Toivo’s got the start on Thursday. Thus far, Hannu has played in four games and is 1-2-0 with a .892 SV%, 3.44 GAA and 11 goals against.
It was a pretty easy going practice today for the Bruins, who worked an awful lot on positioning en route to tomorrow’s tilt with the Calgary Flames.
The reverse sticks were out and Boston used the teaching tool (a reverse stick requires the user to be very sound positionally) on 1-on-1’s, 2-on-2’s, 3-on-3’s, etc.
Marco Sturm took an errant puck to the leg and was down on the ice for a little bit. No word on the severity of the injury.
Strange to see the Flames actually show up at mid practice to file into the auxiliary locker room at the little rink in Wilmington. It was kind’ve like the old west movies where the bad guy comes into town, opens the saloon doors and everything gets really quiet.
Speaking of Wil-mo, gas is $2.05 across the street from the Bruin’s training facility! Bonus!
Phil Kessel and Tim Thomas had their own private mock battle during one of the drills. Kessel played at slashing at Thomas’ glove, and Tim-may grabbed the puck with his blocker hand and threw it out of the zone. Kessel, in feigned dismay, slashed at his goalie stick and sent it flying. But both guys were laughing afterward.
Lineup for Thursday? As far as lines go, they were essentially the same as yesterday:
Chara, Mara, Stuart, Dempsey, York, Jurcina, Alberts
There was still no consistency in terms of the D-pairs. Coach said any lineup questions, other than Toivonen, would be unknown until tomorrow.
Obviously, if Sturm is unable to go, that will affect the look of the forward lines.
For his part, there was no change in Tim Thomas’ demeanor; event though I am pretty sure both goalies knew who was going in the home opener. He worked just as hard as he always does.
In a quiet moment, Tim and I discussed his new mask. I really like it, not only because it is unique and sturdy, but it also fits Ken Dryden’s rule of "the people in the stands need to know what it is."
Most of the writers did not get to question Hannu about the start, as about the same time we learned the starter from Coach Lewis, Toivo was off to do cardio.
Quotes from after practice "Oh, I think coach expects us to implement things we worked on this week and, first and foremost, to be ready for the game and be sharp mentally…I think that’s the most important thing for us -- to be ready for a big game." Defenseman, Brad Stuart, on coming home Thursday
"I hope that’s the way people come to the game tomorrow night. Whatever it takes to play with that edge. If you need to think you’re in the playoffs, if you need to think you got beat up two hours ago -- something to get you upset and angry out on the ice. And then go out there and play with an edge." Forward, Mark Mowers, on getting fired up to play the Flames
"The players like to play before a full house. They like to play before fans that are cheering. It sounds obvious, but it’s a truism that it makes them play at a higher level. It makes them play at a higher tempo and it’s very important." General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, on playing at the TD Banknorth Garden
"It’s very important because sometimes when the fans get into the game it’s like having another player on the ice. I think the fans here in Boston want to see a winner and I think they’ll be with the guys…if they’re with you and cheering you, it’s a big boost. It just gives you that little extra energy." Bruins Legend, Johnny Bucyk, on the fans having your back