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The Return of the Bruins

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Anyone else a Star Wars fan out there?

With all due respect to George Lucas, doesn’t this year have a real Return of the Jedi feel for the B’s?

Bear with me (pun intended):
The second half of last year was like a frozen wasteland (think ice planet ’Hoth’), where almost anything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the Bruins and, by extension, most Boston hockey fans (i.e. The Empire Strikes Back).

This year, with Zdeno Chara playing the part of Han Solo (rescued from the frozen climate of Ottawa, instead of a block of carbonite), Dave Lewis as Obi-Wan (ok, so he’s not a ghost, but he is an amazing teacher), Patrice Bergeron as Luke Skywalker (having endured the worst of the NHL’s wrath last season), and the goalies playing the part of the droids (Toivonen and Thomas are always ready to save the day), our "Rebel Alliance" seems ready to take on the Empire (i.e. the rest of the NHL).

Heeeeeeeeeeey, wait a minute.

Does that make General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, Yoda (the man with the plan)?

And who is Chewie?

And don’t even ask me who plays Princess Leia...

Pink slips and a pathetic Saturday evening...
Ok, so I am still employed, at least for a little while longer.

Did anyone else have as good a time as I, watching the tickers last night?

Yes, it is pathetic to have fun watching box scores go by.

And yes, it is preseason.

But a four game win streak is a four game win streak. Right?

Habs fans would be ecstatic right now if they had four wins.

And, is it just me, or is the rest of the city’s media starting to wonder aloud as to how good our guys can be this year? I wonder if the rest of the league is paying attention yet?

I hope not, so we can sneak up on them.

Anyway, it sounds as if a few more roster moves are coming this week. I am really excited that the team is rounding into shape. Tomorrow’s practice can’t come quick enough for this scribe.

And then the team goes to NYC! And it’s probably a little easier to get box scores from New York.

Stories galore, so keep it here.

When in doubt, look at the standings…
It’s somewhat of a slow news day here in the Hub of Hockey.

And, with the boys on a day off, and the corporate offices closed, me and the guys in the Box Office are pretty much it. If you want to buy tickets, they are there until 7pm, by the way.

So, we are going to the standings.

In the preseason, our Bruins are at the top of the Northeast Division:
Boston 4-1-0
Toronto 3-1-0
Buffalo 3-1-0
Ottawa 2-2-0
Montreal 0-4-0

And take a look at the Eastern Conference:
Place/Team Games Pts
1. * Boston 5 8
2.* NYR 3 6
3.* Atlanta 3 4
4. Buffalo 4 6
5. Toronto 4 6
6. Ottawa 4 4
7. Pittsburgh 4 4
8. Tmpa Bay 2 3
9. Wash. 2 3
10. Phila. 3 2
11. NJ 4 2
12. Florida 5 1
13. Carolina 2 0
14. NYI 2 0
15. Montreal 4 0
* = Division Leader

Ok, so maybe this is foolish.

But think now, why not hang your hat on some fine play, some flexibility in the lineup, some fantastic play by the youngsters, and some stellar goaltending.

Seriously, why not?

Let’s get mildly excited. Ok?

Odds and ends from around the locker room…from the 10 days or so
"You always have to be careful that their skills, their development will [not] be diminished if you put them into those roles [on secondary lines, etc.]…You have to make further assessment along this camp. And ultimately make a decision on that -- whether they can fit into that role of lesser minutes and whether they will still continue their development and be productive players. It’s tough decision."
General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, early in camp, on the relative benefits of having a young player start in the NHL or returning them to the AHL or Juniors

"It’s really important… We want to send a positive message…that, in Boston, this is how they do it. This is what they expect. This is the presentation that we saw. We saw video on style of play. We practiced that. We had a fair opportunity in the camp. We were tested and compared to the numbers of the pros. And that is what we did. We used the [testing] numbers of all of these kids…I actually had numbers from the 2002 Stanley Cup Team [in Detroit] that we compared them to. So, it’s a pretty high standard, but that is the standard that we want to use to get the message across [as far as] where we want to be…"
Head Coach, Dave Lewis, on how Boston attempted to run their rookie camp

"Definitely, I feel I can play all three forward positions, and I feel like I am a good skater. I can get into those kind’ve tight situations and work my way out of them. I think with my game, I can mold it any way that I see fit…Just playing up here is my first preference. And after that, it really doesn’t matter as long as you get an opportunity to play, that is the biggest thing."
Forward, Yan Stastny, on versatility

"I think it helped me tremendously, to get my legs under me. To be able to skate with the pro guys helped me prepare for this camp."
Forward, Phil Kessel, on coming to camp early to skate with the pros

"All the additions that were made, look like great additions. I hate to pound it into [dirt] but, you can’t help it. Zdeno Chara, he’s just such an important building block. That shows right there that the [Bruins] mean business."
Goalie, Tim Thomas, on the personal changes that happened over the summer.

"I think it is important to be here early. To get some of the little things organized…It is very important to come early and to get to know the town, the players and just establish yourself, so you feel a little more comfortable…"
Defenseman, Zdeno Chara, on the Bruins pre-preseason practices.

"Chara and Savard, they really look good. I think Chara shows great leadership and talent and skill. These new guys that are in town, they are really trying hard to make this team and I think they’ve really raised the spirit and I think they really challenge the people that are assured of their position…I think the energy in today’s performance shows they are ready to skate. More than I’ve ever seen them. Their fitness seems intrinsic as opposed to something we have to look forward to…I am looking forward to the [Bruins] succeeding and I am looking forward to a successful season, and I feel very strong about that…to hit the ground running is important to these guys."
Chairman and CEO, Jeremy Jacobs, during his visit to camp last week, and his impression of the new B’s
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