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State of the Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
7:48 p.m.

With snow coming down in the Garden, David Krejci just showed the crowd the new Winter Classic uniform. Look for pictures and video, ASAP.

7:34 p.m.
One of the Bruins is suiting up in the Winter Classic uniform...

7:18 p.m.
Cam Neely: "Claude could have been a Bruin."

7:10 p.m.
I'm with David Krejci watching the festivities. David thinks that Patrice Bergeorn had the best opening statement.

7:01 p.m.
Cam Neely: We have higher expectations."

6:57 p.m.
The theme of this evening's "State of the Bruins" is "Unfinished Business."

Milan Lucic on his hockey philosophy: "You just want to go out there and do what you can to help the team to win."

3:47 p.m.
Savvy or no Savvy
Asked if Marc Savard might be in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Rangers, Claude Julien said that he didn't know.

"It's still a couple of days away and I we'll decide what kind of lineup I decide [to use]," said Julien. "I don't think it's necessarily for any other reason than me picking my lineup.

"I think it will be a choice of mine, rather than anything else."

That was good news, as the Hub of Hockey had begun to wonder about its all-star pivot.

"I haven't even made my lineup...for Saturday," said Julien. "It will probably get done tomorrow.

"If we had a regular season game tomorrow [Savard and Andrew Ference] would be playing.

"We are just being cautious right now and in Savvy's case I am pretty sure he is 100-percent and it's just a case of deciding when we put him in."

3:10 p.m.
Winter Classic Jersey
The Boston Bruins will debut the jersey to be worn at the 2010 NHL/Bridgestone Winter Classic during the annual "State of the Bruins" Town Hall Meeting for season ticket holders held tonight, Thursday, September 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the TD Garden.

This one-of-a-kind jersey represents more than 80-years of Bruins history and evokes memories of the club's Stanley Cup winning eras. Bruins legend and current vice president Cam Neely provided Reebok with the artistic direction and inspiration for the jersey. It will be unveiled tonight by Bruins Principal, Charlie Jacobs and Vice President, Cam Neely.

The jersey will be available for exclusive preordering beginning this Friday at the Boston Bruins Pro Shop located at TD Garden or by calling 617-624-1500.  Fans who preorder through the Bruins Pro Shop by September 30 will receive free shipping and will automatically be entered for the chance to win tickets to the 2010 NHL/Bridgestone Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

Additionally a limited number of Reebok apparel items will also be available in the Bruins Pro Shop.

3:03 p.m.
I'm back to the Garden preparing for tonight's event -- The State of the Bruins. Practice is over for the day, so look for some more video and a little more prose here, too.

12:32 p.m.
Good Advice
Mark Recchi is a marvel and his coming back to play again for the Bruins this season just demonstrates again, but Recchi explained that it was not by accident that he is in good enough shape to compete at a very high level. And he also explained that his work toward playing so many seasons started several years ago.

"I figured out what I needed to do the last few years," said Recchi. "I know exactly what I need to do to get ready for the season and obviously it is very important.

"These young guys, with the way that they take care of themselves now, they're setting themselves up now to play for a long time because they are doing it at such an early stage. I was fortunate to have an older teammate who was in his 30's say [to me] that he wished he would have started taking care of himself -- eating wise -- when he was younger.

"I was about 26-27, so from that stage on I really paid attention to it and it made a big difference. If I would have waited a few years it probably would have been too late."

I asked if maintaining that conditioning, and the proper energy level, was an art.

"It's all year," he said in agreement. "The training program, it's a progression of what you think you have to do and you are building up to training camp.

"Everything [is about] trying to make sure you are as sharp as you can once the season starts and then maintaining that as much as you can. You're not going to do that for 82-games. You are going to have walls, but you have to understand that and you have to make [those lulls] as short as possible."

Recchi implied that knocking down those walls was the key.

He said, "If you can limit the down times, and the times that you are tired, as much as possible...that's going to make the coach's very happy -- and your teammates."

The fans too, no?

12:00 noon
Practice #2 has started...

I see Bergeron, Wideman, Wheeler, Begin, Arniel, Thornton, McQuaid, Sobotka, Morris, Wheeler, Stuart, Thomas, Rask, Larman, Wozniewski, Kwiet, Bitz, Lefevbre, Hunwick, Marchand, LoVecchio, Sabourin and Ryder.

10:32 a.m.
The NHL coaching staff is on the ice today:
Julien, Houda, Ward, Essensa, Ramsay.

10:09 a.m.
Practice has started...

I see Regan, Button, Dalton, Hutchinson, Courchaine, Penner, Boychcuk, Kobasew, Marquardt, Chara, MacDermid, Whitfield, Lucic, Lehtonen, Lucic, Sauve, Sturm, Bodnarchuk, Savard, Hamill, Recchi, Fata, Krejci, Randell, Goulet, MacDonald, Knackstedt and Ference.

9:12 a.m.

Reflecting on what we've seen from the Boston Bruins thus far during Training Camp '09, there are a couple of stories that pop clearly into my mind -- Steve Begin is at the top of that list.

Begin is a known quantity around these parts -- paying the role of Darth Vader while with the Habs, the forward has undergone an Anakin Skywalker-like redemption here in New England where he has clearly integrated himself into the Bruins locker room and is obviously enjoying every minute of the process.

And for those of us who saw his past battles with Shawn Thornton, to see #22 and Begin (who has been wearing #27) celebrating the latter's first exhibition goal was almost comical.

After all, this time last year, the two men fought each other with a particular ferocity, so much so, that one could say that Shawn's pugilistic victory over Steve in an early Halifax exhibition may have set the tone for the B's mastery of Montreal during the 2008-09 campaign.

"That was a heck of a play from Thornton, there,"  said the Quebecois Begin of his Ontario-born hockey-heart-on-his-sleeve doppelganger. "He drove pretty hard through the middle and....that was a great play, that was a great pass and I just had to shoot it in."

Begin and his linemates, Byron Bitz (who played center) and Thornton were busy all night. They lined up in nearly every situation, while Bitz (2) and Begn (1) each had to fight to stick up for their teammates.

"I think in general, our line played pretty well," added Begin. "We did our job."

However, Begin's play, and his goal and fight, in particular, may just illustrate the important difference between the Bruins and the rest of the conference.

"If you want to win the game you have to play hockey a little bit, too," said Begin of the Leaf's strong-arm tactics. "I think we were ready and we were ready to play hockey, too.

"We came out with the win at the end, and I think that is the most important [thing].

"We came in here to win."
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