By John Bishop, BostonBruins.com
Most die-hard hockey fans have seen and grown to love the movie, "Slap Shot."
In the film Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) leads a rag tag group of minor league hockey players through what might just be the last season for the 'beloved' Charlestown Chiefs.
Not willing to let the team, or the game, go, Reggie inspires his team, under somewhat false pretences, and the Chiefs decide they are not going down without a fight -- literally.
One of the most beloved characters in the movie, French Canadian goalie Denis Lemieux, is the inspiration for the Bruins own Hannu Toivonen's old school goalie look; set to make its debut in a hockey rink near you.
You see Hannu is wearing a replica of the fictional goalie's mask, and his pads are colored to look like the old leather pads worn by fashionable keepers into the late 1980's.
Taking a queue from the famous movie and hoping to play off the Bruins vintage third jerseys, which are made to look like the B's 1966-67 sweater, Toivonen is sure to cut quite the profile this year as he skates onto TD Banknorth Garden ice.
By the way, the 1966-67 season was a particularly historic one for the Bruins, as it was Bobby Orr's rookie campaign.
"I thought it was a great idea to start with," said Toivonen early during the Bruins training camp. "I found a guy who was willing to paint it, and he did a great job.
"I am really happy with [the mask]. It is definitely unique and still, it [brings] your thoughts to 'back in the day'…it's just a little piece of history for the hockey fans.
"Itech made these look a little 'retro'," said Toivonen of his pads. "Obviously, they match the mask really well.
"And…we are definitely going to have the nice retro jerseys, as well, that I hope will really look good. You know, it will bring back a little hockey history."
The Boston Bruins have cornered their share of hockey history over the years, but Toivonen and fellow goaltender, Tim Thomas
, are looking to put their own stamp on the NHL record books.
"First of all, I think Timmy and I make a good duo," said Toivonen. "And I'm confident that we can take care of the [puckstopping] department and do it very well for this organization. I really don't think that [our relative lack of experience] will be an issue.
"We can do the job, that way the team gets wins, and that is really the main thing.
"You can feel the changes, you can feel the excitement," said Toivonen of the upbeat attitude in the Bruins locker room during camp. "You can feel the guys just anxious to get things started and feel the positive energy around you.
"That's just a great thing…I think the front office has done a great job with the organization and I think we are going in the right direction."
"Tim wants to play and I want to play," said Toivonen of sharing ice time. "It's a healthy competition.
"Off the ice we are good friends but on the ice, we are still competing against each other, trying to get playing time and earn the starting job. The great thing is that its going to push me and its going to push him…I think it is a great situation for both of us."
Here's hoping Hannu is right, although he, and Tim Thomas
already look the part of history making goaltenders for the Boston Bruins -- no matter what pads they are wearing.
Boston Bruins Vintage Jersey Schedule for 2006-07
- Thursday, Oct. 26 vs. Montreal Canadiens
- Thursday, Nov. 9 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Thursday, Nov. 16 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Thursday, Dec. 7 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Saturday, Dec. 23 vs. Montreal Canadiens
- Friday, Dec. 29 at Chicago Blackhawks
- Thursday, Jan. 4 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Monday, Jan. 29 vs. New York Rangers
- Saturday, March 3 vs. Montreal Canadiens
- Sunday, March 11 at Detroit Red Wings
- Thursday, March 22 vs. Montreal Canadiens
- Saturday, March 24 vs. New York Rangers
- Saturday, April 7 vs. Ottawa Senators