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Pregame notes: Bruins vs. Sabres 4/16/13

The Boston Bruins will be playing with “heavy hearts” tonight, as many inside locker room called it, as this is the first professional sports game to be played in Boston since the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday, April 15.

As a safety precaution the Garden has maximized its security for the game and expects fans to arrive earlier than usual. They’re also not allowing any bags inside the building tonight.

Fans should expect an emotional pregame as the organization has a lot planned for the TD Garden tonight. Both Bruins and Sabres players will be wearing a special blue and yellow “Boston Strong” ribbon decal on their helmets for the game tonight. There will likely be a moment of silence as well as a Boston Strong video played prior to puck drop.

According to Comcast Sportsnet’s Joe Haggerty, Bruins players have donated 80 tickets for tonight’s game to the first responders. Brad Marchand announced that he will be raffling off his suite for the playoffs, and all proceeds will be donated to Martin Richards’ family, the 8-year-old who lost his life on Monday.

“Hopefully we can take people’s minds off what happened and give them some sense of relief,” Shawn Thornton told the media.

In the most emotional game of the season, the Boston Bruins will be looking to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and finally clinch a playoff spot.

Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron return to the lineup tonight after suffering mild and moderate concussions not too long ago. Carl Soderberg also joined the B’s today for their morning skate but will be sitting out of the lineup tonight. Wade Redden gets his first start while Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski will get a night to rest.

The Bruins vowed to go out and play their hearts out for the victims and all those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this week. Boston is in mourning and all of this is still so raw, the Bruins will do anything they can to bring happiness to these people.

Project lines

Marchand – Bergeron – Seguin
Campbell – Krejci – Jagr
Paille – Kelly – Horton
Lucic – Peverley – Thornton

Chara – Boychuk
Seidenberg – Hamilton
Redden –Ference

Khudobin

Final thoughts: The front of the jersey is really gonna mean a hell of a lot tonight.

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Pregame notes: Bruins vs. Maple Leafs 3/25/13

In the second half of the home-at-home between Boston and Toronto, the Bruins will be looking to avenge their rare loss to the division rival Maple Leafs. The B’s fell to Toronto by a score of 3-2 on Saturday night after allowing a season-low 13 shots on goal. Anton Khudobin wasn’t looking his sharpest as he gave up the 3 goals on those 13 shots. Going into the match-up, the Bruins had a 20-5-5 record against Toronto dating back to 2007. To put it simply, the B’s just don’t lose to Toronto very often. But let’s look at it this way, the last time the Bruins lost to the Leafs (March 31, 2011 – a 4-3 shootout loss) the B’s went on to win the Stanley Cup. Maybe it’s a sign?

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Quinnipiac advances to ECAC semifinals in dramatic double overtime win

This weekend at High Point Solutions Arena in Hamden, Connecticut brought unrelenting excitement to the world of college hockey. Top-ranked Quinnipiac squared off against ninth-ranked Cornell in a gritty three games series to determine who will advance to the ECAC Tournament semifinals. Still riding their top ranking in the USCHO Poll and PairWise Rankings, the Bobcats were heavily favored in this match-up. But it’s always important to remember that the playoffs are a completely different animal. The Bobcats were reminded of this after they dropped the first game of the series 3-2, putting them in a must-win position going into the next game.

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Pregame Notes: Bruins vs. Capitals 3/5/13

Let’s cut to the chase: it’s time to bounce back. After suffering a frustrating and narrow defeat to rival Montreal, the Bruins will be looking to pick themselves up and dust themselves off as they face off against the Washington Capitals. After last year’s playoffs, there’s a little more spice to this match-up. The Capitals knocked out the B’s in overtime of Game 7 in the first round. Now, the B’s and Caps will be facing off for the first time this season. Now let’s not let last year sway us. The Bruins and Capitals are in two very different places right now. Boston is riding a 14-3-2 record and are arguably the strongest team in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Capitals hold a pathetic 8-11-1 record with only 17 points on the season. Although despite the record, Washington has been improving and are never a team you can look past.

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Quinnipiac Dethrones Minnesota

After endless weeks of coming up short, the Quinnipiac Bobcats have dethroned Minnesota and have taken hold of the #1 spot in the USCHO Poll. This team is on top of the college hockey world.

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Quinnipiac Bobcats Continue to Roll

Photo credit: QU Chronicle

Upon the release of the USCHO Poll on Monday morning, some Quinnipiac fans were disappointed to discover that Minnesota is in fact still ranked #1 in the country. Despite not having played this weekend, Minnesota received 30 first-place votes as opposed to Quinnipiac’s 20.

The Bobcats skated to a 1-1 tie with sixth-ranked Brown University on Friday, February 1st.  But the real test, the biggest and most anticipated matchup of the season belonged to the infamous battle of Connecticut: Quinnipiac vs. Yale. Quinnipiac rolled into Ingalls Rink for the first time this season looking to take down their bitter rival. Prior to the game, Yale was ranked 8th in the USCHO poll and sat right behind Quinnipiac in the ECAC.

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Hockey East Representin’ the NHL – Dominating In College and In the NHL

Hockey East has dominated in college hockey for decades (well, since it was created in the mid-80s). The schools that make up Hockey East have many players in the NHL currently. Because I love Hockey East and all that they represent, in the next few weeks, I will be putting the spotlight on as many Hockey East alumni in the NHL currently as I can.

The schools that make up Hockey East for the 2012-2013 season are: Boston College, Boston University, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Merrimack College, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University, Providence College, and the University of Vermont. Next season, Hockey East will add two more schools: University of Notre Dame and the University of Connecticut.

Hockey East alumni include the wonderful Jimmy Howard from the Detroit Red Wings, the fiery Nathan Gerbe from the Buffalo Sabres, Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning, and recent Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick from the L.A. Kings.

So stay tuned to learn about their collegiate days (maybe even some bad hair cuts or crazy rumors) and see just where these boys came from.