Wednesday, 01.3.2007 / 3:43 PM ET / News
The Bruins have an important internal contest brewing, or should I say growing.
They are all, for some reason, growing mustaches -- per order of team unity man Shean Donovan.
No beards, no goatees, no soul-patch.
Mustaches (just like young Ray Bourque, to the right).
And despite a few gripes and shaves here and there, everyone is doing it.
SO, there has been a request that I join in -- which I will oblige.
Sorry to my wife, family and friends.
But the second request is where, you, the reader helps out.
Over the next few games, make notes as to which Bruins have the best and worst lip hair. And continue to pay attention to the guys’ faces over the next week or so, and I will have a poll up to the positive and the negative before the All-Star break.
So keep it hair!
Phil Kessel is used to wowing people, but usually it’s because of a big goal or amazing move -- not just for showing up.
But that is exactly what Kessel did today, as he cheered everyone’s spirits by donning a red, non-contact, practice jersey and joining in on as many drills as possible.
And Phil said it was just a matter of time until he will be in the contact drills, as well.
"I’m able to do them," said Kessel. "On the first day (back) I am not going to do them, but next practice I will be able to."
Kessel continued to sing the praises of his teammates.
"The guys have supported me through the whole thing," said Phil. "We have a great team here, just a great group of guys."
Besides Phil, everyone was marveling at the young man’s comeback -- back with the team, just a few weeks after surgery.
"I don’t know," said Kessel when asked if he was surprised about the speed of his recovery. "I feel fine.
"I don’t know if there is a certain timetable for this type of surgery, but I feel good right now."
Tim Thomas was just glad to see his young teammate.
"It was nice to see him out on the ice," said the goalie. "He looked good out there…and he looked as if he hadn’t missed a beat.
"That’s good for a first practice," said Thomas.
Marc Savard agreed.
"It was great (to see him)," he said. "He’s recovered really quickly from such a…thing, so we are happy to have him back, get some smiles from him and get back to business."
Associate Coach Marc Habsheid answered questions after practice, as head coach Dave Lewis is en route from Detroit. He too, was excited just to have Kessel back.
"It’s great," said Habsheid. "It’s great for him to be out there, and it’s great for our guys to see him out there, too.
"It helps everybody. It was a tough time for Phil and I know everyone felt for him.
"Now he is back and he it’s good to see him," he said.
There was a little movement in the lines…
Alberts - Chara
Stuart - Mara
York - Jurcina
Red Shirts: Kessel, Hoggan
The team ran through some typical line rushes and breakouts and moved into a more physical drill that moved the puck around to give the Penalty Kill and Power Play units some work.
There was a four-on-four game after the regular session.
USA vs. Canada
The team broke down into nationalistic segments when someone discovered they could get the WJHC semifinal between the United States and Canada on their computer.
Everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- crowded into the coaches’ office to watch the final shootout.
Coach Habshied looked to be the most nervous, peering through his fingers when Canada needed to score in the tiebreaker.
He even had a rally cap on.
It was something else to watch, with all these grown men, squishing into a very small office to watch a junior hockey game.
But as you probably know by now, Canada won, 2-1 -- and that is not funny to those of us who follow the Red, White and Blue in international competition.
Congrats to our northern neighbors -- good luck in the finals.
We’ll get ya’ next year!