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Monday, Monday...B's Back to Work

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
9:34 a.m.

The Bruins head back to work this morning at Ristuccia Arena at 10:30 a.m.

Yesterday, the club spent most of the day at the TD Banknorth Garden entertaining fans at the 18th Annual Boston Bruins Wives' Charity Carnival.

For those of you who are able (in terms of proximity) and have not yet attended -- next year you simply must come on in. The event is a blast and if you ever wanted to meet a Bruin or see the B's locker room, this is one time when you are guaranteed to do so.

If you click here you can see a bunch of pictures I took at the event.

One thing that can not be conveyed by the photos is just how hard the Boston Bruins wives, staff and administration work to put the Carnival together. They and the myriad volunteers should be congratulated and thanked for their dedication and hard work!

Kudos also to each member of the Bruins. Everyone had a fun time because of your willingness to give your time and effort. Strong work guys!

Now then...
With the Holidays and the Carnival behind us, and just the All-Star break remaining, we are all reminded that the season is literally half- over.

Boston has 41 games behind them and 41 games ahead.

There is a real opportunity for this club to make headway in the conference. The Bruins only play Eastern Conference clubs in January so each contest has four point possibilities. So while we all are excited about Thursday's game with Montreal, and perhaps wish to see a little revenge enacted against the B's perennial tormentors, tomorrow's game with Carolina is just as pivotal.

It would be easy to be hyperbolic and say, "The playoffs begin now." But in truth, they do not. It is clichéd, but it is true -- every season is a "marathon not a sprint." So while each game takes on a certain level of importance, it is the overall level of performance which will ultimately separate the playoff clubs from the non playoff clubs.

The Bruins seem to be landing squarely in the "playoff club" portion of that statistic, but only because they seem to deal with adversity quite will. The current three game winning streak is an outstanding response to their previous six game losing streak -- but it might be just one more of those streaks that knocks the Black & Gold express off the Stanley Cup Playoff rail line.

That being said, I am not sure how coach Julien will choose to prepare his club for the tilt with the Hurricanes, but today's practice will certainly be an interesting exercise to watch. Surely the club was pleased with some of the outstanding individual efforts on Saturday (Messrs Axelsson, Savard, Sturm and Thomas), but the entire club knows that they dodged a bullet in the last minute of play on Saturday.

From this point on, the B's don't need to turn ANY games into a contest where three points are available. And that is especially so if they want to have a go at making up the six game (12 pt) difference between themselves and the Eastern Conference and Northeast Division leading Senators.

After thinking about all of that, 41 games doesn't seem like many, at all...

Claude Julien
(AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper, file)
It was a fun room today. Everyone seemed happy to be skating and no doubt the three game winning streak had something to say about that.

Patrice Bergeron was in Ristuccia, and that added to everyone's good mood, but there was no news as to whether he worked on the stationary bike today.

The news was promising on Glen Murray and Aaron Ward.

"It's day by day (but) obviously (Ward) is skating better and so is Muzz (Murray)," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "I can't stand here and tell you when they are going to be back.

"But it is certainly looking good...we want to be cautious, too.

"I've seen it in the past where you feel great and one bad move and you aggravate it again," he said.

Also skating fine was Marco Sturm, who had a little bit of a limp after Saturday's game.

"Bruises are bruises," said Julien. "They'll do that to you.

"But it's the time of year when you are going to see a lot of that stuff.

"You just have to bite the bullet," he said.

4:02 p.m.
Speaking of biting the bullet, Glen Metropolit may have done so, literally, on Saturday when he laid on the goal line in an attempt to prevent a game-tying goal. So Sunday, at the Bruins Wives' Carnival Metro was happy to be playing knock and air hockey with fans.

"This was great," said Metropolit. "It was fun to see the kids and play games -- Guitar Hero like Lucic. I got to play air hockey with the kids.

"Letting them win and seeing the smiles on their was just priceless."

As were the compliments that were passed along from the kids and their parents.

"There were people saying that they really appreciate my play," said Metro. "They talked a little hockey with me and said that they we were turning the game around again and that they enjoy watching it again.

"(They said) that (they) love watching the Bruins because we work hard every game.

"As a member of the team, you love hearing that," he said.

Hear, hear.

4:23 p.m.
I forgot one pretty cool thing. I got my hands on a picture of Alex Auld's new goalie mask!

Photo by Alan Sullivan

Photo by Alan Sullivan

I like it a lot.

By the way, the only difference on right side of the mask is the "AA" instead of the "BB."

This Date in Bruins History
All-time Record January 7: Home, 12-2-1. Road,  8-13-4. Overall,  20-15-5.
1926    The Bruins play the first tie game in their history in a 2-2 deadlock at the New York Americans.
2006    The Bruins score five unanswered goals to rally from a 3-1 deficit for a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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