|The line for the 3rd Jersey Launch |
The Bruins debuted their third jersey this afternoon and Blake Wheeler, Marc Savard
, Milan Lucic
, Patrice Bergeron
, Zdeno Chara
, Tim Thomas
and Phil Kessel were on hand to help fans pick out their new gear and sign autographs beginning at 2:00 p.m.
An attendance figure is hard at the moment, but let's just say that when I got there at 1:50 p.m., the line went from the Pro Shop door out the doors to the TD Banknorth Garden and wrapped around the building. And due to overwhelming response the line was stopped at 2:30 p.m!INCREDIBLE.
Amongst the Black & Gold throng who skipped out of work and school early were friends from Oshawa, Ontario who spent 12 hours on the road.
Allison, Anita and Mitch started out from Canada at 5:30 p.m. last night and arrived in the Hub of Hockey at 5:30 a.m.
"It was 569 miles and 849 kilometers," said Mitch, who did the driving and said they were turning right around to head home after the event.
That's dedication, True Believers. But this will tell you something else, they were NOT the first people in line, either.
Generally, practices are not raucous affairs, but today's session at Ristuccia Arena was pretty upbeat -- even Bruins head coach Claude Julien, a practice like you play kind of guy for sure, was wearing a wide smile at times.
For one thing, the foam pucks were back and nearly everyone took turns blocking shots by Stephane Yelle and P.J. Axelsson. And given the extra cushioning, players were throwing themselves into every shot as if they were butterfly goaltender.
Rookie forward Blake Wheeler said it reminded of a drill he used to do in high school.
"We had a problem where not many guys wanted to block shots," said Blake. "So we brought the foam (pucks) out to build your confidence.
"It was fun, though."
Forward Milan Lucic
skated with Shawn Thornton
for several drills this morning. After one particularly solid goal by Lucic that was assisted by Thornton, the latter could be heard on the ice from the pressbox yelling, "Peas and Carrots. Peas and Carrots."
Clearly Thornton liked having Lucic in front of the net or skating next to him.
After practice, Thornton said that the term "peas and carrots" came from Steve Thomas, his onetime linemate in Chicago.
Obviously it's a vegetable-based a euphemism for "playing well together."
"That was my first year," said Thornton. "(Thomas) assisted on my first goal.
"That's what he told me for the ten games we played together."
Thornton, asked about the foam pucks and knowing he had an audience, said, "I don't know it's (assistant coach) Houda's drill."
Laughing, Thornton continued his good-natured verbal assault.
"I don't know where (Coach Houda) gets this stuff," he said. "I hope we didn't pay for those (foam pucks).
"I hope somebody game them to us."
By my recollection they were left over from Coach Lewis' year. Thornton did not say too much about that, but had plenty more "chirps" to go around after he finished with Coach Houda.
For instance, it was noticed that Stephane Yelle had shot pretty high on Thornton when the beat cop took his turn stopping shots and that Shawn had gotten up and playfully knocked the veteran center over.
"That's my liney," said Thornton. "He thought I was going to slide is what he told me.
"Up until that point (Yelle) was pretty good today, too."
In the comedy department, Thornton takes first star today, folks, but overall my favorite moment of the day was when Zdeno Chara
walked by the Eastern Conference standings chart in the locker room and the B's, high on the chart and in first place, were at his
When he first got here, and when the chart was first installed, the B's hovered around navel high on the Big Man.
It was a nice moment.
The ice was just cleaned at Wilmington Arena and, by the sound of the bass whooping from the weight room, the players are doing their off-ice workouts in preparation for their Monday practice on the rink.
Earlier today, Milan Lucic
and Patrice Bergeron
were on Kiss 108’s Matty in the Morning show and beyond the unveiling of the Bruins third jersey, the topic of conversation drifted toward the hardness of Milan’s head and the crookedness of Lucic’s nose.
Luch, who was in obvious good spirits, told Bergy that he, in fact, had been mistook for Bergeron at least a couple of times (perhaps because Patrice had his nose broken last year?).
The young alternate captain, maybe a bit nonplussed, paused for a second and said, “It’s a compliment.”
Speaking of compliments, there’s a good chance that the new third jersey will be getting quite a few of those.
We were the first to post the new Reebok Third Jersey System and you can catch a looksie on our front page
(with a picture of Milan sporting the new look) and here
with a PDF of the total package.
As the bus driver from Slap Shot said, we’re “making it look mean.”
The almost all-black jerseys will go on sale exclusively at the Boston Bruins Pro Shop, today at 2:00 p.m. And Bergeron, Zdeno Chara
, Phil Kessel, Lucic, Marc Savard
, Tim Thomas
and Blake Wheeler will be on hand to help fans make their selections.
Obviously, it's a unique opportunity to meet the players and, in essence, be a part of B's history and the excitement that is the 2008-09 season.