The NHL season is very much underway and as the Boston Bruins skate this morning, their minds will no doubt be on their own opening contest of the campaign, set to take place versus the Florida Panthers on Friday night at 7:30 (on NESN, WBZ radio).
Thankfully, our beloved local hockey heroes are vacating the TD Banknorth Garden just as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus takes over the building in anticipation of their long string of performances.
Obviously, there is no need for the B’s to get mixed up in the celebratory hoopla that is the Greatest Show on Earth. The Bruins, America’s Best Hockey Team sharing space with Bello, America’s Best Clown probably doesn’t work very well in the grand scheme of things.
Meanwhile, focusing on the greatest show on ice, the National Hockey League, a lot of local flavor was present in the various games last night, what with former Beanpoters Patrick Eaves and Chris Drury leading their teams to victory (Sens 4, Leafs 1 and Sabres 3, Canes 2 in OT respectively).
Old friends Hal Gill and Andrew Raycroft (Toronto), as well as Glen Wesley (Carolina), all found themselves on the wrong side of the scoring.
The other game on the evening saw Mike Modano and Marty Turco
’s Dallas Stars best Jose Theodore’s Colorado Avalanche, 3-2.
All three games truly showcased the best of what the new rules can bring and were exciting from front to back and all six teams exhibited some great scoring skill, big hits and excellent goaltending.
No doubt, the B’s will look to follow suit in their own season opener, tomorrow.
This morning, however, the Bruins will look to exhibit their own skills in, perhaps as one last reminder to the coaching staff (who are making out their opening lineup soon), in the last warm-up session in Massachusetts before winging it to Florida this afternoon.
Head Coach Dave Lewis is expected to name his starter in goal for the first game sometime today, and we’re all hopeful that Patrice Bergeron
and Shean Donovan will hit the ice again on Thursday morning -- fully recovered from a cold and an errant puck respectively.
As always, I will be at practice later to bring you the latest and greatest.Odds and Ends…From This Week
“You focus on the puck. Make sure you stay square. And just try to work hard. My approach in practice doesn’t really change [depending on whether I win or lose the game]. Obviously if you have something to work on, of course you are going to focus on that. But if you don’t have anything wrong technically, my approach isn’t any different than any other day.”Goalie, Hannu Toivonen, on whether his approach in practice changes after a loss
“My old man (Jerry Hogan) is a pretty blue collar guy and I grew up in a small logging community and everything I’ve gotten in life I’ve just worked hard for. Once you see you get rewarded for that work, you just stick to it. Hopefully it just keeps paying off.”Forward, Jeff Hoggan, on working hard in each practice
“Both came from different routes. Timmy has done everything imaginable to get himself to the national hockey league, playing in Europe, sacrificing. Probably along the way he had doubts and reservations. Maybe not. Other people may have had doubts and reservations in him, but he is here now and he’s looked good. I thought he had a very strong camp and his goals against last year was very good. And Tim’s ready to go. Hannu is a young guy, feels good about his game, high expectations. And he’s ready to take that challenge of competing every night, at the highest level you can and getting better. He had an injury last year…the injury is over with…he’s ready to go.”Head Coach, Dave Lewis, on his two goaltenders