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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.

rink-rendering

Jacobs family to donate Winter Classic tickets 12.09.09 at 9:23 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Thursday that owner Jeremy Jacobs, principal Charlie Jacobs and the Jacobs family, will purchase and donate 200 tickets to the Bridgestone Winter Classic to ten youth hockey teams throughout New England. Each team will represent a different state in New England. Bruins players and alumni will personally deliver the tickets to the teams.

NHL Power Rankings — 12/9 12.09.09 at 7:08 am ET
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Things are starting to settle in among the top five and bottom five teams, but there’s plenty of movement among the remaining 20 teams in the WEEI NHL Power Rankings.

New Jersey Devils 1. (1) 20-7-1  Fewer games, more wins.  Get it ? Devils stay at No. 1.

Washington Capitals2. (6) 19-5-6  Caps win six straight. Top power play in league. Catalyst defenseman Mike Green‘s goal total (5) is down, but his plus-minus is up (plus-11). Still not sold.

Chicago Blackhawks3. (2) 18-7-3  Questioning the Blackhawks’ decision to ink defenseman Duncan Keith to a 13-year contract extension? Aside from leading the team in ice time, he’s their second-leading scorer. More points than Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Brian Campbell. Can you say, team MVP?

San Jose Sharks4. (4) 19-7-5  Sharks lose at home to Blues, are just 1-1-1 during five-game homestand. The soft underbelly won’t go away.

Pittsburgh Penguins5. (5) 20-10-1  Always near the top, Penguins are primed for when things really matter.

Los Angeles Kings 6. (11 ) 18-10-3  Ryan Smyth still injured, Anze Kopitar hasn’t scored in 13 games, Dustin Brown in 14. Yet, the Kings are 4-0-1 in last five. There’s something here, folks.

Calgary Flames7. (2) 18-8-3  After a setback in LA Monday, the Flames still are 6-3-1 in last 10. After being named NHL first star for netting 13 goals in November, Jarome Iginla has yet to score in December.

Phoenix Coyotes8. (14) 18-11-1  Who needs a power play? The Coyotes have won five straight, with their power play going 0-for-18 in during that stretch.

Boston Bruins 9. (10) 15-9-5  Only the meltdown in Montreal diminishes the Bruins’ recent play.

Minnesota Wild10. (7) 16-9-2  The Sabres are settling in for a long fight with the B’s for the division lead. But scoring is an issue, and leading goal-scorer Thomas Vanek has just one tally in last seven games.

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Wideman, Morris absent from practice again 12.08.09 at 2:07 pm ET
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The Bruins practiced without defenseman Dennis Wideman and Derek Morris again Tuesday. The two were given maintenance days off Monday and apparently needed further time off today. Wideman suffered an “upper body” injury in Saturday’s 7-2 win over Toronto. He did skate with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides after the regular practice Tuesday. Coach Claude Julien told reporters he expects Morris to practice Wednesday.

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