watch him and you learn from him. (You see) his work ethic and they way he handles himself out there on the ice -- it's something that you just watch and it's a presence that the other team feels, but you feel, too."

Bruins head coach Claude Julien agreed with his young defenseman.

"To me, it's welll deserved," said Julien. "He's had a great year so far and he's been a big part of our success, so I think that people are recognizing that around the league.

"He is very worthy of it."

This morning's skate
The Bruins had a full complement of healthy players and one semi-healthy skater flying about the Garden ice this morning. Aaron Ward looked to be able to handle all of the drills and showed no discernible issues. Missing from the session were Alberts, Allen, Bergeron, Fernandez and Murray.

For the latest on Patrice's recovery, click here.

3:22 p.m.
I have no idea why I thought of this, but I was just thinking about the TV show Crime Story and how much I enjoyed it -- even more than Miami Vice, which played before it in Friday Nights -- so I am listening to Del Shannon writing about Crime Story wondering what happened to Lt. Mike Torello and Frank Luca.

Apparently nobody knows, or so sayeth the Wikipedia: "The series ended with Ray Luca...hiding from Det. Mike Torello, in a Nevada desert shack, which is located in an Atomic Bomb test area. An A-Bomb explodes, presumably obliteraing one of the most memorable cliffhangers in television history, leaving viewers wondering whether they were dead or alive, just as the show's creator were wondering if the series itself was dead or alive with NBC."

Oh well. But I digress...

Anyway it would be a "Crime" if you miss tonight's game, what with the B's fighting tooth-and-nail for points in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Get it, crime. Ha, ha?

Anyway, going through my recorder for some tidbits as we speak.

3:54 p.m.
Coach Julien spoke about tonight's opponent after the skate.

On what Carolina brings to the ice…
"There is skill. There is certainly some speed in their game and their transition is extremely good. That’s why they won the Stanley Cup a few years back. They are probably an even better team than where they are in the standings. They’ve run into some injuries that have definitely slowed them down and if it wasn’t for those injuries they’d be a team that even Ottawa would be looking at…They’re still in a playoff position and still doing well."

On the strengths of Carolina Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette…
"I think back to the year they won the Stanley Cup, and the team chemistry was very apparent. A lot of it was created by him. He is certainly able to rally his troops no matter what the situations are and still have them playing hard."

3:59 p.m.
Julien On why Chara has been successful despite changing pairings throughout the year…
"Part of it is all about communication. I think we know how to play back there, we know what’s expected of us back there. It’s about executing [the plan], and making it easier through communication. Hopefully that has made it easier for Z, but at the same time he’s one who likes to talk on the ice, so he’s probably made it easier for the other person to adapt to him rather than (the other way around)."

On whether or not Chara’s selection to brings prestige to the Bruins organization…
"It (does). There is no doubt he is going to give credit to teammates as well. You’re only as good as the people surrounding you, whether they are players or coaches. As an organization that’s what it is. He’s done a great job and he’s extremely worthy of it. Other teams don’t like to be on the ice when he’s on the ice, so that says a lot about the individual."

4:13 p.m.
Interesting tidbit...
From The National Post: "The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday claimed right wing Sergei Samsonov on re-entry waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Samsonov, 29, is expected to join the Hurricanes in Boston for Tuesday's game against the Bruins.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Hurricanes will be responsible for half of Samsonov's $3,525,000 salary for the remainder of this, the second season of a two-year deal he signed with Montreal in 2006."

5:36 p.m.
Another interesting tidbit...
Rumor has it that Sergei Samsonov's flight is delayed.

5:48 p.m.
Please note:
Because of the NH Presidential Primary WODS 103.3 FM will carry tonight's Game in lieu of WBZ.

6:20 p.m.
I almost forgot...This Date in Bruins History
January 8:        Home:  5-3-2    Road:  8-13-2    Overall:  13-16-4
1928    George Owen, Jr. becomes the first player from Harvard University to play an NHL game when he suits up for Boston’s 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. There was a moment of silence before the game in memory of Boston Garden builder Tex Rickard.

6:29 p.m.
So much for that rumor -- Sergei Samsonov is in the house and is wearing #14 for Carolina.

Timmy led Our Boys out of the room...Lucic is minus his visor.

Here are your Boston Bruins...
Chara-Wideman (sg) Thomas
Stuart-Ference (bg) Auld
Lashoff-Hnidy Go Bruins!

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