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Welcome to Training Camp 2007, Part I

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
Welcome to Training Camp 2007! Today, as noted in yesterday's release outlining the official schedule of activities, the rookies report to the club for physicals and will hit the Wilmington ice for the first practice session of the 2007-08 season.

The TD Banknorth Garden, in anticipation of hosting the veterans in their first (albeit optional) practice on Thursday is looking great and continues to ready itself for the new season. The ice is down and the locker room is ready and the new logos continue to appear everywhere.

Furthermore, if your B's paraphernalia needs an upgrade, the fine folks at the Bruins Pro Shop remind me that they will have the new Bruins jerseys available for sale exclusively from this Friday, Sept. 14th -to next Friday Sept. 21st.

They also have lots of new merchandise "bearing" the new logos as well -- I already have my newest Bruins ball cap, complete with the new walking bear logo. Outstanding!

By the way, if you need to contact the Bruins Pro Shop, click here.

Yesterday's pre-trade activity
As you can see from the official releases yesterday, the club is already in high gear off the ice. However, it seemed as if the pre-preseason practices were taken up a notch, as well. The team split itself into what looked like "Rookie" and "Regular" squads, with the Regulars being:

Andrew Alberts
Bobby Allen
P.J. Axelsson
Patrice Bergeron
Brandon Bochenski
Zdeno Chara
Andrew Ference
Manny Fernandez
Jeff Hoggan
Phil Kessel
David Krejci
Matt Lashoff
Mark Mowers
Glen Murray
Jeremy Reich
Marc Savard
Peter Schaefer
Jonathan Sigalet
Mark Stuart
Marco Sturm
Tim Thomas
Nate Thompson
Shawn Thornton
Ben Walter
Aaron Ward
Dennis Wideman

The older players kept their traditional drill-then-scrimmage setup. For the scrimmage they again split themselves into two teams for the now traditional post drill 5-on-5 game.

Gray Team

White Team

Dynamic Duo
Manny's Mask
For the first time this season we had the expected Boston goaltending combo on the ice, with Tim Thomas manning the locker room side goal and Manny Fernandez on the snack machine side.

Both keepers played well, with Timmy using his "modified" butterfly at one of the ice and Manny using his more traditional style at the other end. What resulted was a few great saves from both keepers. Fernandez made the save of the day, however, and at one point dove to his right, sprawled along the goal line and gloved a point blank shot from a wide open forward.

At that moment It looked as if Manny had decided to test his knee and the knee passed.

Tim's Mask
Timmy, of course, employed his throw-everything-at-the-puck and never-say-die technique with excellent results throughout the session, as well.

I'm not the first one to offer this happy comparison, but with Thomas and Fernandez on the ice it seemed like shades of Reggie Lemelin and Andy Moog -- right down to Timmy's Mage, which bears a good resemblance to Lemelin's Cooper helmet and HM30 combo and Manny's traditional cats eye cage on the full-face mask bearing an open mouthed animal, just like Moog. Then again, Timmy has that, too. But whatever.

Way back in July, Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe interviewed Manny and mused about this year's goalie tandem and was one of the first to propose that comparison:

Andy's Mask
"…it stands to be the most competitive netminding situation the Bruins have had perhaps since Andy Moog and Rejean Lemelin were going head-to-head for jobs 1 and 1-A…Fernandez, meanwhile, plans to incorporate some of the Moog look in his game. The day after the deal was made, he called his equipment supplier and ordered a new mask.

"I'm bringing back the bear, I think. You know, with the open mouth," he said, describing the intended paint job. "Just like Moog's."
How perfectly retro, and how perfectly problem solving, if Fernandez-Thomas morphed into the club's new-age Lemelin-Moog tandem. Fernandez, raised in Quebec (first in Sherbrooke and then Kirkland, closer to Montreal), stands to be Boston's first regular French-Canadian goaltender since Lemelin (with apologies to short-timers "Cousin" Vinny Riendeau and Felix Potvin).
Reggie's Mask
"Of course I remember Lemelin -- don't worry, I was watching," said Fernandez, who later posed for pictures in a corner of the empty dressing room, sitting directly below a plaque of legendary stopper Terry Sawchuk.

Fernandez recalled not only that Lemelin was among the first NHL goalies to wear lightweight leg pads, but also the exact shape, design, and color of his French forefather's equipment. "The pads were square," Fernandez said. "Odd-looking. Different. They were his trademark." Lemelin, these days the Flyers' netminding coach, is 20 years older than Fernandez, but his revolutionary look two decades ago had Fernandez playing in pads just like Lemelin's…"

Other observations: There were newfangled socks on some of the players, obviously built in the new style by Reebok. They looked sleeker and were black down the sides and white on the front. The players taped them to their legs, just like they taped the old style hose.

It might just be me projecting, but I felt like Our Boys were getting a little bit tired of the pre-preseason activities and are ready to shift gears on Thursday in the Garden.

After the first team left the ice, and just like the older folks, the rookies hit the rink and immediately broke into drills.

Their squad consisted of:

Byron Bitz
Mike Brown
Chris Collins
Sean Curry
Nate DiCasmirro
Matt Hendricks
Matt Hunwick
Martins Karsums
Pascal Pelletier
Wacey Rabbit
Tuukka Rask
Jordan Sigalet
T.J. Trevelyan

In red were Bitz, Hunwick, Karsums, Pelletier and Rabbit. In teal were Collins, Curry, DiCasmirro, Hendricks and Trevelyan. The goalies wore black and shifted in and out (Brown, Rask, Sigalet).

Off-ice it was nice to see Milan Lucic,  who just got back from Super Series. He took Tuesday's workout off. The youngsters, too, followed their drills up with a 3-on-3 game with red vs. teal.

And one more thing…
Adding a bit of Hollywood to this week's hockey happenings, “In the Crease,” a critically acclaimed hockey movie, will hit the screen at the 23rd Annual Boston Film Festival on September 15 at 4 p.m.  The screening will take place at the AMC Loews Theatre – Boston Common at 175 Tremont Street in Boston.  Glen Murray appears in the film as well as over a dozen other current and former NHL greats including Brendan Shanahan and Scott Niedermayer.

“In the Crease” is a feature length documentary film and tells the inspiring true story of a teenage hockey team and their quest to win a national championship.  The movie also features many of the NHL’s top stars sharing their own personal stories and playing experiences.

The film was released on DVD nationwide in November 2006 and has topped internet sales rankings in both the U.S. and Canada as the #1 Bestselling Sports Movie.

Tickets for the Boston Film Festival screening are $8 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Massachusetts Hockey and a Q&A with the filmmakers will immediately follow the screening.  To purchase tickets, go to the AMC Loews Boston Common or online at

To view learn more about the flick head over to
Keep it here all day folks, there will be plenty to report!
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