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Life returns to normal on Wednesday

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
The Bruins (and I) return to practice on Wednesday and then return to the TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday, January 4th when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second half of a home-at-home series with their division rivals.

With playoff positioning at stake, and the rivalry with the Buds heating up, if you haven’t thought about swinging in to Causeway Street for a game, why not come in on Thursday?

Please pardon the sales pitch, but you have no idea how much the reception the Bruins received on Dec. 23rd vs. Montreal meant to the players.

Seriously, to a man, the Black & Gold were so pumped to hear the chanting -- even before the drop of the puck, and they came out of the room flying against the Habs.

It just proved once again a solemn truth: The B’s always need their Seventh Player.

That player, is you, the Bruins fan.

And with so many divisional and conference rivalry games coming up, Boston can give the Bruins a needed adrenaline shot in the arm when the chips are down.

Some housekeeping…
The Bruins had today off after arriving home from their four game road trip early this morning.

Bruins head coach Dave Lewis is participating in retirement festivities to be held at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan this evening to honor former Red Wings captain, and certain Hockey Hall of Famer, Steve Yzerman.

As you know, Coach Lewis spent 20 years wearing red and white as a player, assistant coach, associate coach, head coach and pro scout.

Also expected to attend the ceremony (according to the Detroit News) are Scotty Bowman, Doug Brown, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Duchesne, Danny Gare, Gordie Howe GORDIE HOWE!, Brett Hull, Joe Kocur, Igor Larionov, Ted Lindsay, Larry Murphy, Barry Smith and Mike Vernon.

You could make a decent pond hockey club out of that group, dontcha’ think?

By the way, just in case you missed it, Steve Yzerman was awesome. Period.

Yzerman played 1514 games, scored 692 goals, added 1063 assists for a total of 1755 points. He played in two Olympic Games (gold in 2002), won three Stanley Cups, was a nine-time all-star and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1998.

And I am sure that the Red Wings will pull off a classy night in honor of their latest superstar.

I am truly hoping NHL Center Ice turns on their coverage of the Anaheim Detroit game early this evening so we can see some of the ceremony. I also seem to remember hearing that Versus will be handling some coverage during their hockey programming tonight, as well.

In what could become a regular segment, B’s defenseman Andrew Alberts is slated to appear on WBCN tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.

P.J. Land
Turning our eyes to Sweden and the World Junior Hockey Championships, Assistant General Manager Jeff Gorton gave a final assessment as he and Don Sweeney changed places with General Manager Peter Chiarelli.

Jeff and Don are home, while Peter is in Sweden today.

Again, the B’s prospects are:

Skaters, Team
Yuri Alexandrov, Russia
Mikko Lehtonen, Finland
Brad Marchand, Canada
Vladimir Sobotka, Czech Republic

Goalie, Team
Tuukka Rask, Finland

Says Jeff:

Rask and Finland have a big test with USA today. Unless he stands on his head they could have a tough time.

Lehtonen, also with Finland, has been a real good story over there and is among the leading scorers in the tournament.

Sobotka has centered the top line for Czechs and been a go-to player in all situations.

Games are in progress as we speak. You can follow the scores here:

Oh, and another thing
The 17th Annual Boston Bruins Wives’ Charity Carnival will take place on Sunday, January 7, 2007 at the TD Banknorth Garden. The Annual Boston Bruins Wives’ Carnival is a day of fun, filled with interactive events including locker room tours, games, autograph sessions and much more.

In attendance will be the entire 2006-07 Boston Bruins roster, Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Blades, the Bruins’ mascot! Go here for more info and to purchase tickets.
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