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A Very Very Very Fine House

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

The times are a changin’!
The boys in Black and Gold were in the big rink for the first time this year on Friday morning.

Each and every Bruins skater who passed through the home locker room tunnel and out onto the ice, from first-on-the-ice, P.J. Axelsson, to the coaches, looked straight up at the new scoreboard and seemed a bit shocked at the sight.

It is very impressive, and coupled with the physical changes around the seating bowl, the TD Banknorth Garden seems like a very different building than we left last April.

The banners are not up yet, and meanwhile the Garden Bull Gang is putting finishing touches on some of the seats. The box office manager from the Garden and the Celtics were in the building checking rows, and construction continued in the new SportsDeck section and The Boardroom.

So, at times, the sounds of building out noised the sound of hockey as workers cleaned up and got ready for Saturday.

Wait ’til you see this stuff, folks. And have I mentioned the scoreboard?

It is a big beautiful new accoutrement for the building, even though it looks just a bit like the mother ship from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

Seriously space age -- especially when it was running a test pattern and you are directly below it.

Do dee doo dooo dooooooooo.

I saw the screens showing highlights earlier this week. If there is a better in stadium scoreboard on the planet, let me know where it is.

Enough of the gushing.

Suffice it to say, enjoy the new digs.

Practice Makes Perfect
Today Our Boys had a much lighter session and nobody’s digestive tract seemed disrupted.

Phil Kessel looked like he was having a blast on the big Garden ice, especially when a drill that seemed suspiciously like a shootout practice broke out.

Phil tried, but couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he attempted to pick corners on Tim Thomas.

By the way, have I expounded on the merits of Patrice Bergeron recently?

Poetry, man. Poetry.

Bergeron’s hands are soft around the net and his skating just looks downright flawless.

The Bruins continued practice breakouts, transitions from the defensive to the offensive zone, and forechecking off of a dump in.

Much less physical stuff today, and it seemed as if this was the NHL version of NFL padless walkthroughs.

The B’s appreciated it, and all of them stayed after practice for extra skating.

1.) I think I saw the first vestiges of PK and PP units forming. Nothing too concrete, but the makings of special teams, nonetheless.
2.) Tim Thomas was reminded of how tricky the boards are in the Garden. One puck took a 45 degree angle off of a dump and headed straight for the net. Thomas, who had been racing around to Gretzky’s office, had to scramble to make a stick save from his belly. You would think, that since it was practice, he might have let it in. Not Timmy.
3.) Dempsy, Donovan, Primeau, and Alberts improvised a puck control drill that looked a little like baseball bunting practice, pepper, and long toss. Hard to describe, but it involved putting the puck into the air across the rink, and trying to stop it, control it, in the air before it hit the dashers. Looked like fun, and the guys were enjoying themselves.

From the room…
"I’d heard about [the scoreboard]. It’s huge…it’s good, there are some new seats, I see. New systems going on up there…They’re working on our coaches room. Their working on…[the players] bathroom. It’s very nice.
Forward, Glen Murray, on the changes in the building

"It’s been great. They changed the showers in the bathroom…the new scoreboard looks awesome…Tomorrow we’ll get in our building with our fans. I think that the people in the city are looking forward to it."
Forward, Yan Stastny, on the changes

"It’s good to be home…I knew there was a home building. It’s good. The improvements are fabulous. I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to [look around]…even the players are talking about it…The scoreboard, I can hardly wait to see that [during the game]. Although sometimes it’s a goal against [us on the screen]. But hopefully they won’t play that."
Head Coach, Dave Lewis, on the building

See you at the Garden!
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