It's just about an hour before I'll head up to the press room to try and track down a player or two -- and Coach Julien. But before I get into all the game day stuff, I just want to reiterate what a pleasure it was to meet Willie O'Ree this past summer and to have him back in the building, today. He is as classy an individual as you will ever meet in the world, and is truly deserving of a day in his honor. Congratulations on your anniversary Mr. O'Ree! JB
The Bruins come into today's game limping a little bit -- figuratively and literally -- having lost three of their last four games. Good news MAY come in the guise of Tim Thomas
(flu like symptoms) and Glen Murray (hip flexor) returning to the lineup. I also expect that Dennis Wideman will be on the back line, tonight.
The Rangers are in the house, as are at least a few of the Our Boys, for sure. No availability yet, but I am watching the hallway for signs of Black & Gold.
By the way, head over to ESPN.com and hit the NHL tab for some great stuff on Willie O'Ree.
Paul Mara was in the hall, and looked to be all smiles to be back in his hometown.
A funny moment occurred when Aaron Ward walked in from the street and told Paul, "I am always hearing Paulie, this. And hearing Paulie, that. I can't fill your shoes..."
Both men, of course, are media favorites for their willingness to face the cameras and the microphones and both men were/and are very popular in the Bruins locker room.
In any case, the former and current Bruins got a chuckle out of the exchange -- as you know, Paul was traded for Aaron at the trade deadline last season.
By the way, the New England Hockey Journal Radio Show is on and will have Willie O'Ree on at 12:20 p.m. Click over to hockeyjournal.com and click on the picture halfway down...
The show is also acting (again) like a pregame show, with a time slot of 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Bruins may have the same look they sported on Thursday -- that look would be Black & Gold & Young.
Peter Schaefer will warm up, but is not expected to play. Tim Thomas
is in goal.
Coach Julien has the flu-bug now and said that several members of the team are still battling that health issue.
The lineup looks the same as Thursday's, but with Peter Schaefer on the ice, things could move around quickly. So here is my best guess:Sturm-Savard-Kessel
Chara-Wideman (sg) Thomas
Ference-Ward (bg) Auld
Stuart-Hnidy Go BRUINS!
A little more from Coach...
"Muzz (Glenn Murray) is going to make the trip because he is at the stage where he has to start practicing a little bit with the team and slowly working back in. Hopefully, that will help progress his return. He can only skate on his own for so long, bur right now I think that he is at the stage where he can start jumping in with the team on some drills...P.J. (Axelsson) is going to stay back."
12:56 p.m.A little from Willie O'Ree...
"When I came to Boston, for two occasions, at their training camp, I was received very well. The players, the Bruins organization, were absolutely fantastic. When we played our first game in Montreal on January...Lynn Patrick, who was the general manager at the time, and Milt Schmidt, who was the coach, took me aside and they said, "Willie, you know you're going to be the first...to break the color barrier." They said the Bruins organization is behind you 100 percent."Ok, I am over to the running recap. Go Bruins! Congrats to Willie! JB