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The Bear Essentials: Game Day, Buds vs. B's

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.

11:11 a.m.
The players who are not playing this afternoon are on the ice at the moment.

They are:
Manny Fernandez
Aaron Ward
Mikko Lehtonen
P.J. Axelsson
Patrice Bergeron
Jeremy Reich
Jonathan Sigalet
Chuck Kobasew
Zdeno Chara
Glen Murray
Mark Stuart
Martins Karsums
Vladimir Sobotka

Tuukka Rask is on the ice, and is expected to get some time tonight, along with Tim Thomas.

11:30 a.m. With the early start there was no game day skate for the players appearing tonight, but many fans took advantage of the open practice and are watching Chara, Bergeron et al.

1:17 p.m. The media just met with Coach Julien, who informed the writers that he will be playing Tim Thomas for 60-minutes, tonight.

"Timmy's got the full game," he said. "Tuukka practiced this morning...and (he's) the backup."

Asked if he was going to do that the rest of the way, Julien wasn't willing to commit.

"I'm taking it one game at a time, here," he said. "But there's probably good reason to see our goaltenders start to play full games."

3:06 p.m. We're getting down to the nitty gritty here. No word on the Toronto lineup, yet.
I will try to be forthcoming when the boys in blue hit the ice.

3:27 p.m. I just saw my first leaf. Clemmensen and Gill just lead the team onto their end of the ice. Timmy led the B's.

On the ice for Toronto (as I saw them skate around):

3:48 p.m. Only a few minutes until game time, I am switching over to updating my recap (story 1 on the front page). See you on the flip side! Go Bruins!
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