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The 500 Club

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“We are a .500 club, we’re not in last place. We’re still in the position where we can improve” --Claude Julien

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Marc Savard closes on Niklas Backstrom.
Marc Savard closes on Niklas Backstrom.
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Bruins host the Wild this evening at 7:00PM.

  • Middling play and mediocre results are a stinging disappointment to the veterans of the Bruins team that remember the successes of past years.[WEEI]

  • Are the Bruins stuck in the past? Apparently opposing teams think so.[TheHockeyNews]

  • Claude Julien is handling the team's woes internally. Ryan Spooner is committed to improving himself, as Joonas Kemppainen received praise and increased minutes. Kevan Miller is hampered by injury.[TheBostonGlobe]

  • In fact, Miller will miss the next four games and will not travel on the road with the team.[@AmalieBenjamin] But fear not, the Bruins will not be Miller free, as Colin Miller will slot in.[@AmalieBenjamin]

  • Usually one of the bellwethers of troubles for a coach, questions of Julien having lost the ears of his players are being denied. Some Bruins could stand to be more like Frank Vatrano, who asserts that he is here to do his job.[PatriotLedger]

  • Local lad Vatrano rose like the pizza dough at his family pizza and sandwich shop to become a fit young professional. It was thanks to a courtesy extended at the Canadian border that Frank's dad was able to witness his son's NHL debut.[SportsIllustrated]

  • The benching of Spooner is more a testament to the struggles in the Bruins defensive zone than any bias against youngsters. There currently is no "wiggle room" to absorb occasional mistakes and still win games.[WEEI]

  • The loss of Chris Kelly has highlighted Julien's reliance on the defensively sound David Krejci, especially in conservative third period situations.[TheBostonGlobe]

  • Catch up with the Bruins Movember progress. Matt Beleskey confesses that his mustache is problematic, and several Bruins purportedly resemble policemen. (With video)[FoxSports]

  • Joe Tasca covered the Providence Bruins tough weekend, including injury to Seth Griffith, Malcolm Subban's struggles, and interviewed rookie Noel Acciari. (Audio, 11:05)[PBruinsThisWeek]

Elsewhere around the rink:

  • One Wild player takes to the ice tonight knowing he may have visited his father for the last time.[StarTribune]

  • Here's an assessment of NHL coaches' salaries, and what factors into the compensation decisions.[Hockey-Graphs]

  • This Haiku NHL power ranking is keeping it short, sweet, and humorous.[Sportsnet]

  • C'mon, lighten up and laugh a little. The new-format NHL All Star Game is going to be fun, and besides, the draft was always justthisclose to imploding into a drunken debacle.[WingingItInMotown]

  • Speaking of which... hold my beer: Revisit the top 10 All-Star fantasty draft moments.[PuckDaddy]

  • How do teams decide which former players get an in-game tribute video upon their returns? Here's a guide.[Medium]

  • Patrick Roy is on the hot seat, as his gamble to move successfully from coach in the QNJHL to the NHL appears to now be teetering on the healthy and solid return of goaltender Semyon Varlamov.[TheGlobeAndMail]

  • The Four Nations tournament is done, and here's what will be upcoming in CWHL action.[VictoryPress]

  • Maybe the LA Kings have finally gotten the message, as Patrik Bartosak has been suspended without pay. Ironically, he had attended the highly publicized Kings' training on violence.[SportsIllustrated]