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Jeff Hoggan...Come on up!

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
If there is a happier guy in the world than new/old Bruins forward, Jeff Hoggan, I want to meet him. And as per usual with this club, after being called up by Boston today, he fit right back into the locker room and plugged into a line:

White: Kessel - Savard - Kobasew
Gold: Sturm - Bergeron - Bochenski
Blue: Tenkrat - Mowers - Donovan
Red: Reich - Hoggan - Chistov
Black: Chara - Ward - Alberts - Ference - Wideman - York - Allen
Black: MacDonald, Thomas

As far as puck stopping goes, folk hero-goalie Tim Thomas is getting a break tomorrow and Joey MacDonald will get the nod in goal, with the Tank coming back on Sunday in his home state.

"Ya, (Joey’s) going to play tomorrow," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "Timmy (will play Detroit).

"Timmy’s right from that area so I am sure he will have friends and family coming to the game."

Today the Bruins got to test out the new NHL uniforms, hence the switch up in the above line colors.

They were practice versions of the new jerseys, so I can’t speak to logos or anything like that, but players like Phil Kessel and Marc Savard and Chuck Kobasew "look" faster in them -- almost like slick video game versions of themselves, but in a good way.

Some of the other guys, well, let’s just say there will need to be some tweaking of helmets and socks and such.

Defenseman Aaron Ward told some of us scribes afterward that he felt as if he was going to look like a bobble head version of himself with his, comparatively, bulky helmet used in conjunction with the new streamlined look of the jersey, pants and socks.

Ward also said that "conditioning" would be a major concern for some players. Let’s just say that if the guys come into camp a little heavy in the belly area next year, we’ll all know pretty quickly. One of the other writers likened the "tightness" of the look to pictures of old-time hockey from the 1940’s.

That was a unique perspective on the new clothes -- they are so advanced they are retro.

"Hmmmm," I say.

Despite their not being compatible with the most current incarnation of the Bish belly, I have decided that I like them. Although, from what I heard in the room, it might take a little while to feel comfortable wearing them, if not using them.

"They are designing uniforms to be cooler and water resistant," said Coach Lewis, in jest, after the session. "We need uniforms that are warmer and thicker in this rink."

See. I told you. Ristuccia Arena is the coldest hockey rink on the planet.

"To me they looked a little tight," admitted Lewis, now serious. "I don’t know what the players reaction was for the most part. And I know that they are water resistant on the front, which is a great thing. And to me it looked like the pants that our guys wore, today, were too big for the jerseys.

"I don’t know if that was the finished product (but I do) know that they are sizing and that was what the whole deal was…they want to get the right fits because of the shoulder pads and the shin pads."

Again, like I said -- tweaking.

Speaking of fashion, one Bruins staff member, who will remain nameless, was given a good razzing for wearing a black mock turtleneck underneath his snappy gray suit.

After he finished his soliloquy on the new uniform system, Ward the new clubhouse fashion expert, fresh from the runways of New York, saw the aforementioned ensemble.

He said, loudly, that he hadn’t "seen a turtleneck since before the year 2000."

"I am bringing it back," was the staffers retort.

"NO, no," said Ward. "You should put it back."

And by the way, it was not my turtleneck. The General threw all of mine away. :(

And another thing…
One thing I have not thrown away is my love for college hockey, and I have a closet full of t-shirts and jerseys to prove it.

This week the Hockey East Association, the conference of my alma maters Boston University and Northeastern, will hold their quarterfinals with the semifinals and championship game being held in the TD Banknorth Garden next Friday and Saturday.

So I figured I might put something together on my memories and thoughts about Hockey East and the great players I have seen play in the HEA Tourney.

My former employers over at were gracious enough to put it up.

Click here to give it a read through…
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