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We’re Leavin’ On a Jet Plane

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
Boston Ready for First NHL Tilt

Circus in the Garden/Jokesters in the Locker Room?
The Boston Bruins had me contemplating my navel today.

No, practice was just as exciting as usual, punctuated by the spectacular play here and there.

What I am alluding to is this:
One Bruin, who will remain nameless to protect the guilty, called me over and asked why I was wearing baseball umpires gear.

In fact, he said he knew that it was still baseball season, but I was taking it a bit too far.

As I looked down at my gray DHA: Harvard Department of Athletics Sweatshirt, a roomy XL by the way, I said to myself, “Hey this is my favorite sweatshirt. What has he got against my Dee-Ha.”

In fact, former Crimson Don Sweeney had just walked by and said, “Nice sweatshirt.”

I am of the eternally gullible/naive sort and I couldn’t for the life of me, figure out what the heck I was wearing that looked like umpires gear.

Could it be my blue pants? The blue collar on my shirt? What is he talking about?

Then I realized what the nameless Bruins player was referring to – my tummy.

My own natural padding, if you will.

This was punctuated (!) by a fellow writer, who shall also remain nameless to protect the (very) guilty, poking me in the belly Pillsbury style.

“Hee-hee!” I say.

Several witnesses had to smile at my stammering answer, something to the effect of being married and having a good cook for a wife.

Then people just started giggling. Me included.

I bring this up for two reasons.
1.)It is a natural law: Everyone loves a chubby Bish.
So don’t be hatin’ on the pillow -- It is full of love.
2.)This is, and remains, a very loose team.

I’ve said it before and I hope to continue to say it.

These players are not uptight and there do not seem to be any butterflies going into tomorrow evening’s game.

Another example: Earlier in practice, one of the players was wearing a practice jersey with an “A” on it. We writers, being of the naturally inquisitive sort, asked each other – what is Wayne Primeau doing with an “A” as Bergy and Muzz are the assistants.

So, as we all reside in the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, we found out after practice why the player was wearing a “scarlet” letter of sorts.

“Today I stuck an ‘A’ on Primeau’s shirt,” said the team’s designated joker, Marc Savard. “And coach went along with it.

“Coach sees the ‘A’ and Preems never noticed it. So coach goes, ‘We are going to designate an assistant captain for every practice.’ So we all got a laugh at that.”

To his credit, just like your intrepid scribe with the jokes about his natural protective equipment, he took the ‘A’ in stride.

“It’s an award designated by Marc Savard,” said a wide grinned Primeau. “And whoever he feels is leading by ‘example,’ he’ll throw that ‘A’ on their jersey for practice.

“So, it was on ‘honor’ and we’ll just leave it at that,” joked Primeau.

Savard loves playing hockey and his enthusiasm and light heartedness are very agreeable with this group of players.

“I just think that I am doing what I want to do,” said Savard. “I want to take advantage of every day and I have fun with it.

“And hopefully it rolls over to the team,” he said.

“We have guys with a lot of smiles out there and the way to keep smiling is to keep winning hockey games. Hopefully we keep winning games here and keep the good spirits up.”

You’re our Wonder Wall…
Tim Thomas will make the start in tomorrow’s game.

“I’ll just try to play the best I can and we’ll take it from there,” said Thomas, who said he has totally moved past the team’s troubles last season.

“It’s a totally new season,” said Thomas. “This is such a new team and new management, new everything that I…really don’t feel that much correlation between this year and last.

“It’s a clean slate. And we’ll start over again tomorrow.”

Notes from Practice
Petr Tenkrat was put on waivers recently, but as of 12:30 pm today, remained with the Boston Bruins. In 113 NHL games, Petr has a 13-25-38 line and 50 penalty minutes.

Milan Jurcina is not expected to play on Friday.

Both Shean Donovan and Patrice Bergeron skated this morning, displaying no ill effects from errant pucks or flu-bug, respectively.

The Bruins planned a team meal/get together for this evening sometime after they landed in Florida.

Hub, Hubub
“It’s been a long summer for us. A lot of changes. I think everyone is pretty excited about tomorrow…I don’t think about last year. It is a brand new start and everyone starts at zero, so we’ll see…I just want to win. If you get a good start with the team, it makes it a lot easier. So just to win the first one or the first couple would be very nice and personally I just want to play the way I have in the past few years.”
Forward, Marco Sturm, on the first game

“We just have to go out there and do it. Go out there and play the best game that we possibly can.”
Defenseman, Zdeno Chara

“Yah, let’s get it going…it’s another year. It’s a new season. New Bruins, new guys, new team, new attitude – new everything!”
Forward, Brad Boyes, on the new season

“Training camp was fun and we want to get to know the new guys a little bit more. So I think we are very excited about tomorrow night’s game, to get it going…I think the guys are very positive so far and get along very well. You can tell on the ice this morning that the guys were still positive and excited about the season. I think it’s a fresh start for us and we’re very happy.”
Forward, Patrice Bergeron, on the first road trip

“Anytime you can come to your job, or come to work and have a good time and stay light, but still go out there and work hard and do the things that you are supposed to be doing it’s going to help…it keeps things fresh. It’s always nice to have little jokes like that to keep things interesting.”
Defenseman, Nathan Dempsey, on Primeau’s scarlet letter

And one more thing
Phil Kessel had the play of the day: A Shot by Chara off the goalie’s pads. The puck bounces off the pads and out to the middle of the ice, in front of the net, waist high. Kessel, with both hands apart on his stick, baseball swings the puck past the netminder and into the net. Very nice.
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