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The NHL Drops the Puck!

Wednesday, 10.04.2006 / 4:07 PM / News
Boston Bruins
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The NHL Drops the Puck!
Hockey Returns
Do I wish the B’s were playing on the first night of the National Hockey League’s regular season? Yes, of course.

But there are three pretty good non-Bruin games coming our way:
Buffalo vs. Carolina. Ottawa vs. Toronto. Dallas vs. Colorado.

Go to NHL.com for more details.

Not too bad a lineup for opening night, though – if we absolutely have to forgo our Black and Gold.

But, any port in a storm for this hockey geek.

Fellow New Englander, former BU Terrier, and current Buffalo Sabres co-captain, Chris Drury, is a fun player to watch, especially against an Eastern Conference rival like the Carolina Hurricanes.

And it will be interesting to see former Bruins Hal Gill and Andrew Raycroft in Maple Leaf Blue versus the Zdeno Chara-less Senators.

See that, three division rivals and one conference rival, in one fell swoop.

And why not fall asleep to the dulcet tones of boards crashing and pucks careening when Western Conference rivals Stars and Avalanche do battle in the late game.

By the way, I will be sure to pass on any scout-like findings to the coaching staff.

Wink. Wink.

Coach Lewis said it best though; when at practice he paraphrased what plenty of hockey fans are thinking at this moment.

“It’s close now and the league starts tonight,” said Lewis. “No looking back, let’s bring it on!”

Yee haw!

I am going to watch as much as I can after a tasty din-din with the lovely General thanks to her mom.

Bacon cheeseburger, chocolate shake, here I come! Thanks Mom!

Practice notes
As you know by now, Petr Kalus has been sent down.

Check that press release here.

There could be more cuts this week, but nothing for sure. I will post them if/when they happen.

Also, and take a deep breath, true believers.

Shean Donovan and Patrice Bergeron missed practice today.

But please don’t panic.

Shean was hit in the back/side of the leg with a puck yesterday and was kept out as a precaution.

Patrice has a touch of a cold and was kept out, as a precaution, as well.

But both players are expected to suit up for the game on Friday.

Both goalies looked very sharp this morning, by the way. No doubt that Timmy and Toivo are both hoping to make the start on Friday. Coach was mum as to who will take his place in the barrel on Friday although he said that he had made up his mind and would tell the keepers (and hopefully us) tomorrow.

The B’s continued to practice their breakouts, this time using the boards to aid themselves across the blue line.

They also practiced creating traffic in front of the goal, and received a lesson from Professor Lewis pertaining to screening the goalie on shots from the point.

The Bruins also practiced their power play/penalty kill positioning.

Captain Chara led the team through sprints at the end of the session. But, as you know, Big “Z” is a fitness fanatic and his sprints were juuuuuuust a little bit different.

Led by the captain, several groups of skaters, skated in line around the rink, made a turn, and skated back around. Picture very large short track teams speeding around the rink – similar to another set of sprints done earlier this pre-season.

You would think it would be chaos, but it wasn’t.

But it was a very strange thing to see.

Quotes from the room
“I can [relate to what Phil is going through], but I was 20 years old. I wasn’t [19] years old. It’s just absolute excitement, anticipation…a dream, or at least the starting of a dream coming true… making it to the best league in the world. And he’s going to get a chance to play in it. If you can say to a young kid what would you like to do? They’d say, ‘I’d just like to play one game in the National Hockey League. Just one game.’ You know, he’s going to have that opportunity…that will be the start of his career.”
Head Coach, Dave Lewis, when asked if he could relate to what Phil Kessel is going through

“I think [Jurcina] feeling a lot better. There’s still a little tenderness, but he’s better. We missed a couple of guys at today’s practice. Bergy’s got a touch of a sore throat, cold, fluey-type feeling. And Shean Donovan, yesterday at the end of practice, actually practice was over, he was doing a drill where a defenseman shot the puck and it hit him in the back of the leg; side of the leg….The anticipation is that he’ll go full "go" tomorrow and he’ll be ready. [Bergeron will go tomorrow] depending on how he feels.”
Lewis on his sore/sick skaters

“It’s just another day. We practiced for about an hour and fifteen today, a nice practice…We worked on some specialty teams, just another day in the office. Everybody worked hard.”
Defenseman, Zdeno Chara, on his first practice as captain

“Yes [we talk a lot out there]. The first couple of days at camp we weren’t. We were pretty serious because we didn’t know each other. We had a talk with the coaches and they wanted us to be like that. They wanted us to be loose and have fun and joke with each other. And I think that’s picked up in the last couple of weeks.”
Defenseman, Paul Mara, on talking on the ice during practice

“[Chuckling] No that’s fun. It happens every once in a while, you catch a rut or something and you fall. It’s all part of the game. It’s funny to see someone do it. It’s funny when I do it. It’s just a good time.”
Mara, on the razzing he took when he tripped during a drill

“Yes [I am ready for the season to begin]. Absolutely. It’s nervous excitement, but I am excited, yes…You can make your assessment in training camp and in preseason. But the true test is the regular season, so we’ll wait to see what happens then.
General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, on the start of the regular season

“We’ve assigned Kalus to Providence…He needs to play a lot of minutes and he is not going to play a lot of minutes here…he needs to play in specialty team minutes. He needs to play in regular minutes. He has to put his time in, he’s a young kid. But he’s had a strong camp. He’s a big strong kid who can skate and shoot the puck…he’s on a good upward curve…If he’s playing 4-5 minutes here, it is not going to help his development. He’s disappointed, but he understood. We’ve got an energetic young team, there and he’ll be playing a lot of minutes.”
Chiarelli,, on Petr Kalus

And one more thing!
My dad, a former police officer, says he is getting a lot of nice feedback on the Blog from his friends in fire houses and police stations from around the area. Thanks so much guys! Keep up the good work and thanks for the props!
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