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It’s About the Team...

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
A small contingent of spectators in the stands this morning watched the Bruins squad warm up for this evening’s game. In a break, Head Coach Dave Lewis called the team together, near the bench, and was heard to say, “It’s about the jersey you put on…it’s about the team.”

The Bruins looked like a team that is coming together and, this morning, it was a loose and ready hockey squad that took the Ristuccia ice. Hopefully that transfers over to the big ice in Montreal this evening.

It is safe to say that our Bruins are shaping into the team that will begin the regular season, and while tonight’s game is just an exhibition game, Coach Lewis said that cuts will be coming on Thursday.

According to Coach Lewis, the following players should take the ice in the Black and Gold this evening in the Bell Centre vs. the Habs…
Goalies: Thomas (two periods), Finley (one period)
Forwards: Axelsson, Brookbank, Donovan, Hoggan, Kalus, Karsums, Kessel, Mower, Murray, Primeau, Statsny, Sturm
Defensemen: Allen, Chara, Dempsey, Jurcina, Mara, Stuart

The above practiced this morning at 10 am, for about an hour, and were in street clothes soon after, preparing for the trip to Montreal this afternoon.

In the hockey fashion department, Phil Kessel sported a nifty new suit (Hugo Boss?) and Milan Jurcina was wearing checkered shorts, a t-shirt, baseball cap, and flip-flops.

Mark Mowers was resplendent in a Charlestown Chiefs t-shirt and took today’s grand prize.

By the way Mark, don’t forget to “put on the foil”.

One of the more interesting moments in practice was a drill where the defensive team played with the wrong end of the stick, while trying to defend against a cycling offensive team using their sticks the proper way.

Surprisingly, the defensive teams did ok, and at one point Glenn Murray looked to be making a break out with the butt-end of his stick.

The other interesting drill involved one-timers.

Zdeno Chara scared the heck out me when one of his slap shots missed the goal and made an resounding crash on the glass. Re-SOUND-ing. I had been looking down at my notes at the time and it sounded as if a truck had just come through the wall at Ristuccia.

I am not kidding. I thought the whole rink was coming down.

The rink did not come down, by the way…

Do you think maybe I just had too much coffee?

I guess I am gonna have to cycle in some decaf…

But I digress…

Speaking of slap shots, it reminded me of a time when I was on the ice in goal and was on the wrong end of a Chris Kelleher (former Bruin, and former BU captain) slap shot. The puck hit me between my goal pants and my pads, just above my knee guards – it made the hair on my head hurt, never mind my leg, and I could barely walk the next day, or the day after that…

To think that the professional goaltenders face shots like that routinely makes me happy that my “skills” lay elsewhere…although I wouldn’t mind trading wallets.

Chris Kelleher is laughing somewhere, right now, and my pads are gathering dust [Bish wipes tear from eye].

On the subject of goalie gear, I love Tim Thomas’ new pads. And they let off an amazing “boom” sound when he makes a stop. They kind’ve “announce his presence with authority.”

It really is a very authoritative “boom” as “booms” go.

Again, speaking of goalies, whenever a goaltender tries to get through the regular sized door between the B’s locker room and the ice, there is a major traffic jam for the other players who are coming and going. Today’s jam rivaled the one on I-93 this morning. Poor Bruin goalie Brian Finley was the cause of rubbernecking as he tried to extricate himself from the locker room. Throw in Chara and Jurcina and you have 128 at rush hour. Ugh.

By the way, go to for the Canadiens telecast this evening. Neither WBZ, nor NESN, are covering the game. I will try to blog during the evening and will post a recap as long as my Internet radio connection holds out.

Enough of my rambling…
“I think it’s to get yourself going in the direction to get ready for games. Practice and the games are totally different in a lot of ways. You practice to prepare for games, but [in terms of this training camp] games are a whole new beast, so to speak. So, I think [exhibition games] are to get yourself used to what it’s like in a game and what you want to do is ‘build’…and hopefully pick up as close to where you left off last year as possible.”
Goalie, Tim Thomas, on exhibition games

“It’s good to try and get the kinks out and look forward to everybody getting to play a few games and get ready for October.”
Forward, Glen Murray, on exhibition games

“I’d like to win! You know, we are just looking at evaluation again. A lot of the guys haven’t been on the same line combinations…you sort’ve know what the veterans can do…it’s gonna be Kessel’s first game, Kalus gets another game, Karsums. That’s what I am looking at…to see how they fit, how they play in a major league building against a rival.”
Head Coach, David Lewis, on the next two exhibition games

“I kind’ve approach it as part of the job…It’s not excitement, it’s just getting ready. For me its more of a business like approach, because if I get excited, I can get too nervous and that will effect my play…It’s creating a mindset…I kind’ve think of mantras to say to myself, like ‘square to the puck’ or whatever I need to remind myself like ‘watch the puck and let your body do the rest’.”
Thomas, on mental preparation

“Yah, it will be weird to see [Samsonov] in a Canadiens uniform, but…he went to a team that wanted him so I wish him all the luck…just not against us.”
Murray, on facing Sergei Samsonov

“That group this morning is the group that is playing tonight and we are taking 10 extra guys who we will shuffle in [to tonight’s game, and tomorrow night’s game].”
Lewis, on the lineup

“This is my first experience with the Montreal [vs.] Boston rivalry and growing up you knew the Original Six and you knew there were certain teams that carried extra [weight]. Each game is worth two points. But some two points are worth more. They have more meaning. It’s just a pre-season game. Their veterans know our veterans and they all know a week from now the game doesn’t mean anything. But tonight it does.”
Lewis on coaching versus the Canadiens
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