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Shawn Thornton takes a turn over the Spoked B
Shawn Thornton takes a turn over the Spoked B
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins will look to distance themselves from the Panthers tonight, 7:00 PM at TD Garden.

  • Tonight's match is no longer the afterthought game one might have assumed it would be when the schedule was announced last fall. [PatriotLedger]

  • Shawn Thornton 's priorities are clear. His Panthers are still in contention, and they are here to win. [WEEI]

  • The Bruins are not yet ready to give Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak the keys to the family car. In protected minutes, however, they have sparked much needed offense. [MEtroWestDailyNews]

  • Spooner's torrid pace may be hard to sustain, but he has earned his wings.  The next question is what happens with the addition of a healthy Brett Connolly . [WEEI]

  • Milan Lucic is stepping into the senior leadership role with his young linemates, and it is bringing out the best in him. He is in an unique position to understand. [BostonHerald]

  • We saw some snarl and sandpaper from Dennis Seidenberg this weekend, just in time for the playoffs. With Dougie Hamilton out, this will be key in the final stretch. [NHL]

  • Getting Hamilton back is one thing, keeping him might be another issue entirely.[CausewayCrowd]

  • And don't even THINK of firing Claude Julien.  Just NO. []
  • What a difference a week makes! The team is playing much more as they should, and anticipate the returns of Connolly and Hamilton to the lineup. [TheBostonGlobe]
  • In good news, the Bruins (and Senators ) are nipping at the nervous Red Wings ' heels. [MLive]
  • If you print them, they will win: Bruins tickets go on sale for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this very Friday. [NESN]

  • An Ottawa city councillor has been been under fire at home for being both a kinsman of Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and a Senators fan. NO, REALLY! [OttawaSun]

  • The Bruins have signed Austin Czarnik , a right-shot center and former Hobey Baker finalist out of Miami of Ohio. [SBNCollegeHockey]

Elsewhere around the rink:

  • So the Bruins are just one of a few "playoff bubble teams"? Maybe, but they're one of the handful you don't want to meet in the playoffs. [PuckDaddy]

  • FREE THE SPORTS CHANNELS! There is hope that a current lawsuit may break channel "bundling," blackouts, and opening up à la carte viewership! [MotleyFool]

  • Jarome Iginla is still in search of that elusive Stanley Cup victory. [EdmontonJournal]

  • Gordie Howe, it is so good to hear that you'll be out fishing on your birthday! [SportingNews]

  • Three hockey players have been awarded NHL/Thurgood Marshall College Fund academic scholarships. [ColorofHockey]

  • Hey, Zdeno Chara , is that YOU at number 10? Have a gander at the top Tweets of the month. [SportsNet]

  • Let's eliminate those embarrasing cheers for visiting teams that the strategy of tanking for draft picks has caused. Here's the answer! [ SportsNet]