The Gang's All Here: Healthy Boston Bruins Team Spell Trouble for Opponents

Wayne WhittakerCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2009

What a pleasant surprise.

Just one week removed from scrapping out a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins returned to the ice looking like a new team.

With the return of Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic, and Patrice Bergeron, the B's were able to topple the threatening Washington Capitals in OT.

In his first game back since suffering a concussion in December, Bergeron had an impressive assist while logging 17 minutes of ice time.

But the news gets better.

Phil Kessel has been cleared to play and is expected to make his return tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils.

The Bruins' leading goal-scorer has been out since mid-January with an embarrassing bout of mono.

With Kessel's return, the Bruins can be classified as "healthy" once again. Although Michael Ryder sat out yesterday's game with "flu-like symptoms," he is expected to return by Saturday.


A Big Week

After taking down Alex Ovechkin and the second-place Capitals, the Bruins set their sights on the red-hot New Jersey Devils, who come into Boston riding a six-game win streak.

There will be little time for rest for the Battling B's as the Rangers make the trip to the Garden for a Saturday matinee. And then it's off to Montreal for hockey's version of Super Sunday with an afternoon battle against the arch rival Canadiens.


Chiarelli Smells Something Bruin'

With the March 4 trade deadline approaching, many insiders believe Boston General Manager Peter Chiarelli is working on at least one deal.

Some names that have been thrown around as possible trade candidates include Manny Fernandez, Chuck Kobasew, P.J. Axellson, and a few forgettable Providence Bruins.

All of these players have played key roles in Claude Julien's system, and it would be a shame to see any of them go. For now though, Bruins fans must have trust in the GM (who is currently in talks with owners Jacob and Charlie Jacobs about a possible contract extension of his own).


A Quick Kudos

A quick congratulatory kudos to Byron Bitz, who registered his first NHL fight last night, against seasoned veteran Donald Brashear. According to the score card on, it was a draw. But the rookie stood tall against one of the best fighters in the league.