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These B's Have Bite: Look Forward to Thursday

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
The Gadsden Flag (

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
Bear with me for a moment or two...

It occurred to me while I was listening to Aaron Ward on Saturday night, that there is a real chip-on-the-shoulder attitude in the makeup of this season's Boston Bruins.

I like it.

"We had some of the networks pumped into the dressing rooms on the road," explained Ward. "(We listened) about how this was going to be a rough swing for us."

Ward and the rest of the Bruins weren't having any of that.

"It was a good sign for this group of players to step up in a situation where there is adversity and come through on the right end of it," he said, admitting it wasn't necessarily pretty. "How ever we have to win them -- we have to win them.

"Whether it is an 8-6 (offense dominated) game or a game where guys are going to sacrifice...(Last weekend,) everyone was stepping up and playing properly.

"It shows what happens when we are all on the right page," Ward said.

All of that reminded me of something, especially that bit by Mr. Ward, which sent me to my history books last night.

I figured out what I was looking for shortly afterward -- it was a particular flag that was used during the American Revolution, which had a bit of an underdog bent to it. It was a really cool flag that basically said, "I may not look like much right now, but come a little closer and I will show you what I am all about."

What I found was the Gadsden Flag (see above).

The Gadsden Flag was gold, with a black snake and the words "Don't Tread On Me" emblazoned on the bottom -- simply a great symbol for the colonies and their military, who were the clear underdog.

During the American Revolution, none other than Benjamin Franklin thought the rattlesnake to be a great symbol for the fledgling republic. In fact, several
"On the right page" (
famous depictions of the time (or earlier, like the one shown) picure a snake cut into pieces, with the phrase "Unite or Die."

In other words, together the colonies were a force to be reckoned with. As separate units they were doomed.

Sounds a lot like what Ward was saying Saturday about "being on the right page."

The notion of the Bruins as a coiled snake (a hibernating bear?) ready to pounce upon unsuspecting NHL-clubs appeals to me.

After all, last year is last year.

This is a new set of Boston Bruins who have just come back from the West Coast with a winning record. They come into their first home game having given the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, the mettle of the Western Conference, all that they could handle.

Sure, the B's haven't really done anything yet -- the season has just begun. Ward himself put it best when he said, "Of the four pro sports teams in Boston right now...we have (the most) to prove."

Milan says, "Don't tread on me!"
But the disrespect factor is there.

And ya, it's easy to pull the disrespect card, and ya, it is used a lot in sports -- but with the Bruins, it's true.

And it doesn't sit well with me.

Obviously, the disrespect doesn't sit well with the Bruins, either. They feel as if they can do some special things this year and are ready to use their West Coast success and this week's practices as a springboard to even better things.

"I think the confidence is up," said P.J. Axelsson after yesterday's off-ice workouts. "We are going to have some good practices here and that is going to keep us going."

Shawn Thornton agreed.

"I think coming off that tough road trip 3-2, we have some confidence," said the pugilist. "Those were good teams we played out west...a lot tougher than people think.

"It's an attitude that we have to keep all year. Good teams have it and I think that's what we have to adopt to keep being successful."

Hmmm. Maybe if we exchange that snake for a new-style spoked-B we'll have a new Bruins battle cry: "Don't Tread On Me."

I like it.
Go to for more info on the "Don't Tread On Me" Flag. JB
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