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Hockey Road Trip Tip #1

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
The key to surviving a hockey road trip -- any hockey road trip -- is to know where to sit on the bus. This sounds trivial, and downright silly, but it’s the honest to goodness truth.

Superstitions and habits are very important in the grand scheme of things around hockey players.

Case in point.

This is my first time utilizing the bus for transport. SO, my first few times, I waited and waited to board the vehicle, and was almost the last person in a seat when we arrived in Buffalo.

Looking around, I quickly realized what was taken, what was not, and where to be. And basically, I sit in front of Rob Simpson.

But what if Simpson is not there?

This hapenned today.

So, the long and the short of it is that I sat in John Bucyk’s seat!

To his credit, Chief was very nice about it, laughed, and sat next to me and we talked a little about his life and career.

In any case, it worked out fine -- but it might not have. And I know better!

Next time I will definitely be the last person on the bus -- unless, of course, I am lucky enough to have my "own" seat.

HSBC Arena
From afar, the Buffalo Sabres home looks very much like a short, squat can (think butter cookie tin) with an oblong cereal bowl (Corningware) on top.

You get my drift.

Inside, the way the structure is built, it made me think of what it would be like to be swallowed whole (a la the Biblical Jonah) into the belly of a monstrous whale (cue Brass Bonanza). It is painted dark blue, and the structural beams that you can see remind me of ribs.

The seats look pretty close to the action and the color scheme fits the Sabres uniforms.

It should be a great spot for hockey, especially because tonight’s starter in goal, Tim Thomas says that the atmosphere in the place is great.

Hannu’s new hat
Hannu Toivonen has a nifty new helmet. Painted on it are the emblems (in black) of the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and, of course, the Bruins. Also included were pictures of local legends, including Ray Bourque. The base color is yellow-gold and it really pops on the ice.

Word is that Toivo will be starting tomorrow, so don’t forget to tune in.

Thomas had the white jaw piece of his Mage (mask + cage) painted to look like the lower jaw of the bear that is painted on the top of his helmet. It is very nice, as well.

Black top for Tenkrat
Apparently, the person who loses in a shootout drill at the end of practice has to wear the opposite helmet color in comparison to the rest of the squad.

For instance if the Bruins are away, wearing their white helmets, they would have to wear the black helmet at practice -- yesterday it was Stan Chistov who wore the "scarlet" helmet (white) and today Petr Tenkrat wore his black helmet (should have been black).

Tenker gets to be in tune tomorrow at warm ups, though, as Stan had another tough shootout.

More later.
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