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Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon

Sunday, 10.1.2006 / 3:02 PM ET / News
Boston Bruins
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Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon
Don’t worry true-believers.

Pretty soon our superheroes will be flying around the TD Banknorth Garden.

We’ll see Timmy making a spine testing slinky stop; Toivo will stymie somebody with a split. Sturmie will snipe one off a feed from Muzz and Savvy. Bergie will come down the ice with Boyesie on his side, ready to tic-tac-toe it past an opposing goalie.

And I’ll bet ya a Boston Crème donut that Dave Lewis can light into a ref with the best of them.

Oh, and Chara.


Who can’t wait until he absolutely flattens somebody. That is just going to make the Garden explode.

And, as I sit here, the Bruins do not play again, until Friday -- FRIDAY!

That puts me in a mood. And not a good mood.

That stinks on ice. Literally.

The Sox are done, today.

The Pats play once a week.

And while I follow the local teams, I am truly a hockey fan at heart.

I live, breathe and eat pux. NHL pux. Boston Bruins pux. My first thought in the morning, after I thank God that I married the General, even though she keeps trying to feed me healthy food, is hockey, hockey, hockey.

Doesn’t she know everyone loves a chubby Bish? I mean look at my picture.

If I were skinny, would it be that funny?

Anyway, now, my hockey team, my employer for that matter, is heading back to practice for a couple days, only to take a working vacation in Florida to start the regular season.

And it’s pouring to boot. Ugh.

I guess I’ll see you at the Garden on Oct. 19.

It seems so far away.

Thank goodness for NESN.

New Building, Old Name, No Critters
As we were all marveling at the new accessories the TD Banknorth Garden has acquired, Coach Lewis waxed "nostalgically" about the original Boston Garden.

"It seemed to be either 20 degrees or 100 degrees in the [visitor’s locker] room. And many a time little critters fell out of my pants or out of my skates. And that was the big joke, guys would come in, look at their skates and they would dump them out before they put them on. This is the Islanders back in [the day]. I am not lying, that is true."

It’s all about Pitching, er, Goaltending
On Friday, Coach Dave Lewis also had plenty to say about goaltending, specifically about this Bruins team’s goalies, and then goaltending in general.

"It’s only a concern because I looked at the number [of NHL games played]," said Lewis about his goalies relative lack of experience. "But then I looked at the save percentage and the goals against number.

"And that reassured me that they both played well when they were in [last year]. I took out Raycroft’s numbers, and just looked at their numbers, as a group. Instead of the group being three, it was two when I looked at it. That’s the way that I did it, anyway. And then I felt a lot better. And what I’ve seen in training camp has given me a certain comfort level, because both goalies have given the team a chance to win. And really that’s all you can ask. It’s a long season and they are going to share a lot of the duties early on. In my mind, I haven’t even decided, ’Is there going to be a number one? Or is there going to be two number ones?’"

Lewis was asked if sharing the job would be a problem. Lewis indicated that in the past he had seen some difficulty in Detroit with goaltenders sharing the job. But didn’t seem to think it would be an issue for Thomas and Toivonen.

"Not with those two. It was a problem in Detroit because we had three and two of them were number ones -- Dominic Hasek and Curtis Joseph. And Manny Legacy and he proved he had the ability to be number one, too. That was where we had issues…[Goalie Tandems] have worked. It worked in Minnesota…as a coach you evaluate performance in the games and you evaluate on practice. You evaluate on who plays better against a certain team…and you make your decisions based on that…I haven’t made my mind up, at all."

Lewis was then asked why there are so few A-list goalies in the world.

"I think it’s an extremely demanding position. You’re the last line of defense for your team and anytime a team talks about success, you talk about goaltending. You have to have a high level of goaltending to be successful…it does take a little time. It’s hard to come in and be a Ken Dryden and all of a sudden…your level has gone from entry level to the highest level…that’s rare."

While we’re on the subject, who were the best he’s seen?

"Billy Smith was unbelievable. Dominic Hasek was unbelievable…Mike Vernon was a little bit underrated, for winning two Stanley Cups, he was pretty good for not too big of a guy. Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, those guys come to mind. And Ken Dryden. That’s a pretty good list."

Bear Bytes
"[Phil Kessel] definitely has a lot of pressure on him. But the way he’s been playing, the way he conducts himself, both on and off the ice, I think he will be successful in this league."
Defenseman, Paul Mara, on Phil Kessel

"There’s been plenty of teams that go in with what they think is established goaltending, but it’s not enough. So, basically it will all fall back on what we do. If we play good, then the questions are answered. If we don’t then nobody will be happy, ourselves included."
Goalie, Tim Thomas, on goaltending

"Win or lose, [the Bruins] are the greatest franchise of all-time because of guys like John Bucyk, Milt Schmidt, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, Bobby Orr, and go down the list. You know and I know that some of the greatest players to wear the Black and Gold were also some of the greatest human beings on the planet."
WAAF’s Lyndon Byers, former Bruin, at the Season Ticket Barbeque

"We can’t put ourselves in those situations. We’ve got to know the game and know the time of the game. If we’re down, or if it’s four on four, we’ve got to try and not take a penalty…and be smart. We’re going to have to learn or it’s going to be a tough first two games."
Forward, Glen Murray, on penalties

And one more thing...
Glen Murray about the various "maladies" acquired during the second loss to New York:
"Yah, one shot off the hand and a skate to the face. So it was one of those nights, but it’s alright. That’s the game, you know?"
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1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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