This morning at 7:30 am I walked into a very sleepy "Vic’s Barber Shop" in downtown Hudson, Massachusetts.
With five, nearly snoring, guys ahead of me, I read the local papers for about an hour, looking first to the sports section and the Bruins stories as Vic enforced his no cell phone rule.
"I hear a cell phone," he said. "Who’s is it?"
One fellow, the guy in the chair, had to confess, it was his device, beeping from underneath the cover collecting his hair -- he had breached a solemn protocol in Vic’s Barber Shop.
One of only two that I know of, however, I forget the other rule.
"If I knew how to turn it off, I would," he sheepishly explained.
That was good enough for us and we all settled back into the semi consciousness of our sports pages or the restful repetition of NESN’s Sports Desk.
By the time I got to Vic’s chair, I was fully prepared to discuss the Sox and the Pat’s, because the barber is a HUGE sports fan -- let’s face it, after three newspapers, two viewings of the NESN program and one partial of ESPN Sports Center, I was even ready for college football.
Instead, we talked hockey.
"They won last night," said Vic, with ’They’, being the Bruins.
"Yes," I said. "It sounds as if they played well."
Vic just smiled.
You see Vic is a long-standing member of the Black-and-Gold’s wide and varied fandom.
Right now, it’s a semi-underground movement, but there are stirrings at the top and Vic’s is a safe house.
B’s fans are coming out of their hibernation and Vic is ready.
His store is adorned with many sports mementos; his prime real estate reserved for the Boston Bruins.
From above his mirror, the Bruins of the past look down and wish luck to the Barber.
Derek Sanderson, Garnet "Ace" Bailey, Phil Esposito, Rick Middleton, Eddie Shore, and, of course, Robert Gordon Orr all look down on Vic and his patrons reminding us that New England is truly the "Hub of Hockey" and has been for some time.
Vic asked me, "How are ticket sales?"
"Pretty good," I said.
Vic just smiled again.
We agreed, that it would just take a little bit of a hot streak to remind everyone how much the Bruins mean to the region.
Then, it would be like old times, when a Bruins ticket was gold and the B’s owned the town.
"It will be impossible to get tickets [if they get hot]," Vic said quietly.
This time, thinking about an eventual return to Bruins greatness, we all smiled, and this, the very gloomy, cold and wet, first day of fall, seemed that much brighter.
Keep it going, gentlemen. Keep it going.
Go Bruins!AM Radio
All of you know how hard it was to keep up with our bladed boys over this week.
When the guys were in Montreal, I spent parts of two evening listening to the Hab’s French language feed from Quebec (am 730), while I navigated routes 20 and 27 on my way home.
Montreal’s English station, (am 800) slipped in and out of static and Portuguese music.
Since I know a very little French and even less Portuguese, I was happy to hear any news of my employers’ fate above the border.
However, since I only know the words for goalie, puck, goal and forward, this was a mixed bag at best, especially since my wife, we’ll call her "The General", was not as enthusiastic about the idea as I.
"But honey, it is part of my job…"
Don’t feel bad for The General, however, as she knew what she was getting into when she married me.
Alas, last night, with The General in New York City visiting a friend from college, was a sad sight.
Perhaps this is The General’s revenge?
I sat alone in my quiet house (The Bish Cave, if you will), waiting for enough info to update BostonBruins.com, my only respite from a certain grayness of the soul was receiving text messages from a Bruins employee from a very small, electronically challenged rink in Moncton, New Brunswick.
It was downright melancholy -- right out of an Edith Wharton book
Each time my phone gave off its pleasant little beep, I was just a little less lonely.
Just a little less, however…
Tonight, if said employee’s cell phone has coverage, and if I am lucky, I will be doing the same thing.
Maybe I will substitute the fast food. Pizza tonight instead of burgers. CrÃ¨me soda instead of root beer.
The General left homemade dessert and a note saying, "I love you."
[Writer, sniffs, wipes away some tears]
Needless to say, I can’t wait until next weekend when OUR boys hit the ice in OUR rink in OUR city. And hopefully, OUR Bruins can keep up their winning ways.
All will be right in the world, NESN and WBZ will send out their signals, and Bruins nation will be happy.
Nobody has to be lonely during hockey season…Nobody.Enough pontification from the Bish…More from the B’s
"The way the game is now, I just want to keep my foot speed up. All of our defense as a whole, we are trying to work on our gaps [between the D and the attacker]. That’s probably the most important thing we are working on right now."Defenseman, Jason York, on things he would like to work on
"I have been working with [Pete Smith] for five or six years. He used to work at Vaughn. That’s where I met him. I was wearing Vaughn’s at the time and he left to start his own company and I’ve been with him for quite a while."Goalie, Tim Thomas, on his eclectic new pads
"I felt pretty good. Definitely better than the New Jersey game. I’m getting a little more comfortable, timing wise, a little better, too. I’m making progress."Goalie, Hannu Toivonen, on his last start in Montreal
"I thought they responded really well. You learn a lot about a guy, especially in the third period when the score is two to one, you have to make decisions to win the hockey game. I thought all of their decisions were very good. They had containment issues with some of their top forwards and they handled that. They didn’t panic. They didn’t over chase or anything. They made good decisions with the puck."Head Coach, Dave Lewis, on his young defensemen picking up the slack when Chara went down on Wednesday
"I’d say I am just trying to get positioned well, get into good habits, again. Making sure I get the puck out of the zone, taking the puck off of the wall properly…just kind’ve getting back into the rhythm."Forward, Brad Boyes, on what he is working on, personally, at this point in training camp