Saturday, December 23, 2006

Me at the sports museum in boston

Old school nets

Boston garden penalty box

Gary cheevers mask

Drydon up close

Ron francis jers and whalers' 72 wha cup

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Career-high 8th game; Gotta love those new Canucks jerseys

The Canucks and Markus Naslund (bottom) are 6-9-1 away from home and tonight's game in Boston will be no easier for Roberto Luongo (top) and co.

I am attending my career-high eighth game of the season tonight and my first time ever seeing the Canucks (I actually may have seen them once with Bure). I expect the Bruins to win - my guess, 4-2. I have six seats - the biggest crowd yet. It should be a good one.

Brad Boyes has been hot lately and could find himself scoring on Luongo like last year before the Panthers traded away their franchise player.

The Canucks are last in the Northwest division but with win tonight can move into a tie for first with Calgary. The Flames, Wild, Oil, Avs and Canucks are all separated by two points. That's pretty amazing - the second smallest space between the top and bottom teams of any other division is 14 points, seperating Atlanta from Florida in the Southeast. In the Pacific, a whopping 35 points separates Anaheim (60) from Gretzky's Coyotes (25). Then again, the Ducks have nearly double the points of the Bruins (33). Anyways, off to the game.

Why the Bruins are cupless in nearly 35 years and more on Lubomir Visnovsky, Zdeno Chara, the best Slovaks and...Lars Jonsson?

First round, seventh overall selection in the 2000 draft, defenseman Lars Jonsson was never signed by the Bruins.

As I was sifting through the stats for this year's rookie class, I found a defenseman by the name of Lars Jonsson near the bottom of the list.

Jonsson will never celebrate in a Bruins uniform and could come back to haunt the B's someday

With two assists in just a handful or two of games for the Flyers, he seemd worth a look. Plus, the name Lars brings back sweet memories of the Northeastern men's soccer season and defenseman Lars Okland this past fall. Sure enough, what was revealed was another Bruins blunder swept under the rug. It turns out
Johnsson was the B's number one pick, seventh overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.


I believe that's their highest pick other than Kessel in the new millenium, and instead of holding on to this guy who they apparently felt very strongly enough and tried to sign several times, as Wikipedia shockingly describes, they let him slip away and decided to trade the league's MVP away for a solid defenseman just a few years later. I never heard about this through all the Thornton pre and post trade dialogue. But you don't just give away the second best defenseman of the draft for the 37th pick in 2006 draft, Russian defenseman Yuri Alexandrov (still playing in Russia).

Yuri looks like an awkward 14-year-old struggling with adolescenc, nevermind NHL players

Yuri doesn't exactly look furocious, but we will wait and see - apparently he was the eligible Russian this year. Don't bother trying to google Yuri because you will only find an old beared man. Just for added emphasis, lifetime Islander DiPietro, Heatley, Gaborik and Rostislav Klesla, the only D-man picked before Jonsson, headlined that 2000 draft, while the following gems came much lower...

118. Los Angeles (from Ottawa), Lubomir Visnovsky, D, Bratislava, Slovakia.
205. N.Y. Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist, G, Frolunda, Sweden.

Henrik Lundqvist and Lubomir Visnovsky (above) were the "hidden" gems of the 2000 draft

How does a guy like Visnovsky go at 118? He was obviously NHL ready, seeing how he made the Kings roster immediately and went on to play 81 games, collect 39 points and finish with a +16 rating in his 2000-01 rookie season. The guy led all rookie defencemen with 39 points in 2000-01 and was previously voted the best player overall in Slovakia for the year 2005 and was six-times voted the best defenceman in Slovakia (1999 to 2003 and 2005). We aren't talking the Japanese league here. The Slovaks are no sloches in the NHL.

See Stan Mikita, Peter Stastny, Peter Bondra, Zigmund Palffy, Pavol Demitra, Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik, Ladislav Nagy and guess who, Zdeno Chara. That list is in order by career points, with a few names left out in between (one-time Bruin Joseph Stumpel among those left out, despite 600 career points including four against the B's last Saturday).

Super Stan Mikita is undoubtably the best Slovak to ever play the game

But guess who is the 17th on that list, before Chara at 18th. Visnovsky, who has played 182 less games than Big Z but has five more points and could have been had in the same draft as the should-have-been-a-Bruin Lars Jonsson.

