“It’s times like these you learn to live again…”
So says Dave Grohl and “The Foo Fighters.”
Rounded the corner inside the TD Banknorth Garden at 7:45 am this morning and found fans waiting in line for tickets – and windows didn’t open until 11 am! Bravo to this hearty bunch of die-hards and, of course, another good omen to carry with me to Wilmington.
What a change of pace for the Black and Gold who endured a prolonged spring and summer after a really tough season.
Obviously, hope springs eternal, but after witnessing the B’s first veteran practice this morning, that hope is not as unfounded as some may have initially thought.
Sure, a successful rookie camp notwithstanding, many Bruins fans are of the show me don’t tell me variety. They’ll just have to wait and see. And yah, hockey practices are not all that interesting after the initial shot misses the net and crashes against the dashers. From level to level, there are similar motions throughout a session with the distinguishing factor between skill levels being size and speed.
However, there was a tangible excitement, perhaps carried over from Phil Kessel’s fabulous performance on Wednesday, which permeated the Ristuccia rink on Thursday. It was a workman like, professional atmosphere to be sure. However, there was a true excitement that became even more apparent as the players entered the building and hit the rink.
Defenseman Andrew Alberts was the first on the ice, followed by fellow Boston College alum and second-time Bruin, Bobby Allen, who was then followed shortly by everyone else – including the intimidating exclamation point that is Zdeno Chara
At 11:16 head coach Dave Lewis called the team to order – and put them through their paces.
Ice shavings flew, whistles blew, and pucks were shot, blocked and stopped.
And the Bruins, our Boston Bruins, returned.Heard in and about the locker room…
“I want to pick up where I left off last year. I still have to make some believers out of some people. So, that’s what I am going to try and do through my play.”Goalie, Tim Thomas
“Well…I think me and Timmy make a good duo and I’m confident that we can take [care of business]…Hopefully we can do the job so the team gets wins and that’s the main thing.”Goalie, Hannu Toivonen
“You have to be hard to play against. You have to be physical. You want to get the puck every time there is a battle in the corners. I think that is the mindset you have to have in training camp and throughout the year.”Forward, Patrice Bergeron
“For sure that’s one of the roles I have to fill in. I have to lead this team and I have the responsibility to take charge…[Boston’s winning sports tradition] means a lot to us, and to everyone in town, especially the fans. There is a lot of history and I think we all realize that we want to bring [the Bruin’s winning tradition] back.Defenseman, Zdeno Chara
“[Chara’s] size combined with his skating and his puck skills, and his physicality, it’s a complete package. So you watch him as the training camp goes on, the way he moves the puck, the way he joins the rush, the way he can direct traffic – he does a lot of things. Then you add his size and it’s just an added dimension. It really helps his play, it makes him a marquee player.”General Manager, Peter Chiarelli
“It was nice to run a practice. I was a little rusty on some things…But we prepared and spent a lot of time for this day collectively as coaches and we’re satisfied with what we saw today.”Head Coach, Dave LewisHeard outside the ticket office, near the autograph’s table…
“I am here because I would like to get some autographs from the greatest team in the world, the Boston Bruins.”Paula
, A Bruin Fan
“I’m here to buy Boston Bruins tickets. I love â€˜em. It’s an intense sport. I love the fights, I love the goals, all the work they put into it…it’s just fun.”Al
, Wakefield, Mass.
“I’m here to get Brad Boyes signature. He’s my favorite player…I just like the way he plays.”Jeff
, age 10, North Attleboro, Mass.
“Psyched to be here, love the Bruins, go Bruins!”Kathryn
, North Attleboro, Mass.And by the way…
As expected, Peter Chiarelli said after practice that forward Alex Zhamnov failed his physical…Toivonen was clad in new Itech retro-look pads and a Denis Lemieux replica mask (think of the French Canadian goalie in the movie “Slapshot”)…Tim Thomas
sported a very wide smile throughout the practice…Glen Murray wore the remnants of a sunburn.