Hello hockey fans in the United States and Canada...
From my catbird seat within the Bruins dressing room, I can’t even begin to describe to you the ruckus that was Tuesday’s post practice media scrum. In fact, yours truly was nearly swallowed alive by the great media beast that was the sports reporters of greater Boston on a hot story.
The only calm people in the locker room were people wearing Black and Gold, in particular Glen Murray, Patrice Bergeron
and your new captain, Zdeno Chara
They alone quieted the beast.
Not shocking if you’ve ever heard any of them speak.
Mr. Bergeron talks with a quiet earnestness which is undeniable. Mr. Murray seems like a favorite brother or cousin or friend and you can’t help but enjoy his friendly style of banter. And as for Mr. Chara, well, let’s just say that he and E.F. Hutton have something in common.
Moreover, on Tuesday, the reporters (and I include myself in that equation) besides looking for a story, or a new or more complex angle to the whole captain thing, seemed to be looking for something else.
I think that we sought, and found, that particular something in the Bruins locker room Tuesday afternoon.
At least I did, and that is why I am writing right now.
It is called "hope."
Hope is what gets us excited about the upcoming season. It is hope that will warm our frozen hearts through October, November, December, January and February. And it is hope that will sustain us through March and April.
And without hope, a hope fed by loyal fans, a hope that ignites a team’s burning desire to win, no franchise can take the ice in the spring with a chance to carry the Stanley Cup over their heads in May or June.
You see, our Bruins are exhibiting a true sense of purpose this year. Every member of the team seems to know that they may indeed be part of something very special.
Of course, they know that Bobby Orr, Eddie Shore, Cam Neely and Ray Bourque are not coming through that locker room door. They know that they are a new team and have to forge their own unique chapter in the team’s history.
And, believe me, more than anyone, they know how hard last year was on the Bruins faithful.
But here is the truth, from someone who lives it every day: Your Boston Bruins are making every attempt to live up to their fine pedigree.
The men and women in management from the top on down, are working hard to give the hockey fans a winning hockey team. The coaches on the ice are working hard to give you a winning hockey team. And the men on the ice are giving their all to give you a winning hockey team.
I truly have never been part of something like this, if by writing my little pieces I can even claim to be part of it, but it’s as if Our Boys have set their sights on something that is very far away, that they can just discern in the distance, and they know that they have to work together to get there.
Together is the key word there, my friends.
Yes, the Bruins have chosen their manager, their coach, and now, their captain. But they know that nothing can be accomplished in hockey by one man and Zdeno Chara
is under no illusions that he can do it alone. The same goes for Patrice and Muzz.
I guess where I am going with this blog, is this: I know something special when I see it.
And this TEAM is special.
There are more stories here than you can even imagine. More than I could capture if I blogged three times a day. From Timmy Thomas to Hannu Toivonen, from Jason York to Phil Kessel, and from Paul Mara to Milan Jurcina, each man will play a part.
The season starts Friday. The game is on the tube. Don’t miss out.
Let’s all enjoy the ride -- Together.
Go Bruins!Wow, that was deep, now for some quotes
"The announcement is that the captain of the Boston Bruins is Zdeno Chara
. Assisted by Patrice Bergeron
and Glen Murray…The leadership, the presence, what he brings every night. I don’t think it matters to him if it’s on the road or at home, he is going to play the same way. He wants to play against the other team’s best players. He wants to contribute offensively, defensively and in all critical areas of the game. And I think he’s capable of doing all of that. That is one aspect of it [his leadership qualities, but] training wise, and his dedication and commitment – all of those things are really important for an organization and it is nice to be able to have a guy you can look to and say, he brings those elements."Boston Bruins Head Coach, Dave Lewis
"Well, I think it’s a whole new identity [for the team]...the coaching staff has established all new systems and all new things we have to work on...And I think they really put the systems in there to guide the players, to learn. New guys have come in, we have a pretty young team and we have a lot of leadership in here…It’s not just going to be myself, Bergy or Big Z. It’s going to be a group of guys. We are here, together as a team and a family and the main thing is to win games, plain and simple. We have to win games and get in the playoffs."Bruins Assistant Captain, Glen Murray
"It means a lot. It is an honor to have a letter on your jersey. Obviously what I am trying to do is keep playing as hard as I can, each and every night, in practices and games and lead by example. I mean, if you see that a guy is going hard, each and every night, hopefully the guy beside him wants to do the same thing…I think that’s one of Z’s qualities. He works so hard that you look at him and think I’ve gotta give a little more because he is working so hard. I think that is what we are going to try and do as captains, to go out there, play hard and lead by example. [But] if there is a need to step up and talk I am going to do it…I am very proud to be a Boston Bruin, its an honor for me [to be part of] the Boston Bruins…I never thought about that [when I was younger], but now that I have been named an assistant captain, it is a huge honor."Boston Bruins Assistant Captain, Patrice Bergeron
"Obviously it’s a big day. I take it really personally and from the bottom of my heart I will try to do the best possible job that I can…There’s been a lot of changes lately on this team. It was totally up to the management and the coaches so I am very pleased…Patrice is a very young hockey player, who’s going to become one of the best players in the league, I believe. And Glen Murray, an older more experienced guy. I think it is just a great mix…I think there must be great communication between the coaches and the captains and overall for the whole team [communication] is a big, big thing. When there are things that need to be addressed, there has to be a dialogue and communication so that things are run smoothly…It’s not one mans job, or three men’s job, I think we all realize that we have to take responsibility in our leadership. It is a long season and it’s hard. It’s ’we’ instead of ’me’. It is a team game."Boston Bruins 18th Captain, Zdeno CharaAnd one more thing…
"I think it is very important [to get a good start]. You never know when you are are going to be missing those points. [They] could come in the first game or the second game in a season. And you might find you are missing those [lost] points in April. I think every game is very crucial and it doesn’t matter if you start out on the road or at home. I you have to…try and win those games."Chara, on starting the season on a winning note