Lubomir Visnovsky has arguably had a more productive career than Zdeno Chara yet the Kings anchor is virtually unknown to the common fan

Visnovsky's stat line against Chara's is quite impressive and surprising in itself. With the miserable Kings, V has posted 44-136-180 line in 348 games since 2000, while Z has 57-118-175 in 530 games since 1997. I guess the Bruins aren't the only team saying What If? about overlooking V in 2000.

Visnovsky hooks ex-Bruin Sergei Samsonov during the World Cup of Hockey

Moral of the story is look how much we just paid to get Chara in town - and look what and where we could have got unheralded Visnovsky - but of course, the Bruins would never hit big like that when they didn't even want the second best defenseman of that draft enough to hold on. Great teams scout well, draft well and find a way to best develop that talent. And with their second highest draft pick of the new millenium, the B's scouted well, drafted well and then gave away a could-be franchise player. I might be overexagerating, but there's something to be said about these decisions. The B's certainly didn't reap nearly all the benefits of Thornton, and you can credit poor decision making from Joe's rookie season for that. We should have Chara, Mara and either Jonsson or Visnovsky in the back with Thornton, Samsonov, Boyes, Bergeron, Savard, Murray, Axellson etc. up front. The reason the Ducks are where they are right now? They scout well, draft well and find a way to best develop that talent. Other than Selanne and the big time D pair, the Ducks average age must be like 25.

6'3 Corey Perry is one of many big, young Ducks forwards helping the team dominate the league this year. Perry scored twice last night in a 4-1 win over the Stars.

Back to Wikipedia, which by the way, is the source for all of the above stats probably not up to date. But apparently you can type in the name of pretty much any hockey player and get their athletic life story. It's a pretty useful tool and makes me wonder how much information, and what kind, can be found here. The list of draftees from 2000 led me to find that Dany Heatley was once a Wisconsin Badger. Surprisingly, he is only 49th on their all-time scoring list with a 52-61-113 line in 77 games from 1999-01. So I guess if he had played 160 games like leader and current head coach Mike Eaves (1970-74), he would be closer to the top (267) in points. I also learned that ex-Bruin, flash-in-a-pan Jim Carey was a Badger. Currently in the NHL are former Badgers Rene Bourque, Chris Chelios, Sean Hill, CuJo, Scott Mellanby, Brian Refalski, Steve Reinprecht, Ryan Suter, David Tanabe, Brad Winchester and Andy Wozniewski.

Dany Heatley controls the puck off the faceoff during his collegiate years at Wisconsin.

IN defending the hobby
Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin's mid to high level rookies are already out of the average collectors price range, but the NHL's future great defenseman are underpriced and overlooked right now.

Visnovsky and even Deon Phaneuf rookie singles can be had at a great bargain.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wheeling and Dealing

I apologize to all for not posting over the weekend - especially under the circumstances. Friday morning, a regular but "it's Friday!" morning at the job, some guy came by the office and announced he was with Florida Panthers media. This news came in my right ear and went right out my left - until about 5 seconds later my boss spoke retold the message. Well, it turns out NHL teams do practice here at Matthews Arena on occasion. Last year, my boss watched Lemieux and Crosby up close.

Lucky for me, my girlfriend was still at home and was able to get my camera to me before practice started. I got about 20 shots of practice and took about 2 hours out of work to watch Jokinen and co. The biggest difference I noticed between those guys and our Huskies was how explosive NHLers are on their skates. From the first stride, these guys are off and up to high speeds, sending crisp and effortless saucers passes diagonally across the ice, which apparently all NHL players qualify as some of the best ice around. The Panthers looked pretty damn good - and they didn't look bad either when they took down the Bruins for the third time this year and the second time at TD. I watched that one with the girlfriend and coworkers/boss, my seventh game of the year. Anyways, those pictures of practice will be up shortly.

In other news, I have created a Google Group titled Wealing & Dealing. Why? I was scanning the posts on the newsgroup again today and realized, again, that there is just way too much filler. For every 10 posts, there might be one worth looking at. It's either poor products offered by lackluster collectors, memorabilia I have never heard of with no description, or money hungry ebayers. None of which satisfy my needs.

My hope is that this group will eventually grow into one that is a tight-knit collection of passionate hockey cards collectors (traders) that can help out one another on a regular basis. It's my first Google Group, so only time will tell. Until then, it looks like more hours scanning on ebay.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dice-k drops the puck!

