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Bruins notebook

No room for Burke here

Jacobs is happy with the brass

In his first fight of the season, Milan Lucic hammered the Canadiens' Mike Komisarek to the ice during the third period. In his first fight of the season, Milan Lucic hammered the Canadiens' Mike Komisarek to the ice during the third period. (David Kamerman/Globe Staff)
By Kevin Paul Dupont
Globe Staff / November 14, 2008
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A day after Brian Burke stepped down as the Anaheim Ducks' general manager, Bruins ownership yesterday sounded as if they won't be in the bidding for the 53-year-old Harvard Law School grad.

Executive vice president Charlie Jacobs, son of owner Jeremy Jacobs, sent an unsolicited e-mail responding to a Globe column yesterday suggesting that Burke could be a perfect fit in the Causeway Street front office.

According to the junior Jacobs, the club feels no urge to break from the status quo.

"I find it necessary to state on the record," wrote Jacobs, "that Bruins ownership is quite happy with our current senior management team of Peter [Chiarelli], Jim [ Benning], Cam [ Neely], and Don [ Sweeney]. We have no plans to expand our front office at this time.

"We believe the current leadership has provided Bruins fans with a promising young team and one that is going to bring us continued success."

No mention of Harry Sinden, senior adviser to Jeremy Jacobs.

It was by design

Blake Wheeler and P.J. Axelsson, both of whom scored in Wednesday night's 2-1 shootout victory in Chicago, weren't the most obvious choices to be among the first off the Boston bench to shoot against the Blackhawks' Nikolai Khabibulin.

But make no mistake, said coach Claude Julien, they weren't capricious choices.

"Some people seemed to think I rolled the dice," said Julien. "Well, it's far from that."

A stickler for details, and the overseer of a detailed game plan, Julien moved Wheeler and Axelsson up his shooters list after watching them in practices recently against goalies Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez.

Simple merit system. They shot. They scored. And they got the call when the clock turned real time.

"It wasn't a crapshoot," said the coach.

"Yeah, we've been working on it a lot," added Axelsson. "I had my move in mind, and I was lucky, too, because it hit [Khabibulin's glove] and went in . . . but, hey, we'll take it."

Filling in the dot

The Bruins have been better of late at the faceoff circle, and that was especially the case in Chicago, where they won 54 percent of their faceoffs, paced by Marc Savard (11 for 17) and Stephane Yelle (7 for 11).

Last night in their 6-1 win over Montreal, the Bruins won 55 percent of their faceoffs, led by Patrice Bergeron (10 of 16) and Yelle (6 of 11).

The Bruins, said Julien, keep their own statistics pertaining to faceoffs, in part because the club believes the statistics vary greatly in arenas across the Original 30.

"We are definitely better [than earlier in the season]," said Julien. "If we gauge it ourselves, we're in the top five [in the NHL]."

Ference hurt

Late in the second period, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference fell to the ice in pain after being drilled in the leg by a long-range Andrei Markov slapper. He eventually hobbled off the ice, play never stopping, and he did not return. Julien said he did not believe the injury was serious, but Ference did not emerge from the trainer's room after the game, and the club's media staff said he would not be available. Most likely, Ference either had X-rays last night or will have them today. If he is unable to go tomorrow nght in New York against the Rangers, chances are Matt Hunwick will be inserted into his spot . . . Bergeron looked more comfortable and confident, and it showed in his team-leading shot total (6) . . . Special teams of late have been on a roll. The Bruins were 2 for 4 on the man-advantage (both goals by Marco Sturm) and killed Montreal's two power plays . . . The Habs won in the blocked shots department, 18-9.

Hnidy returns

Shane Hnidy, who sat out the previous three games with a lower-body injury, was back on the Boston defense. Hunwick moved to the sideline to make room for Hnidy . . . Petteri Nokelainen sat out his third straight contest, with Chuck Kobasew filling his fourth-line spot on a trio with Shawn Thornton and Yelle . . . By the end of the first period, Thornton had a goal and an assist . . . The Bruins are slated to skate today in Wilmington before heading to Manhattan.

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