January 1, 2010

A LYRIC LITTLE SNOWDRIFT:

Over the field they go: With snow piling up, Bruins have a ball in their new digs (Fluto Shinzawa, January 1, 2010, Boston Globe)

Regardless of how today’s Winter Classic goes, the event can already be a considered a top-shelf success for the Bruins. Yesterday morning, minutes before the Bruins, led by captain Zdeno Chara, emerged from the home dugout, snowflakes began to fall upon Fenway Park.

“Is it really snowing?’’ asked Marc Savard.

It was, turning the old ballyard and the 200-by-85-foot temporary rink into a playground where the smiles outnumbered the fast-falling flakes. [...]

After some warmup drills, the players shoveled the ice, which they confirmed was surprisingly good. They then broke out into a black-versus-white scrimmage. When players passed or shot the puck, fistfuls of flakes puffed off their sticks like mini-explosions all around the rink. Given how fast the snow accumulated on the ice surface, there were few attempts at dangling or tape-to-tape passes.

“I would want the kind of snow that looks like it’s snowing a lot on TV but isn’t really sticking to the ice,’’ Tim Thomas said. “It accumulated a lot faster than I thought it would on the ice. It piled up quickly, and it really wasn’t that heavy of a snow. If we can get that really light snow that looks like it’s snowing but doesn’t really stick to the ice, that would be the best-case scenario.’’

Thomas and fellow goalie Tuukka Rask tried piling up snowbanks around their posts to turn aside close-range pucks. During one shift, Shawn Thornton even lined up Steve Begin and threw one of the scrimmage’s few checks, which prompted many smiles.

Following the session, after another round of shoveling (youngsters such as Blake Wheeler and Johnny Boychuk were recruited) to open up a down-the-middle shooting lane, the Bruins ended their formal practice with all players participating in a shootout against Thomas and Rask.

“We felt like little kids,’’ said Edmonton native Derek Morris. “It sounds like the old cliché, but we really did. It felt like I was playing with my buddies back home. Guys were laughing. We had a great practice for it. The snow was perfect.’’


Yes, our sports are better than yours.


Posted by Orrin Judd at January 1, 2010 8:11 AM
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