|Stanley Cup toes the rubber at Fenway with help from the Bruins||06.19.11 at 6:00 pm ET|
Chara and Thomas were on the lead duck boat of four that were in the processional that began by entering through the center field wall about 15 minutes before first pitch.
Chara was holding up the Stanley Cup for nearly the entire time during the procession around Fenway.
After making one round around Fenway, the players departed in the center field triangle and made their way to the infield with the Stanley Cup, in addition to the Eastern Conference trophy and the Conn Smythe trophy, earned by Thomas as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoff run.
The pre-game ceremony was capped off by all members of the Bruins throwing simultaneous first pitches to the Red Sox players, who stood in a line from dugout to dugout behind home plate.
|Better Leighton than never for Flyers||05.11.10 at 12:39 am ET|
When last Michael Leighton was playing hockey in Boston, he was walking out of Fenway Park, not TD Garden. And he was walking a stunned loser of a classic hockey contest, not the hero who came out of nowhere Monday night to rescue the Flyers and continue their season.
“We know we can,” Leighton said. “In my eyes we’ve outplayed this team most of the games. The first game we came out slow because we had a long break. We’ve been there every game it’s not like they’re blowing us out. So we’re confident as long as we come out and we’re ready to play every game that we can win each game. We’re just taking it game by game right now. We just have to brush this under the rug now and head back home and focus on that game.”
Leighton was cleared to play before the game after missing nearly two months with a high right ankle sprain but seemed unlikely to play with Brian Boucher taking over the goaltending responsibilities and the Flyers playing hard in front of him.
But then Boucher fell backwards very awkwardly in the opening five minutes of the second period, injuring both knees according to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.
“I just went up to him and I didn’t know the extent of the injury so I asked him how he was doing,” Leighton said. “He said great job to me, I said great job to him. He was playing great the first period and that added a little incentive.”
While Boucher was being gingerly helped to his skates and off the ice, Leighton made his first appearance for the Flyers since March 16, when he injured his knee in Nashville.
Maybe it’s only appropriate that, win or lose, the season comes down to Michael Leighton since he was the man who replaced Ray Emery and Brian Boucher at the beginning of the season. Then he was installed as the No. 1 even when Boucher returned.
“I actually couldn’t even believe it happened,” Leighton said of the Boucher injury. “Obviously Ray going down early and then [Brian Boucher] goes down then Ray comes back then I get hurt. It’s definitely been a roller coaster for the goalies this year but the team has done great playing in front of all of us. Ray’s a great goalie and we wish him back and Boucher obviously has done well for this team and he’s gotten us to the position we’re in.”
So why then does Leighton believe the Flyers can continue their roll?
“Because we’re a good team,” he said. “Look at our lineup. As long as we play well and we’re confident in the way we can play, we’re a good team and we’ve shown that. Throughout the season we’ve won the games we’ve needed to win, we’ve beaten some good teams. We’ve obviously lost to some teams that we should have beaten but we beat Detroit we beat Chicago, we beat the good teams. So confidence shouldn’t be a problem because we know we can play with those teams.”
|Photos from Fenway on the eve of the Winter Classic||12.31.09 at 11:55 am ET|
Courtesy of WEEI.com’s Graig Woodburn, some photos of this morning’s preparations at Fenway Park for the NHL’s 2010 Winter Classic:
|College hockey officials announce Hockey East at Fenway||08.20.09 at 1:59 pm ET|
The proverbial cat has been out of the hockey bag for months now, but Hockey East made things official at Fenway Park Thursday morning when Commissioner Joe Bertagna announced a men’s and women’s college hockey doubleheader outdoors at Fenway Park on Friday, January 8.
Storied rivals Boston University and Boston College will play against each other in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. on a sure-to-be frigid evening, and the Northeastern University women’s team will host the University of New Hampshire at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon. BC will be the home team hosting the Terriers at a regular hockey rink that will be set up past the pitcher’s mound in the infield and shallow outfield areas.
Representatives from the Red Sox, NESN, Hockey East, the NHL and the Boston Bruins were on hand to make the announcement, and everyone on hand was looking forward to playing some outdoor hockey under the lights. The collegiate game will make a nice, affordable alternative to the NHL/Bridgestone Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Fenway Park, and the tickets will go on sale at noon on Sept. 17 and range from $5-90 for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
“We had heard rumors about this during the summer, but I didn’t really get my hopes up until coach Parker told us it was 95 percent a few days ago,” said Boston University forward and San Jose Sharks sixth round pick Nick Bonino. “I’ve played some pond hockey under the floodlights before, but nothing like this. The conditions will be unbelievable and I’m sure it’s going to be really cold.
“All I could think of when I heard we were playing this game was the movie ‘Mystery, Alaska. I wish I had Sidney Crosby’s cell phone number so I could give him a call and get some advice about adjusting to the elements and snow in an outdoor game.”
While it’s doubtful that Bonino will be tracking down Sid the Kid’s digits anytime soon for a little one-on-one consultation, it is another feather in the cap of the celebrated careers of college hockey coaching legends Jack Parker and Jerry York. Parker has been a longtime Red Sox season ticket holder and had been trying to put together a BC/BU game with York for years, but offseason improvement work inside Fenway Park always seemed to impede a potential outdoor game.
