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Getting to Know #45

by Dyan LeBourdais / Boston Bruins
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Boston, MA -- If there is one thing you probably didn’t know about Mark Stuart, it’s that he’s a movie buff.

“I watch a lot of movies,” said the B’s defenseman recently. “I’ll watch any movie and I have Netflix, so I think I’m working on seeing every single one.”

Every movie on Netflix? Now that’s a lot of movies!

But Stuart doesn't care. Even if someone tells him a movie isn’t any good, the Minnesota native still wants to watch it, just so that he can make his own judgment.

“I’ll watch it just because I might find one or two parts that are funny or something like that," he explained. "You can always find something good.”

As for his recent box office picks, he recommends 500 Days of Summer and The Hangover.

“If I had to choose a movie to go to…I’m more along the lines of comedy, for sure, and dramas,” he said.

And his top pick for a dramatic flick is sure to win Stuart some more fans in and around the Hub of Hockey.

Hockey's In Their Blood
Ice hockey runs in the blood of the Stuart family. To start, Michael Stuart, the patriarch of the family, is also USA Hockey’s Chief Medical Officer.

And Mark, a St. Louis Park, Minnesota native and Colorado College Alum, also has two older brothers and a younger sister.

His brother Mike currently plays for the Idaho Steelheads, the ECHL Affiliate of the Dallas Stars; and Colin plays for the Abbotsford Heat, the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate. His younger sister Cristin played four years at Boston College.

Being the youngest brother, Stuart said he always wanted to do the same things as his older brothers.

“I think throughout my whole life, not only in sports, but sports were kind of a natural thing to kind of emulate them, follow them,” he said. “I mean I was the youngest boy so I pretty much did everything my oldest brother Mike did. [I was] a little copycat.

“It was great. He set a great example for me.”

Family has always been an important part of Stuart’s life and anyone that has grown up in a hockey knows that it includes spending a lot of man-hours in and out of the rink or on the road.

“It was nice because we were all two years apart, pretty close in age all of us, so it was nice growing up,” said Mark. “We were able to hang out with each other and play hockey together.”

And when the boys went to college, they all headed to Colorado.

“Colin and I played two years together in college, Mike and Colin played together in college,” he continued. “We all went to Colorado College so it was fun.

“Not many people get the chance to do it, but to be able to play with a sibling is something special.”
-Dyan Lebourdais
“One of my favorite movies is Good Will Hunting,” said Stuart of the Boston-based favorite.

Beyond watching movies, Stuart said, “I enjoy reading, seeing the city…walking around and seeing new areas and stuff like that.

“In the summer you get to do a little bit more activities outdoors.

“I love the outdoors,” he said.

Despite his love for the products of Hollywood or sunshine, Mark, nicknamed “Stu” or “Stuey” by his teammates, is one player who is content to take a back seat outside of the limelight.

However, that doesn’t mean that Stuart’s contributions are overlooked by the Boston coaching staff or his Bruins teammates.

In 2007-08, Stuart earned a full-time spot on the Boston backline. And with 173 consecutive NHL games played (191 including playoffs), Stuart is the only member of the Black & Gold to get ice time in every single Bruins game over the last three seasons.

That stat makes Stuart the team’s current “iron man” and the 6’2, 213-pound defenseman clearly embodies that moniker.

In fact, Bruins head coach Claude Julien said that stability is the hallmark of Stuart’s game.

“When you’ve got guys like Stuey in there playing at his best you’re able to stretch your bench and have the consistency that you want in your team,” explained Julien during the B’s recent road trip.

“You’re not over utilizing players…so if a team doesn’t [play well] in those long stretches [players like Stuart] become really dependable.

“He’s got toughness, he’s good defensively, he’s very physical, he’s very reliable, he has a lot of qualities and that’s why guys like that sometimes are underestimated.

“And we don’t worry much about the number of points he gets,” added Coach Julien. “He needs to defend well, he needs to move the puck well up the ice and that’s some of the things we expect out of him.”

Fellow B’s defenseman Dennis Wideman said that Stuart has the ability to match up against any player in the league.

“Stu is a good two-way guy,” said Wideman. “He can make some really good plays and he does quite a bit, makes some nice breakout passes and stuff like that.

“But he has that physical presence back there to really punish the forwards.

“And you can put him anywhere. You can put him against the big guys and he can do fine because he’s so strong…and you can put him against the top line guys because he skates so well and then if you put him against those guys then they’re going to have a long night because he’s going to punish them in the corner every time,” he said.

Boston’s Matt Hunwick agreed.

“He’s extremely strong, but he can skate well,” said Hunwick. “He’s definitely…a new-age defenseman where probably 10-years ago those guys were 6’4”, 6’5” and weren’t the greatest skaters.

“But Stuey is probably a little more in the current mode where he can skate.

“And at the same time he’s as physical as they come,” he said.

Stuart and his Boston Bruins teammates play the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Tickets are available here.
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