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Lunch with Luminaries

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
From Soup to Pux

Back from practice and lunch with NESN’s Rob Simpson and the New England Hockey Journal’s Matt Kalman, both of whose work I admire very much -- we decided to do a ’round table’ lunch about everything from Gordie Howe to Rob’s days as a weatherman in Hawaii, to Matt’s younger days as a Buffalo Sabres fan and shoe salesman.

The lunch and the hockey talk was lots of fun and should make for a great piece sometime later this week.

Nice to hear about B’s goalie Timmy Thomas and his NHL recognition as a weekly star (3rd Star for the week ending Nov. 19th) -- he has worked tirelessly in practice, through trade rumors and the like, and has basically willed himself to stop more pucks.

Seriously folks, if there is guy who cares about the Bruins winning more than Tim, let me meet him.

Auld-acious Opposition
It looks like Alex Auld has the start tonight for the Panthers. Auld, late of the Vancouver Canucks is 3-6-2 with a .892 sv% and a 3.34 GAA. He is 2-0-0 with .922 percentage and a 2.51 average against Boston.

A proper Bear-ing
I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but not only does Big "Z" average over 29 minutes a game, but P.J. Axelsson, perhaps the Bruins most unsung of heros this season has averaged almost 21 minutes and is a +1. Oh, and his shooting percentage is near 22%.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

The Bruins are 5-2-1 in the month of November and have earned 11 points. They are 8-3 in one goal games, and are 7-1-2 when they score first. When they outshoot their opponent Boston is 5-1-1.

Here is another interesting tidbit: the B’s are 2nd in the NHL in power play success at home, with a 25.5 rating.

Ice Instructions
Just talked to J.R. Boyle, who helps keep the ice, well, cold, during the game about what the temperature of the frozen water is during an average game.

"How cold depends on the temp outside, crowd, dew point," he said. "We like to have a slab (that’s the ice, folks) temp range between 15-18, end the period around 20-24. The chillers regulate the system and you can manipulate that during the game."

Bish sez, "Cool!"

Bruins on the Ballot
The Bruins have two players on the NHL All-Star ballot and both are happy to even appear on the docket.

"As a kid, when you look at the NHL, you always look at the All-Star game as having the best players in the league going there," said Patrice Bergeron who played in the NHL Young Stars game in 2004 and the AHL All Star game in 2005. "But at the same time, it is a team game and I really don’t stop to think about those individual things. So, obviously it is an honor, but I have to keep concentrating on the games and the team.

"To even be mentioned alongside the elite players in the league is a huge honor and obviously [being included happens because of] contributions from everyone on the team," said Zdeno Chara.

Chara, who represented the Ottawa Senators in the 2003 All-Star game and recorded the hardest shot in the skills competition (97.8 mph) also said, "It is exciting for the players and the fans as well. When you get selected it means a lot…you represent the organization and you try to do your best to represent it well."

Humble responses from great players --- So take the time to vote for your Bruins on this years ballot!

Bruin Bytes
"You can’t lay off the gas, so to say. You have to keep working through things and you can’t get lazy. That’s what happens when you win games, you think that things are going to happen, but they just aren’t going to happen. You have to stay on the puck and do that tonight…[Pat LaFontaine] talked about keeping an even keel and that’s what we need to do here. Obviously, you get more confident, and that’s a good thing. You stay positive with a lot of stuff and you try and run from there, but right now we are still only a game over .500 and that’s not good enough. You’re not going to make the playoffs a game over .500."
Forward, Marc Savard, on the nice run and looking toward tonight

"It just shows that we don’t panic when it’s a [close game], we just stick with the game plan and find a way to win. It might be a good thing [if the goals do come] to have the same poise and same mentality…we’ll be able to win those games as well…It’s tough…but it’s a good thing."
Assistant Captain, Patrice Bergeron, on one goal games

"It’s good and it’s exciting. It shows that the guys are excited for the win and in overtime especially, there’s a little bit more excitement. And it’s great how the fans enjoy it. It was a great crowd last game and it’s a lot of fun to go into overtime and…win…to get two points is the biggest thing."
Forward, Brad Boyes, on overtime
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