This afternoon, the Boston Bruins leave for Atlanta on a quest.
They must disable any doubts in Bruins Nation about their favorite NHL club and its upward mobility in the standings.
The operatives are:Gold team, Kessel-Bergeron-Boyes
White team, Sturm-Savard-Murray
Gray team, Axelsson-Primeau-Donovan
Teal team, Brookbank-Mowers-Stastny-Hoggan
And the Black team (in no particular order):Jurcina, Dempsey, Alberts, Mara, York, Stuart and Chara
They are a diverse, tight-knit group, ready to take the ice in Atlanta, St. Louis and Long Island and bring back some wins.
Cue the music.Dat, da, da, da, Dat, da, da, da. Doot de do doo. Doot de do doo. Dooooooot
Ok, enough of that.
Our Boys trip to the military installation led me to some "mission" type thoughts. Well, as usual, I got carried away. Sorry about that, but you have the lines now.
Thankfully, the USS Doyle did not carry the Bruins away during their visit yesterday and everyone involved was really impressed and thoroughly humbled by the experience.
"Those sailors work 18-hour days," said Head Coach Dave Lewis. "The average age is Phil Kessel’s age. The guys are tremendously committed to helping the country…the captain spoke about [being] proud of his ship, but is more proud of the people on his ship…they work all together as 225 guys to succeed.
"And that’s sort’ve the message that I took from that. These are a large group of guys who are dedicated to what they do."
Needless to say that the Bruins were very impressed with the Navy’s finest.
There will be more on the visit to the USS Doyle to come on BostonBruins.com, so keep it here, folks.Another Finn in the Wall
Hannu Toivonen will make the start tomorrow night in Atlanta. In 72 minutes Toivo has a 2.50 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
Hannu was in a hurry to pack his bag, so I wasn’t able to talk to him all that much, but he was obviously excited for the trip.
Timmy Thomas did hold court, explaining to us reporters that his old helmet might end up in a very special place.
You see, Tim and his helmet guy are pretty innovative and designed a creative synergy of the traditional skaters helmet plus cage combo (worn by Tretiak) and the full-face mask with the cats-eye front cage (which I believe was created initially by Dave Dryden, Ken’s brother, who also played goal in the NHL).
Thomas’ mask, worn last year and most of this pre-season, has the top and back plate like most of the goalies masks worn now, but has an enlarged cats-eye front piece, with an extended metal chin piece.
A further innovation has changed the metal chin protector into a more streamlined plastic piece.
It has a distinctive look and apparently is now a museum piece.
"Apparently, my mask guy says that the Hockey Hall of Fame wants the one that I wore last year…And I am going to hand it over to them as soon as possible."
More on the mask to come.Voices in the room…
"We realize that it’s a tough road trip ahead of us. The team’s playing well and we just have to bring the same strategies that we brought against Tampa -- the same attitude and the same work ethic. It is going to be a tough road trip and we have to be ready."Captain, Zdeno Chara, after practice
"I have a lot of friends still there. But on the ice you have to forget that stuff."Forward, Marc Savard, on facing his former team
"It always feels good to contribute offensively. But at the same time there is only the one real goal. That’s to win games. That’s what we’re going to look forward to on this road trip."Forward, Wayne Primeau, on scoring a couple of goals off the hop