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B’s legends skate at Fenway

12.18.09 at 9:59 am ET
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Some Bruins greats took to the rink at Fenway Park Friday morning to test out the ice. Here are some photos.

NHL Power Rankings — 12/16

12.16.09 at 10:31 am ET
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As the ice rink gets built at Fenway, take a look at how we have constructed this week’s WEEI power rankings:

1. (1) 22-8-1  Going a league best 8-2 in their last 10 will do little to drop the Devils from our top ranking.

2. (5) 23-10-1  Back-to-back games with the Flyers followed by contests against Buffalo and New Jersey this week will be a nice test for the defending champs.

3. (3) 20-8-3  A four-game homestand, which includes a contest with the B’s Friday, could vault the Blackhawks to No. 1 just in time for Christmas.

4. (2) 21-7-6  Get dropped by the Leafs 6-3 and you’re going to drop in the rankings. Them’s the rules, Caps fans.

5. (6 ) 22-11-3  Much hoopla in LA this week about the now-ready-for-prime-time Kings holding the top spot in the Western Conference and playing for the  “best record” in the league Monday. Hey, things are good, but let’s check the games played column before we get too carried away, Hollywood.

6. (10) 20-9-2 Four wins in a row for the Sabres. Derek Roy has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) to pace effort and lead team in scoring.

7. (4) 19-8-7  Please raise your hand if your team has not defeated the Sharks (0-2-3) recently.  Anyone?

8. (7) 19-10-4  A dip for the Flames, who are just 2-4-1 in last seven. Jarome Iginla has no goals and just three assists over that stretch.

9. (13) 19-11-6  Time to give the Avalanche a little more respect. Wins in four of their last six games will do that.

10. (8) 19-12-2   The Coyotes opened a four-game road trip with a loss in Detroit Monday. Big question is will Ilya Bryzgalov (13 straight starts) finally get a night off with back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday.

11. (11) 20-11-3   The loss of combative and competitive forward Jordin Toottoo for 3-4 weeks will present a test for the Predators.

12. (9) 16-10-6  After dropping back-to-back games to teams near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Bruins face a formidable challenge skating against one of the best in the West in Chicago Friday. Gut check time.

13. (16) 17-11-5   The Red Wings have won 3-of-4 and are getting in gear. But the loss of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson in Monday’s win over the Coyotes could limit their climb.

14. (14) 14-8-10   James Neal has three goals and two assists in the last five games for the Stars. He has 14 on the season and should surpass the 24 goals he notched as a rookie last season.

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Julien: ‘We collapsed’ in third period meltdown

12.15.09 at 1:39 am ET
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Claude Julien expected more from his team on Monday night.

He thought after his Bruins killed a 5-on-3 Philadelphia power play in the first period, they would come out for the jugular.

He thought after they worked and worked and finally got a late second-period goal from Vladimir Sobokta on a lucky re-direct of a centering pass from Shawn Thornton, they would find a way to put away the Flyers in the third period. They were 9-0-0 before Monday night in similar situations this season.

And he thought, despite a Sobokta goal being disallowed earlier in the game, the Bruins would outwork the dispirited Flyers and come away with two points.

If Monday’s game were a multiple choice game, none of the above would be the correct answer as the Flyers scored three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes and came away with a much-needed, much deserved 3-1 win at TD Garden.

Claude Julien said his team simply collapsed in a third-period meltdown.

Julien said he expected more from his team after killing a Flyers 5-on-3 power play.

Julien said he was disappointed his team wasn’t ready for the third.

Zdeno Chara said two good periods wasn’t good enough on Monday.

Chara said the Flyers played like the hungrier team.

Mark Recchi said the Bruins had no killer instinct.

Read More: Bruins, Flyers, NHL,

Winter Classic Preparation

12.15.09 at 1:14 am ET
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Get a sneak peak as Fenway transforms into an ice rink for the Winter Classic. NHL Facilities Operation Manager Dan Craig and Bruins legend Ray Bourque address the media. Marc Savard and Flyers James Van Riemsdyk talk about the big day.

Kesselmania over – we can get on with our lives

12.11.09 at 1:37 am ET
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Even Claude Julien had to take notice of the TV-generated hype over Phil Kessel’s return to Boston twice in the last five days.

Yes, he was a terrifically talented player who could score and strike the fear of hockey gods into the opposition if given space on ice to wheel and deal.

But the Bruins knew full well how to contain No. 81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He had two shots in 16 minutes in Saturday’s 7-2 loss to Boston. On Thursday, just five days later, Kessel’s line wasn’ t much prettier.

He had 22 shifts in over 18 minutes with just two shots, no goals and two face-off wins as the Bruins won again, 5-2. Not exactly what Toronto coach Ron Wilson had in mind but just what Claude Julien and the Bruins drew up in practice this week when discussing Kessel.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said he was very proud of the way his team contained the explosive Toronto forward.

Julien said his team wasn’t obsessed with Kessel and did a good job of not being affected by ‘Kesselmania’.

Read More: Bruins, Maple Leafs, Phil Kessel,

Serving his team and country

12.11.09 at 1:23 am ET
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Mark Stuart was a very proud man on Thursday night.

Just before face-off, the Bruins defenseman had the privilege of accepting a Bruins flag that flew in Iraq with the U.S. Army Rangers.

He took a slap shot from the top of the slot that beat Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala between the pads for his second goal of the season, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

The he got into a shoving match two minutes into the second period with Jamal Mayers. As they came out of their respective penalty boxes, the two decided to come out swinging this time, both earning five minute majors.

The only thing missing from Mark Stuart’s night to remember was an assist. That would have given him the so-called Gordie Howe hat trick – A goal, an assist and a fight. Still, Stuart was clearly the most important player on the ice on Thursday during Boston’s 5-2 win over the Leafs at TD Garden.

Afterward, he shared his thoughts on the special night.

Stuart said it was an emotional night, starting with the opening flag-presenting ceremony.

Stuart said he was happy to finally get mixed up with Mayers after their roughing minors.

Coach Claude Julien thought Stuart deserved the No. 1 star.

Captain Zdeno Chara said Stuart provided a valuable spark.

Mark Recchi said every Bruin can learn something from Stuart’s performance Thursday.

Ice rink at Fenway

12.10.09 at 12:26 pm ET
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The NHL has distributed an architectural rendering of the ice rink that will soon be constructed at Fenway for the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.

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