Close up from the Boston Globe


Off to the game. Hopefully can update with some live audio and pictures - we'll see how it goes. 7th game of the year and counting.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What is your top line? ESPN has narrowed it down to 50 players.

First a foremost, there's some fantastic non-hockey related news in Boston tonight. Dice-K and Mr. Boras have landed in Boston and are very close, if not done concluding a deal with Boston that will make their new ace the winner of a 6-year, 52 million dollar deal. At that figure, it is safe to say the Red Sox upped the ante, Boras caved a bit as expected, and Dice-K wanted a deal now.

Back to hockey. Selanne could have made ESPN's top 50 players of all time list, but I suppose he was never on one of the top lines of all time...the chosen 50 are listed at Vote for your top line. This is a tough exercise to do for someone born in 1985, like myself. Sometimes stats can speak for themselves, but for other players, take Bob Gainey for example, stats are not half the battle.

Without doing too much research or watching old game film or deliberating for hours, my four lines go something like this:


I really wanted to include Bobby Hull or Mikita - but Crosby and Ovechkin will someday be right behind Gretzky and Lemieux - and Forsberg, throughout my childhood and to this day, is the best all-around player when healthy. This is one tough exercise - and I would like to hear what everyone else has to say about it. Especially those who have a better knowledge of pre 90s - or even better pre 80s hockey.

Also, where is Cam Neely on this list? Jarome Iginla is a great player - but has lacked consistency throughout his career and has yet to really establish himself as one of the game's top 5 or so players year in and year out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Crosby? Ovechkin? Malkin? Why today's casual collector can only choose one. And why Nick Lidstrom is a better choice.

Last night's game between the soon-to-be rival Penguins and Capitals featured the three players which we will remember in 20 years as being the best of this generation. While Jagr still tops the league in points and Mr. Selanne sits in third to my surprise and delight, it is Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin that will undoubtably rule the NHL and the hobby over the next decade or two.

Sidney Crosby's upper deck rookie can be had for a benjamin

The Penguins got the best of the Caps on Monday night, 5-4. C&M (too reminiscent of Meg and Chris, my sister and her ex-boyfriend of eighth years - she is 19), ignited a four goal comeback concluding with a shootout victory. That game could be seen FREE on Versus. There is and will be little else to do with C-O-M that doesn't C-O-M-E with an enormous price tag.

While searching for tickets to the Pens/Bruins game during the presale way back when, I struck out miserably trying to get balcony tix. Tickets can be had I am sure, but I don't want to know for how much.

In the hobby, this problem is only escalated, a sad but inevitable truth to any young collectors looking to pot a card of their life long role models. Worse so is the problem for rookie collectors. The days of attaining one of a superstar's better rookie cards for a $20 bill are gone. Even for $50 or $100, unlikely. Rick Nash recent set the new generation precedent, with his UD Premier Patch Auto card hitting the $1400 plus mark. That's for a young superstar who has grossly underperformed so far this year. Let me try to get across just how far the hobby has changed over the last decade.

Evgeni Malkin's first rookie release from Upper Deck Black Diamond has been selling upwards of $200 a pop - hopefully I will pull one come Christmas morning.

Take a look at Nicklas Lidstrom's career stats. He is four goals away from 200, is 12th on the all-time assists list among active players, and right now, in his 15th season (14 playoff years), all with the Red Wings, he is the only defenseman to lead his team in points (25). Just glancing at his stats, I am impressive by his longetivity, especially with one team. Ray Bourque almost got there - but didn't. Lidstrom is a model of excellence, of consistency. Perhaps the most remarkable stat of all - he is +322 for his career. Not a single negative season. Another amazing feat - in all 15 years, with the exception of the shortened 1994-95 campaign, Nick has appeared in at least 78 games. And that only happened once. Despite leading nearly all of those teams in minutes, and playing deep into the playoffs almost every year, he has managed to stay 100% healthy. I would have to look around a bit - but I imagine it would be hard pressed to find many, if any, career resumes as impressive, solid and consistent as Lidstrom's.

