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Exhibition Game #1: NYC & MSG

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
6:49 p.m.

Okay, folks. Over to the live blog!

6:47 p.m.
At least one of the rookies has been listening to Coach Julien.

“Since I’ve been with the Bruins I haven’t been fortunate to play in an NHL arena,” said Marchand of tonight’s tilt in Madison Square Garden. “I’m really looking forward to it and it’s going to be special tonight.”

Marchand doesn't think he'll be nervous.

“I’ll try not to,” said Marchand. “But I think once the game starts going on, a lot of guys forget about the nerves and just start playing out there.

"Some guys might be a little nervous during the warmup and during the first few shifts, but I think it will wear off pretty quick.”

6:41 p.m.

I asked Claude Julien this morning whether he thought it necessary to try and help the rookies through any nerves they might be feeling.

“You always have to,” said Julien. “To a certain point…before the game."

What advice to you give, Coach?

“It really is about keeping it simple and not trying to do too much," said Julien. “Compete hard and compete well.

“You’re better off worrying about the effort you put in and keeping it simple than trying to impress with fancy plays or plays that are high risk.”

6:35 p.m.
Tuukka Time

After the morning skate, Tuukka Rask talked about playing in the first exhibition game.

"I feel pretty good I don’t feel any extra pressure," he said. "The first game is always exciting to play, but we’ll see what is going to happen.

"You just try and do your best and see the way it goes."

Any nerves?

"Well, not so much in these exhibition games," he said. "You just have to do your job – if you trust yourself, and do your job it’s going to be good."

6:33 p.m.
Based on what I saw this morning, the lines look like this:

5:16 p.m.

Sad News
The Bruins and the New England sports scene have lost a legend -- Fred Cusick:

What he was, was a Bruin. He was absolutely an admired, respected and beloved member of the Bruins family for many years. He is a huge, huge part of Bruins history. There’s no doubt of the impact he had on the broadcasting of hockey. He was a pioneer and the way hockey games are broadcast really originated with Fred. A lot of the camera work that they use was at his suggestion. He had a number of ideas that he brought in and they still use.

Harry Sinden

Click here to see the full Bruins statement on the passing of Fred Cusick.

1:12 p.m.
Bear Force One
We are all getting on this year's version of Bear Force One -- apparently named The Elaine -- a nice big plane for our trip to Newark. Then we'll bus it straight to MSG and reverse the process after the game.

No overnight stays for the time being. We're up-and-back, in the same day, until Montreal/Ottawa later this month.

12:03 p.m.
"You just have to play your game," said the B's Zach Hamill when asked what advice he would give to any of the young Bruins set to play in this evening's contest -- many of whom were his Providence teammates last season.

"In your first couple of exhibition get kind of nervous, and running around a bit," continued Hamill. "I think you just want to slow down and [remember to] play your game."

Trying to have fun helps, too. And Hamill is clearly having fun.

"I think this is probably the most fun ever," said Hamill.

11:57  a.m.
The other squad -- anyone not on the list -- is on the ice.

11:26 a.m.
Tuukka Rask will be in the net tonight against the Rangers.

10:54 a.m.
What amounts to the squad's pregame skate is winding down. Several of the forwards are practicing faceoffs near the far blueline and Coach Ramsay is putting the defense through some drills at my end of the ice.

I know it's early, and there are a lot of young kids out there, but I am loving the enthusiasm shown out there over the last few days.

10:44 p.m.

R.I.P. Derek Sutton
I am sad to see that the Hamilton Mustang's Derek Sutton (actor Patrick Swayze) passed away.

Like most hockey fans. I remember Mr. Swayze best for his role as Dean Youngblood's (Rob Lowe) best friend in the move Youngblood -- still one of my favorite hockey movies of all time.

Swayze's best line came when the Thunder Bay goon asked him to come off the bench for a fight: "I have a regular shift."

Mr. Swayze was 57. Condolences to his friends, family and fans.

9:57 a.m.

Looks like the Bruins captain wil be in the lineup this evening.

Actually, I've just been handed the roster:

Jamie Arniel, Byron Bitz, Chuck Kobasew, Mikko Lehtonen, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Max Sauve, Vladimir Sobotka, Marco Sturm, Blake Wheeler, Trent Whitfield

Defensemen: Andrew Bodnarchuck, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Matt Hunwick, Adam McQuaid, Jeff Penner.

Tuukka Rask, Dany Sabourin
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