Iron Men On Ice!
Bruins practice was suppose to start at 11:30, but somewhere between last night’s win and this morning, practice became optional. I didn’t know this, and arrived at Ristuccia at 10:30, and saw Patrice Bergeron arrive, with laptop. (Maybe he had some e-mails to catch up on?) Bitz and Julian arrived shortly after. When my friend Colleen arrived, we headed into the Ice Box.
As we waited (And waited) for the Bruins to take the ice; Wheeler, Morris, Boychuk and Savard all came in together through a side door. I yelled out “HI Blake Wheeler!” and got nothing in return. Whatever, Wheels! Denis Wideman arrived, alone, and quickly went into the locker room.
The waiting continued and Colleen and I debated whether or not the Bruins were going to hit the ice, or if they were doing off ice training. Finally we decided to brave the weather and stand outside to see the players arrive (leave?). Outside were about 7 – 10 autograph hounds, with their stuff to sell on E-Bay. These people amaze me! For the most part, none of them know one player from the next and constantly ask “Who’s that?” then scramble to find something for that player to sign.
We saw Thornton and Bitz leave, each with their own Winter Classic jersey. Neither said why they had them. Wheeler came out, no jersey in his hand, and walk right by me. Again, I said “Hi Wheels!” and NOTHING!! Now, I know I’m short, but he’s not deaf! Blake Wheeler, you are dead to me!
Wideman came out then and no one….NO ONE stopped him for an autograph. I actually felt bad. So bad, that when Wideman said hi to me, I said hi back. But I didn’t like doing it.
Now I could hear noise coming from inside the rink and went in to see who was there. Milan Lucic, Mark Stuart (yay!) Adam McQuaid and Patrice Bergeron were on the ice, with Tuukka Rask in net. Bergeron was working with John Whitesides, on one side of the rink; while the others trained with Doug Houda. Bergy did mostly skating and shooting drills, while the others did a timed shooting drill that turned into a skating drill. After Looch and Stuey failed to score on Rask; each had to skate back and forth, on the short part of the rink, four times. However, when Looch did score on Rask, Tuukka had to do the same, resulting in an over excited Tuukka slamming into the boards and sliding into the net. Needless to say, everyone had a good laugh. I thought Stuart looked great out there and was keeping up easily with Lucic. It will be a race between him and Bergeron on who will return, to the line-up, first.
Chara made an appearance, inside the rink. He spoke with a few people and said hello to the four fans, myself included, sitting in the stands. (See Wheeler! Chara said HI to me!).
By now it was 2pm, and everyone was finishing up. I had to leave to pick up my little guy from school, plus my feet were so cold, they were starting to hurt.
You can find Kathi’s pictures from today’s practice here….