If I can't resist, Ovechkin will likely have my loyalties before Sidney or Evgeni

I have yet to decide whose rookie I will pursue - although right now I'm leaning toward Ovechkin first - but so you can actually see it played out, look at what I just purchased for $16.15. The pictured Lidstrom lot, which books for $30 (all rookies - including his best at a bargain $3!, a 7-card Sergei Federov lot which includes 3 copies of his best rookie from the 90-91 OPC Premier set, 7 upper deck Peter Forsberg rookies which book at $10 each and 6 Markus Naslund upper deck rookies which book at $5 each. So we are talking about $150 plus worth of hall of famer rookie cards for the price of - say, two packs of your middle-of-the-line 2006-07 hockey product which contain, in every 4 or 5 boxes or maybe 100-200 packs, a $200 or $300 Malkin rookie.

And if the hype is too much too resist, well, I've done the work for you. You can buy a 20-card set featuring Crosby's phenominal beginning in 2005-06 for just $11.99 at this retailer. And on ebay, you can find the Crosby/Ovechkin dual card pictured below for anywhere between $5 to $40. There are plenty available around $10, and for a card that I heard may book at $50, and features two of the three next generation players, this may be the only financially available path for today's casual collector.

For a final comment, I want to add that despite the hobby boom over the past decade, C-O-M may actually be worth it. All three have IT - but more importantly, they all play with that drive and compassion that at some point will bring good fortune to their respective cities. And we can always watch them on Versus for free.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Jack Parker is a good man

Jack Parker is a great man for a lot of reasons, and as I was beginning to write a post regarding now Northeastern assistant coach Shawn McEachern's run with BU to the NCAA finals in 1990-91, I decided instead to combine that post with another, detailing the Saturday night assault on four Boston University athletes.

Well, upon my research on Shawn McEachern's collegiate days, I fell upon the story of the 1990-91 NCAA hockey championship. After reaching the Frozen Four as a second team Hockey East All-Star the year before, McEachern came back with 34 goals and 48 assists for BU’s second highest single-season total of 82 points in 1990-91. The Terriers, with McEachern, Tony Amonte and Keith Tkachuk starting at forward on what head coach Jack Parker called “the most talented team we ever had,” won the Hockey East tournament and reached the NCAA championship but lost in triple overtime to Northern Michigan, 8-7, in an incredible back-and-forth game. It was also the second longest NCAA final game in history. McEachern was named a first team Hockey East all-star, a NCAA East first team All-American and the William Flynn Tournament MVP, given annually to the Most Valuable Player of the Hockey East Championship Tournament. Other recipients have included Brian Leetch in 1987 and Dwayne Roloson in 1994.

Within Dave Hendrickson's article, Parker goes on to say the following: "About two years ago, I saw Tony Amonte at T. Anthony's restaurant," says Parker. "The Black Hawks were in town to play the Bruins the next day, so he came up to his old stomping grounds to say hello. I had just been reading the Globe sports page and it was one of those days where they have all the scorers of every team in the NHL. Amonte was leading Chicago by a mile in scoring. Keith Tkachuk was leading Phoenix by a mile in scoring. And Shawn McEachern was the second-leading scorer for Ottawa. In walks Amonte and I said, 'Tony, here you're the number one guy. Tkachuk's the number one guy. McEachern's the number-two guy. How did we not win the national championship?' He just looked at me and said, 'Hey coach, offense wasn't our problem. We got seven. We just couldn't keep it up.' I would say that that was one of the most exciting teams I've ever coached and without question, the most talented team we ever had. That was the heyday of college hockey and the apex of college hockey as far as talent across the nation, especially in Hockey East. We'd go out for the Beanpot final and put McEachern, Amonte, Tkachuk, [Peter] Ahola and [Scott] Lachance for our starting five and BC would counter with [Steve] Heinze, [Marty] McInnis, [David] Emma and [Scott] LaGrand in the cage. Maine had great players. It was a great league. I think one of the greatest college teams ever assembled was the team that Northern Michigan had that year. They had a lot of talented players who are still in the NHL to this day."

Chris O'Sullivan, who played for the Terriers from 1993 to 1996, said this of his former coach: "Coach Parker doesn't just care about you at the rink. He cares about you as a person. He cares about the rest of your life."

