Fans And New Players Make Boston A Hockey Town Again


The temperatures have been dropping. The leaves are beginning to change color and people are talking hockey on Boston’s sports talk radio. Autumn has officially arrived which ultimately means, a new hockey season is dawning.

Tuesday, Bruins winger (and future Hall of Famer) Mark Recchi was interviewed on a variety of subjects ranging from last spring’s playoff debacle to playing alongside rookie Tyler Seguin. Recchi was very forthcoming with his answers as he said the B’s, to a man, have not forgotten the seven game loss to Philadelphia but they also feel it’s time to “move on” and focus on a new season.

“We have new faces…and a very good hockey team that is capable of doing very good things this season.” Recchi said.

In talking about Seguin, Recchi said the youngster does not need to be “the savior” and he just needs to help the team achieve its goal of winning the Stanley Cup. He also cautioned listeners that Seguin will need a period of adjustment in making the jump from junior to the NHL.

After the conversation ended with Recchi, the hosts of the radio show commented on how many text messages they had received asking how fans could either watch or listen to that night’s exhibition game against archrival Montreal. After listening to one caller say he is so passionate about this Bruins team that he would listen to the French broadcast online, the hosts concluded they have not seen such anticipation about the black and gold in a long time. They ultimately agreed, Boston is once again, a hockey town.

Fans cannot wait for the opening of the 2010-2011 season. The additions of Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin have given fans new reasons to hope that the Stanley Cup will be paraded through the streets of Boston in June. They, along with the possible additions of forwards Jordan Caron and defenseman Steven Kampfer will make this a team built on speed and smarts. These players can play, plain and simple. As with Seguin, there will be an adjustment period for Caron, who could make the Bruins straight out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Kampfer, who played for the University of Michigan last season, but once they begin to feel comfortable and confident, they will make key contributions to the B’s.

Another reason for such high spirits from the faithful is the opportunity to watch goaltender Tuukka Rask perform as the number one puck stopper for the entire season. Rask, of course, wrested the starting netminder job from Vezina Trophy winner, Tim Thomas, last season after Thomas struggled through much of the first half of the season. Rask led the NHL in goals against average for the amount of minutes he played and quickly gained notoriety around the league as a star in the making. Rask and Thomas could be the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. Most NHL teams cannot come close when comparing goalies with the B’s pair.

Black and gold fans are also looking for big numbers from center Patrice Bergeron. This fan favorite has become a strong leader on and off the ice and although just twenty-five years of age, Bergeron is entering his seventh season as a Bruin. Look for him to be the pivot between Recchi and Seguin. That line should give opposing defensemen and goaltenders plenty of sleepless nights throughout the season.

There is one major concern and that is for center Marc Savard and his health. Savard reported to training camp still feeling the effects of post concussion syndrome. He will miss an extended period of time as he recuperates from the concussion he suffered last season at the hands of Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke. Savard, ever the warrior, returned for the Philadelphia series and scored the overtime winning goal in game one but seemed to struggle during the remaining six games. It appears he returned too fast and is paying the price now.

The Bruins training camp has been one of competition and renewed optimism. The young players are putting on a major push to take away jobs from veterans which has put a little extra jump in the vet’s legs. The optimism is shared by players and fans alike. All concerned want to wash the bad taste of last spring out of their mouths as soon as possible. The B’s began this process by defeating Montreal 4-2 in the exhibition game. Hopefully, the caller to the radio program found the game online and enjoyed it as he learned a new language. Hockey season is here and Boston is most definitely a hockey town.