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Hennessy Ready for his Movie Moment

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Not many people get to live a moment that seems ripped from the pages of a novel or a screenplay.

But there was Rockland's Josh Hennessy, wearing Black & Gold warmup gear, walking down the hall to do some video prep prior to morning skate in Winnipeg's MTS Centre where tonight he should make his Bruins debut.

Hennessy's moment even had it's own (make that borrowed) soundtrack as somebody in the corridor was playing Rocky's theme as he entered Coach Julien's office.

"It’s a long time coming, I guess," said the Massachusetts-native, who led the B's final stretch after the morning warmup. "You get to a certain point in your career and obviously this is – my childhood idols were the Bruins. They were the team I’ve loved since I remember remembering anything.

"I hoped it might not take this long to get here but I’m certainly happy I’m here," added the AHL veteran.

Hennessy's journey began at Milton Academy, continued with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, made NHL appearances in Ottawa, AHL stops in Cleveland, Binghamton and Providence, and even took him to the Swiss League's HC Lugano.

Tonight, here in Manitoba, the center will wear the jersey of his idols Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Adam Oates. Thankfully, Hennessy, 27, said he's not enduring any jitters; not yet anyway.

"They haven’t caught me yet, hopefully they don’t," he said. "I’m pretty satisfied with how calm I feel – just go play a hockey game really."

But there's no denying that suiting up for your hometown team is a special thing and might make most people's knees shake at least a little bit.

"Yeah, this is different for sure," said Hennessy. "I’m not worried about how my legs are going to feel, ill probably have to slow myself down a little bit.

"But really, I’m just looking forward to maybe getting first faceoff win or getting my first shift out of the way and hopefully just playing a hockey game."

Hennessy, who has already played in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators, will have to prove himself yet again tonight as it appears he's slotted to take the center spot on Boston's now famous "Merlot" line usually occupied by Gregory Campbell.

But this morning Campbell skated on Hennessy's left wing as Daniel Paille, in the absence of Rich Peverley, moved over to Chris Kelly's line and Benoit Pouliot took the wing on David Krejci's trio.

"Great!" was Hennessy's enthusiastic assessment of his place between Shawn Thornton and Campbell. "I don’t think I can go wrong with playing with anybody on this team.

"I’m not going to try to do anything too special, just be myself. Have a little bit of an extra jump, but that’s just natural."

Tonight, Hennessy's made for movie moment isn't going to be played in front of the home fans, but the still smiling forward said that might have worked in his favor.

"I try not to pay attention to too many distractions," he said. "It’s probably a small blessing for me that the first game I’m going to play is on the road.

"You guys are the guys they watch and listen to at home," said Hennessy to the gathered media from Boston and Winnipeg. "I told my mother just to stay in the bedroom with the TV off. But this is great."

And by the way, don't call Josh.

"I just stopped answering my phone," confided Hennessy. "Luckily I don’t have a Canadian data plan yet so that’s my excuse for not responding everybody.

"Tell them I don’t want a 1,000 dollar phone bill when I get home," he added before getting serious. "Everyone’s been obviously very supportive – can’t even imagine how many people I'll have watching."
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