That's where the recent assault on the four Boston University athletes - including star goalie John Curry, captain defenseman Sean Sullivan and another defenseman, Kevin Schaeffer, who was most seriously injured after being knocked unconscience. Lauren Morton of the women's lacrosse team had jaw broken. Apparently, most of the BU hockey team was out at a party in Allston. Many of the players left, but some, including those attacked, got into a fight with some others at the party. Then around 4 a.m., three white men wearing hooded sweatshirts attacked the four with wrenches, baseball bats and hammers.

When reached for comment, Jack Parker had this to say: "He looks like Tony Conigliaro, exactly. Amazing. That's the first thing I thought when I saw him in the hospital was he looked like Tony C [after his beaning in 1967]...Nothing good happens after 2 o'clock in the morning. The team rule is the only night you can drink is on Saturday night and you can't drink if you're under 21."

Without any pictures of Kevin Schaeffer in a hospital bed, you can use your imagination to play out the assault on early Sunday morning

While we have seen other universities have several players thrown off their respective teams, and some involved with coaches, Parker seems only calm and congenial. Too bad he rejected the Bruins offer.

If there's a will, there's a way

Last night's game was nothing short of spectacular - big hits, improbable saves and nifty goals - lots of them. How the B's ended up on the right side of a 6-5 victory, I do not know. I saw the entire game, with the exception of the three goals scored in the first five minute of the second period.

Brad Stuart scored twice in the third, including the game-winning goal, although I still am sure Wayne Premeau tipped it in. Regardless, Big Bad Brad is making the world of a difference for the B's when he's healthy, and meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Joe is producing, but it seems like he's never on ESPN's top 10 plays. Sergei actually looked pretty good last night. I didn't catch the stat sheet, but he must have had a good five four or five shots on net - including a near breakaway. I bet he just had extra in the take to show up his former team.

Well, somehow Bruins come out on top, and I'll take it. It's not often the momentum can shift that often, in such a negative way, and your team can still win the game.

Stuart Scenario in the Hobby
I have a SP Authentic Sign of the Times Stuart autograph from his rookie year - I think it books around $10. Nothing significant - although it looks like my card made it to this list of Brad Stuart's top 10 cards. But if the Bruins continue to do well - it could be Stuart, not Chara, heralded as the B's best point man. Chara's giveaway leading to 6, YES 6, shorthanded chances during a B's powerplay last night was just heinous.

Former Bruin Shawn McEachern comes bearing gifts

The Huskies are hoping Shawn McEachern and yesterday's first snow will bring them some midseason magic for Christmas

Former Bruin and 13-year NHLer Shawn McEachern has taken over an assistant coaching position for Northeastern - it has yet to be officially announced, but I just finished writing a 700-word bio to be posted when it becomes official. McEachern is a pretty significant addition to the coaching staff - the Waltham native, who spent three years at Boston University before going on to collect 256 goals, 323 assists and 579 points with four different NHL teams, is also the proud owner of a Stanley Cup. He was a lucky winner in the 1991-92 season, signing with the team in March just before Super Mario and Co. repeated. For more on McEachern's career stats, visit his profile at Yahoo, Wikipedia, Legends of Hockey or at the Hockey Database. All of these links are great resources for information on hockey players at a variety of levels from juniors to the NHL.

McEachern was traded to the Kings for Marty McSorley and back to the Pens in 1993 and then returned home to Boston along with Kevin Stevens in exchange for current Bruin Glen Murray and former Bruin Brian Smolinski. McEachern had 53 points during the 1995-96 season with the B’s and would eventually return to Boston for his career finale, 28 games during the 2005-06 season. He also won the first 1996 World Cup of Hockey during in that first year at Boston.

In between stints in Boston, McEachern played some of his best hockey during six seasons with Ottawa Senators, before being shipped to the Trashers before the 2002-03 season. There, he was quickly named the team captain, squashing previous plans to rotate the captaincy among four players.

McEachearn was second to only Ilya Kovalchuk on the Thrasher's points list during the 2002-03 season.

In his first game at Atlanta’s Philips Arena, he recorded a hat trick and despite missing much of the season with groin and back injuries, the Thrashers re-signed their leader to a new deal. He returned healthy in 2003-04, played all 82 games and finished second on Atlanta with 55 points while helping the team to a club record 33 wins.

