Andrew Raycroft was back on the ice today, skating during the 11:00 a.m. practice session. After getting in late last night, Raycroft was happy to be back in Boston.
“The season’s been started for a month and a half [since the CBA was ratified], but my season just started basically today,” said Raycroft. “It’s exciting. I haven’t really been excited until today. It’s just good to be behind me and get ready for the season now.”
On his first day back, it was most important to get back on the ice, but did the team take it easy on him?
“Some of them did, some of them didn’t,” laughed Raycroft. “I don’t think Travis [Green] ever lets anyone off. Whether it’s the middle of January, he’s letting them rip, but they were pretty good."
One of the big questions for goaltenders entering this season is the new size restrictions on their equipment. Raycroft has had his new pads for about three weeks now and feels comfortable with them.
“Obviously, it’s smaller but it doesn’t make a huge difference,” continued Raycroft. “It’s just timing and feeling what you can get away with and what you can’t get away with. Once you get that down, most guys can wear pretty much anything, and you’ll find a way to cut an angle down.
“If they went smaller it might be a concern, but this stuff, you can shoot bullets at it for the most part. You can always catch one or two, but for the most part, it’s good.”
Raycroft agrees with many of the experts who tout the Bruins as one of the top teams in the league coming into the start of the season.
“You look at everything on paper and it seems like we have everything a team needs to be successful,” he said. “Everyone’s got their certain roles that they’re good at. In talking to the guys, everyone’s jelled together real early and everyone’s a good guy, there are no problems, and if we can continue that all year, the sky’s the limit.”TD Banknorth Fan Fest
Today was also Boston Bruins Fan Fest, presented by TD Banknorth. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., fans of all ages were on the Level Four concourse where there were games and contests for everyone.
19 lucky kids were selected in a free, random raffle to meet and visit with Captain Joe Thornton and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Bruins locker room.
Several players, including Patrice Bergeron
, Brian Leetch, Tom Fitzgerald, Andrew Alberts, Mark Stuart, Matt Lashoff, Nate Thompson and Ben Walter, were on hand signing autographs and posing for pictures. The American Red Cross was also on hand collecting donations for the Hurricane Relief efforts.