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Montreal vs. Boston

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
12:05 p.m.

Results Oriented
The Bruins and Habs have both vacated the ice and have begun their daily rituals leading up to their evening tilt (7:30 p.m.).

When I walked into the press room this morning the movie The Empire Strikes Back was on the screen, at just about the time in the film that Yoda told Luke you either get it done or your don't.

You remember the scene: "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

In many ways good ol' Yoda is echoing our own Claude Julien.

"When you don’t do the things you are supposed to do and you don’t want to work and you don’t want to be first on the puck and you don’t want to win battles, you get the results you (did Tuesday): no offense and poor performance," said Coach on Tuesday night.

"Do. Or do not. There is not try," says Yoda.

Tonight, versus their arch rivals the Empire, er, I mean the Habs, the Bruins have to play their game, use their systems and work hard.

"(I am looking) for a better work ethic," said Julien this morning. "And a commitment to our game…it's as simple as that.

"The fact that this is a team that is four points ahead of us, it's a divisional game and (games vs. Montreal) always mean a lot.

"The other part is that we haven't beat them yet…we've given them eight points, so I think it's time that our team react."

The time for results is now, so "Do" or you don't make the playoffs.

This morning's audio
Shawn Thornton and I were able to talk a little bit about rivalry games and their importance to hockey. Then, Coach Julien spoke to the English and French media about tonight's important game.

[ Julien | Thornton | Julien (Fr)]

Aaron Ward
12:55 p.m.
Coach Julien said that Aaron Ward was feeling better and was a game time decision for his first action in eight games. He broke his foot in practice on Dec.

Glen Murray is still out of action and there was no update on Andrew Alberts or Patrice Bergeron.

From the looks of warmups, Tim Thomas will start in goal.

2:07 p.m., the official Montreal Canadiens blog of The Montreal Gazette says "Bryan Smolinski will return to the lineup tonight, having missed 14 games with a knee injury, to centre Mark Streit and Mathieu Dandenault on the Canadiens' fourth line.

"Tom Kostopoulos and one-game veteran Corey Locke are the healthy scratches"

The Gazette also reported this morning that Christobal Huet will be in goal for the Habs this evening.

2:11 p.m.
Some more quotes from Coach Julien:
On what the Bruins need to do to earn a victory tonight…
"I think we’ve opened up a lot. Even the last game here, most of their chances were generated from bad turnovers in the offensive zone. They came back from the attack and scored on the rush. Certainly we have to limit those kinds of things. We realize that their power play is probably the strongest part of their game, and anybody who is going to spend the night in the penalty box shouldn’t expect to beat that team."

On Zdeno Chara’s election to the All-Star team…
"He’s been a great player for us. Every night he’s in there and playing against top players on the other team. He’s spending a lot of time on the ice, especially lately with all of the injuries. But he’s a very focused individual and he’s a very committed individual and you hope that most of the players on your team are going to follow his lead. Being a starter he is [something] he is certainly [deserving] of, because of what he’s done for us, especially this year."

On the status of Glen Murray…
"It’s indefinite for him. He’s certainly progressing…but those things are hard to pinpoint with exact dates because it is a hip flexor. Some guys have been out for just a short time, other guys are a little longer. We’re being cautious with him and making sure that when he does come back, we’ll be doing everything in our control to [ensure] it doesn’t happen again…He has been skating. He skated for a few days and then took a few days off. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t work on it off ice and worked on strengthening it."

On whether Tim Thomas should be an All-Star…
"Tim Thomas has done a lot this year, not only for himself, but for his team. He’s been one of the big reasons for our success, especially when the team hasn’t been at it’s best, he’s kept us in a lot of games. Does he deserve to be there? I think he does. But unfortunately I don’t make that decision."

On Shane Hnidy…
"Every game he’s played he’s been better and more comfortable. We know he’s an experienced player that is going to catch on pretty quickly. It’s a matter of him feeling good, and right now I think he has a pretty good grasp on our team."

2:43 p.m.
From my boys down I-95...
"The Providence Bruins, member of the American Hockey League, announced today that goaltender Tuukka Rask and defenseman Matt Lashoff have been named starters for the PlanetUSA Team in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok. They join left wing Pascal Pelletier, who was named a starter for the Canadian Team yesterday. The game will take place on Monday, January 28 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, New York, one evening after the 2008 CCM AHL All-Star Skills Competition. Both events begin at 7 p.m."

6:17 p.m.
Well, we are trying to kill a half an hour upstairs at the Garden...and I just noticed that the Hockey East and Beanpot banners are back up.

7:00 p.m.
Timmy and Christobal led their teams out of the room.

I am watching for the lineup to take shape...

Here are your Boston Bruins...
Chara-Wideman (sg) Thomas
Ward-Ference (bg) Auld
Stuart-Hnidy Go Bruins!

7:14 p.m.
There are no less than three signs in the crowd saying something to tune of "I LOVE YOU LUCIC." I wonder if any of his teammates noticed, because that should be good for some NHL style chirping.

7:22 p.m.
And one more thing before I head over to the Running Recap.

This Date in Bruins History...
All-Time Record on December 10: Home, 11-7-2. Road,  5-8-2. Overall,  16-15-4
1970  John Bucyk has two goals and four assists in an 8-2 Boston win over the Buffalo Sabres while playing in his 1,000th NHL game. The Bruins have 72 shots on goal in the game, the third-highest single game total by a team in NHL history.
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