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Leafs Drop in Thursday

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Claude Julien

Julien Spys Stretch run
The players and the coaching staff have looked at the calendar and noticed that there are fewer and fewer games on the schedule. As such, each game, and particularly division contests like tomorrow's, take on a much larger meaning

"These two practices were important," said Coach Claude Julien. "It's basically four games in six nights and we've got a tough stretch ahead of us.

"We are really keen on these next four games…and making it a successful stint."

Boston tends to look at games, first as individual entities, then as sets of five games. This particular five game stint is pivotal.

"Every game (is important)," explained Coach. "There are so many three-point games out there (with ties and shootouts); every game has to be an opportunity to gain some points.

"You have to go in there with the intention of winning every one of them."

And the standings just keep getting tighter.

"We're at a stage here where there are a bunch of us clogged up in that fifth to tenth spot, more or less. And there is going to be a dogfight right until the end, and I am sure there is going to be an interesting finish, just like there was last year," said Coach.

Milan signs an autograph
Milan Lucic continues to be a fun addition to the Bruins locker room -- which was already a very fun place.

Today, Big Lu taped a five questions segment for NESN's "The Buzz" and many of his answers, one of which was spoken in Serbian, were very entertaining.

Not to mention the big B's power forward singing to a startled locker room audience when one of his favorite country tunes came on the locker room speakers and although his singing did not make the broadcast, Milan let the NESN audience in on another of his musical talents.

What is it? Well you'll just have to tune in to find out!

This reminds me, back in college a young Mike Grier tended to throw his body around Boston University's Walter Brown Arena with abandonment similar to that of Mr. Lucic. And when it was clear that Mike was about to connect with another ferocious hit, the entire crowd would lead him into the check with a "woaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" -- which sounded like the sound a football crowd makes on a kickoff.

So, if any of our Golden Gods are reading -- and yes that means you Ms. Paula -- how about leading Milan into those big hits with a "Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch."

Let him know you are watching out there folks, because the kid is certainly leaving it all (including much of his nose) out there on the ice!

Finally, as a member of the players contingent at the Hard Rock Café last night, Milan also had a lot of nice things to say about last night's Season Ticket Holder Function

"It was lots of fun," said Lucic. "I was nice to get a reaction from the fans during the meet and greet and it was a good way to connect with them.

"It's not everyday that we get to see our season ticket holders and it was a great time to get to know some of them a lot better.

"And I think it was a successful evening, all around," he said.

Stuwie with new fans.
Stuwie is huge in Concord
One guy who has not garnered enough attention this season is Mark Stuart.

Now a stalwart on the the B's blueline, Mark has very quietly put together a pretty fine season. And yesterday, the big defenseman probably garnered a bunch more fans.

Stuart was at the Valley Sports Arena in Concord, MA on Tuesday night to skate, shoot, and show pointers to members of the U10 Assabet Valley girls hockey team.

Lucky hockey player, Courtney Massotti,  won the opportunity to have Mark accompany her to practice through Reach Out and Read.

Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud in pediatric exam rooms across the nation.

3:44 p.m.
Late addition. Click the link below for today's BruinsCast. Marc Savard and Milan Lucic talk about being sent to Atlanta and Claude Julien talks about Savvy and Luch.

 BruinsCast: Savard, Lucic and Julien talk All-Star Weekend  

6:37 p.m. 
Back from the news side. The highly anticipated call up of Pascal Pelletier has arrived, and, presumably, he will get a chance to show his stuff against the Maple Leafs. 

From what I can see, through my e-mail and the boards, Mr. Pelletier has quite the following and judging by his stats, I can see why.

Pelletier in his Providence togs
Providence was nice enough to send along a season (and game by game) breakdown:
10/13/07 at Rochester – 1st multi-point game (2a)… Second star… 10/17/07 at Lowell – Assist, +1… Third star… 10/20/07 at Philadelphia – Assist, 6 shots… 10/24/07 at Hartford – Assist… Third star… 10/13/07 – 10/20/07 – 3-game points-streak (4a)… 10/27/07 at Lowell – 2nd multi-point game (2g), 6 shots… First star… October – Tied for team-lead in assists with five and points with seven (2g, 5a)… 11/2/07 at Springfield – Game-winning-goal… First star… 11/3/07 at Portland – 3rd multi-point game (3a), 6 shots… First star… 11/16/07 vs. Worcester – 4th multi-point game (g, 2a), +3… Third star… 11/18/07 vs. Springfield – Power-play goal, 6 shots... Third star… 10/24/07 – 11/18/07 – 9-game points-streak (6g, 8a)… 11/21/07 at Hartford – 19 PIM... 11/24/07 at Worcester – 5th multi-point game (2g), 6 shots… Second star… November – Led team in goals with six and points with 13 (6g, 7a)… Team’s Player of the Month… 12/2/07 vs. Albany – 6th multi-point game (2g), 7 shots… First star… 12/5/07 vs. Hartford – 7th multi-point game (2a), 6 shots… 12/7/07 vs. Chicago– 8th multi-point game (2g)… First star… 12/8/07 vs. Portland – 9th multi-point game (g, 2a), 6 shots… 12/12/07 vs. Lowell – 10th multi-point game (g, a), 6 shots… 12/1/07 – 12/12/107 – 6-game points-streak (7g, 5a)… 12/27/07 at Albany – 11th multi-point game (2g)… First star… 200th professional point (power play goal)… 12/28/07 at Bridgeport – 12th multi-point game (g, a)… Third star… 12/29/07 at Portland – 13th multi-point game (g, a)… First star… 12/31/07 at Springfield – 14th multi-point game (2a)… December – Led team in goals with 13 and points with 23 (13g, 10a)… Tied for team-lead in plus-minus with +12… 1/2/08 – Named CCM/AHL Player of the Month for December after scoring 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points along with plus-12 rating during team’s 13-2-0-0 month… 1/4/08 at Springfield – 15th multi-point game (g, a)… Third star… 1/5/08 at Worcester – 16th multi-point game (g, a)… 12/21/07 – 1/5/08 – 8-game points-streak (7g, 7a)… 1/9/07 – Named Canadian AHL All-Star Starter… 1/16/08 – Recalled by Boston (NHL) after notching 48 points (24g, 24a) in 40 games for Providence…

I met Pascal at training camp and he seemed very focused on getting a chance in the NHL. Good luck, my friend! JB

7:22 p.m.
Surfing the net and found this nice tidbit from the Canadian Press (via
Legendary defenceman Bobby Orr was among five athletes elected to the World Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Jesse Owens, Arnold Palmer, Katarina Witt and Johnny Weissmuller were also named.

"In each case, it's clear to see the individual had a profound and positive effect on his or her chosen sport," Irv Kochman, Chairman of the Selection Committee, said in a statement. "These are names that provoke remarkable memories and get hearts pounding simply at the mention of them."

The World Sports Hall of Fame was created a few years ago and will celebrate its inaugural dinner and induction ceremonies this spring.

8:07 p.m.
This Date in Bruins History...

All tim record on January 16: Home, 15-4-2. Road,  5-7-3. Overall,  20-11-5.
1945  Herb Cain ties a club record with four goals in a 5-3 Boston victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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