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The barn is full, our team's in town...

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The Bruins are back at home on Causeway Street after a four game road trip to start the '08-'09 campaign. The circus elephants and haggard old pop stars have left the building and made way for the Penguins. The crew at TD Banknorth Garden is hard at work getting ready for tonight's home opener vs. Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins by ridding the building of any lingering scents of errant elephant feces and whatever stank Madonna inevitably leaves behind.




Things to look for tonight:

- This is not the same Pittsburgh team that we saw in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Red Wings. Marian Hossa chose Hockeytown over the Steel City. Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts were sent to Tampa Bay. Pest Jarkko Ruutu ended up in Ottawa. Georges Laraque is no longer around to protect The Kid. Conk Block is no longer there to backup Marc-Andre Fleury. Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney are both hurt, leaving a major void on the Pens' blue line. The Pens added Matt Cooke, Ruslan Fedotenko, Miroslav Satan and AHL journeyman Michael Zigomanis (you may remember him from his 5 seasons with the Lowell Lock Monsters) in the off season.

- I'm guessing there will be a very loud ovation when Patrice Bergeron steps on the ice tonight.

- Can Phil Kessel continue to stay hot offensively?

- Can Savvy keep his point streak going?

- Can the B's shutdown Geno and The Kid?

- Can the B's avoid dumb penalties and stay out of the box?

- Who gets the start in goal? Coming into the season most thought that Tim Thomas would be the #1, but Julien has used both goalies equally through the first 4 games. Will he stay with the hot hand and go with Manny Fernandez or go back to Timmy for the home opener? (UPDATE: Tim Thomas will get the start in goal tonight)

- The Bruins defensemen can't get caught too deep in the offensive zone against Pittsburgh's quick forwards. From the Pittsburgh Penguin's website: "No one will confuse any of the current Bruins defensive squad with Bobby Orr but they do try and imitate him. Boston’s defense likes to join the rush and has gotten caught deep on plays. If the Penguins can trap those defensemen with a quick transition game, then Pittsburgh can create odd-man rushes the other way." Although, they also said to watch out for "Milan Lucis". Poor Milan never gets respect. First, he was mistaken for Patrice Bergeron then he gets his name misspelled.

- P.J. Axelsson is expected to be back in the lineup after sitting out the Ottawa game with muscle spasms. (UPDATE: Axelsson will NOT be in the lineup tonight)

- Expect someone's stick to make minor incidental contact with Crosby and watch The Kid bitch and moan to the ref for the rest of the game

- Is there still bad blood between Andrew Ference and Sidney Crosby? The two visor-wearing warriors dropped the gloves and squared off last year. The fight was Crosby's first and only NHL fight.



- The B's have won 2 straight home openers