The TD Banknorth Garden had a heightened sense of anticipation and excitement within its confines on Thursday morning. With the Maple Leafs in town for a Northeast Division grudge match and the return of former B’s Hal Gill and Andrew Raycroft, the Bruins and the Leafs were obviously pumped for the game.
A fire alarm went off in the middle of the Leaf’s skate and that added a festive atmosphere to practice as the Garden’s entire allotment emergency flashers went off like hundreds of flashbulbs popping and goal "like" sirens went off in the stands above the Leaf goalies.Before I forget, here is the Bruins Lineup
Brad Stuart, Yan Stastny and Tim Thomas
Nathan Dempsey (scratch), Wade Brookbank (scratch), and Brian Finley (back up) are not.
Thomas in goal.Goalie Speak
Both Thomas and Raycroft answered a ton of questions after their skates.
"Everything looks pretty much the same as I remember it," said Razor. "It feels like a normal road arena now."
When asked if the building brought a certain amount of emotion for him, Raycroft answered in the negative.
"No, not that much," he said. "Obviously it’s a bit bigger deal than a usual road game, but it’s not like I was here for 15 years and won 4 cups.
"You get traded, that’s part of the business we’re in.
As far as the goaltending situation in Boston, Raycroft insists that he hasn’t ’been following it that much."
"Obviously, everyone enjoys telling me what’s going on and I don’t really think I need to be updated everyday.
"Both of those guys are good," he said. "I’m a little surprised the way it’s gone [in the Boston nets], but…there’s a lot of guys who are struggling a little bit off the start. But I don’t think it’s going to be their worry for the season, at all."
And what about his last season with the Bruins?
"You never want to go through what I went through last year," said Raycroft.
For his part, Tim Thomas
did not seem too interested in who was in the other net.
"There’s really no time for it," said Thomas. "During the game, I’ll be busy trying to stop the chances that Toronto gets and he’ll be trying to stop the chances Boston gets.
"We really don’t have any extra mental energy to waste on each other."Coach Speak
Toronto Coach Paul Maurice was asked if he thought that it would be a big game for his goalie Raycroft, in particular.
"I think so," he said. "Now, with free agency and all the things that happen, it happens on a regular basis, and maybe [the ’specialness’] wears off, but first time back I think is special for everybody."
Speaking of goalies, Boston Coach Dave Lewis talked a little about how he might use Brian Finley.
"I want to talk to him," said Lewis. "I wanted to watch him in practice a little bit. And just let him get into a comfort level HERE before the next step."
"I am going to talk to him tomorrow."