“It’s amazing what can happen when the NHL gets involved, isn’t it?” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna, who cracked that he had already consulted the Farmer’s Almanac to check the weather for the Friday night hockey game. “This is something that I think everyone in the league wanted to be a part of, and it’s really going to amount to a great experience for the student-athletes at BU, BC, UNH and Northeastern.”
According to Bertagna, event organizers have also left Saturday, Jan. 9, open in case there’s a blizzard or some other kind of crazy inclement weather in store for Friday night, and the games will be scheduled at the same times on Saturday if a postponement becomes necessary. The rink at Fenway will be fully constructed by mid-to-late December, and will stay intact diring the week between the Winter Classic game between the Bruins and Flyers on Jan. 1 and the college hockey doubleheader. It’s expected that public skating at Fenway will take place in the week between the Winter Classic game and the college hockey doubleheader.
Bruins representative Bob Sweeney also made mention of an alumni game during the announcement, which is an idea that was kicked around when the Winter Classic was announced in July at Fenway Park. Perhaps a game between a Boston Bruins legends team and a Philadelphia Flyers legend team full of the old Broad Street Bullies?
As mentioned before, tickets will go on sale Sept. 17 and can be purchased at www.tickets.com/fenwayhockey.
|Winter Classic ticket drawing for public on Sept. 15||08.17.09 at 1:07 pm ET|
The much-anticipated 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Fenway Park has already sparked huge interest from fans yearning for tickets, and the NHL announced Tuesday afternoon that a ticket drawing for the general public will take place on Sept. 15 at noon.
The drawing, which will randomly pick lucky fans as ticket winners, will come to a close on Oct. 5 at 11:59 a.m. after everyone has had a chance to enter the ticket derby. Winners will be notified by Oct. 20 and allowed to buy one pair of tickets — with prices ranging from $50-$350 depending on the seats chosen at Fenway.
It’s expected that the Fenway upper level seats will be the most expensive of the bunch, just as those particular seats were at Wrigley last January. The ticket drawing will be hosted exclusively through the NHL.com website, but interested fans should stay tuned for any more details concerning ticket prices and availability for pucks on ice at the Fens moving forward.
Season-ticket owners for the Bruins and Flyers will receive notification in late August concerning the process of buying Winter Classic tickets, and every full season ticket holder is guaranteed a chance to purchase tickets. Given that over 200,000 people entered the ticket drawing for the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field last season, there’s going to be a pretty healthy amount of luck involved for those hoping to win their way into watching the Bruins skate at Fenway.
Fans seeking information about a chance to win the right to purchase tickets to the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic® can sign up at www.nhl.com/winterclassic to receive detailed alerts regarding the NHL Winter Classic — for example, how and when to register for the opportunity to get their hands on the hottest tickets in hockey.
The NHL also announced that it again will make a certain number of tickets available for local youth hockey groups in Boston. This year, the Boston Bruins Foundation will coordinate the youth hockey initiative ticket drawing for young hockey fans in the greater Boston area. The B’s will release details later this month on the community program.
|Hockey East officials to announce outdoor games at Fenway||08.12.09 at 5:05 pm ET|
Hockey East officials along with coaches and athletes from Boston College, Boston University, the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern University are planning to hold an Aug. 20 press conference at Fenway Park, according to a release sent out by Hockey East on Wednesday afternoon.
As previously reported on WEEI.com, BU and BC are slated to tangle in an outdoor hockey game at Fenway Park on Jan. 8 and the UNH and NU women’s teams are also expected to announce an outdoor hockey game at Fenway Park as well. Both games will be made official at the Fenway press conference. College officials are expecting that the two college hockey games will be an excellent option for those not able to procure tickets to the Bridgestone Winter Classic between the Bruins and Flyers on New Year’s Day.
For those wondering, it’ll be an 8 p.m. start and Boston College will be the home team for the Friday Night hockey tilt under the lights at Fenway. Boston University and Boston College play each other three times during the Hockey East regular season with each team taking turns with the “extra” home game, and this season was the Eagles’ turn to have an extra home game. So BC head coach Jerry York and his BC Eagles will give up their additional game at Kelly Rink, and instead play the Jan. 8 game at the Fens.
|Showcase Time at Fenway||07.15.09 at 7:35 pm ET|
But as the sun shone down on Fenway Park on Wednesday, the spotlight could not have been brighter or more welcome for Boston and its beloved hockey team.
Not only did it appear real summer weather had arrived in Boston after a brutal spring, but it appears the NHL is warming to Boston as a showcase city for its sport on the world stage. The Bruins will play the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 1, 2010 in the NHL “Winter Classic.”
“This is so great for the organization,” Bruins Vice President Cam Neely said following Wednesday’s ceremony atop the first base dugout. “It’s great for our fans. We’ve kind of been working our way out of where we were maybe up until the last couple of years. I think this is just another great stepping stone for us being relevant, not only here in the local market, but league-wide.” Read the rest of this entry »