McEachern does have some coaching experience - he was an assistant for part of the 2004-05 lockout season at Salem State College - and he has done a lot of hockey-related community work.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

NU completes essential sweep of Merrimack

The Huskies won the second of the home and home series at Merrimack last night, completing a very necessary four-point weekend. The difference in the quality of play between a UNH vs. Northeastern and a Merrimack vs. Northeastern game is astounding. The Warriors are slower, less skilled and not as solid on their skates. Thus, even without Mike Morris and playing their B-game at best, the Huskies won easily, 4-1 on Friday and 2-0 last night.

It was my first trip on a road hockey game, but I was all about helping out with stats. I brought my bulky camera with hopes I could get some pictures for this blog. I was actually shocked at how well I could focus in on the ice. And my boss gave me a tutorial - I learned how to use my Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10, 3.2 Mega Pixel digital. It's really not a bad camera, especially for the $120 price tag I found it for. The rink was also very small, but I must say, nicer and colder than I expected. It is definately reminiscent of a high school rink. Cold, small, with a max capacity of about 1200-1500.

Brad Thiessen stretches before stopping 30 shots in his first collegiate shutout.

Thiessen makes one of his tougher saves of the night, as Merrimack forward Mikey Rego, 8, winds up for a close range slapper.

Chad Costello weaved past a defender, cut back toward the middle, and then put home his own rebound. The Huskies celebrate their first of two goals.

Joe Vitale tries to sneak a wrap-around attempt past the Merrimack keeper.

Warrior captain Ryan Sullivan and Joe Vitale investigate the barrage of penalties being assessed after yet another post whistle scrum.

The Bruins, meanwhile, lost for the second time in a week to the Canes, 5-2. Apparently, the effort was there according to Thomas and Lewis, but a 5-2 defeat usually suggests a lack of something. Speaking of a lack there of,
Phil Kessel has been reduced to a role player instead of dangerous young talent. I agree with Dupont. If Kessel is on the bench, there will be less thrill on ice, and his maturation will only be delayed, perhaps forever.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Goal judge's view

57 minutes til game time...morris out

Huskies on the board, BC/BU in a fog, B's in action

Ray Ortiz played well last night, but his line will need to pick up its play even more if Morris is out.

Northeastern finally picked up its first Hockey East victory last night, defeating visiting Merrimack 4-1. Tons of penalties and sloppy play characterized much of the game. Amidst a second period NU power-play, I saw Mike Morris take a shoulder or elbow to his head - he shook it off but before long, skated off from the his post on the point and headed to the bench. I noticed he didn't return, and as I went to drop off the shot charts in between periods, there was Morris, dressed in a shirt and tie, with a dejected look on his face. Without jumping to any conclusions, I can only muse that he suffered a minor tweak, keeping him out the rest of the game, or in the worst case scenario, another blow to the head which could mean any number of serious consequences.

Down at the end of the B-line, most hockey fans and media were geared up for the BU at BC matchup, only to see the game called midway through the first due to unsafe ice conditions. Apparently, BC had seen condensation build up along the glass during a day-time pregame practice. But the ice seemed fine at the start of the game, only to break down, forcing the refs to determine couldn't see it fit to play. The second game of the home-and-home series will be played tonight at BU's Agganis Arena.

Captain Ryan Sullivan and the Warriors will need to score at least twice to have a chance tonight.

My plans to see the "Newsical" have been wiped out, as I am now headed to Merrimack's
Volpe Center in North Andover. The facilities have recently been renevoted, with updates in the visiting locker rooms. You can't help but laugh when looking at this web post, which as of yesterday appeared on the front page of the hockey section. Even worse, a few days prior, it headlined MC's athletic website. I've heard MC's hockey facilities are pretty poor, and renovations are always great, but advertising an extremely lackluster facility, with pictures showcasing its downfalls both before and after, is not something any university should take on. I would understand if there were shots of a newly carpented, painted lockerooms, with intricate shelving for equipment, video equipment in the corners for mid-period examinations and white boards lining the walls for instruction use. But we are talking stalls, shower heads and bare walls here.

With an extra shower head, I expect to be out of Volpe twice as fast tonight.

I'm excited for my trip to the Volpe. I think I might have played high school hockey there.

The B's are back in action tonight - I'm going to miss the game, but I suspect the Bruins will have a better effort tonight than they did last Friday against the Canes. Nothing will top Thursday's game, however. Note, Paul Mara will not be in the lineup tonight, despite earlier reports that he was determined and willing to play through any leg pain.

Friday, December 01, 2006