|Live blog: Bruins take on Canadiens in Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium||01.01.16 at 12:14 pm ET|
|Baldness and Boldness: The in-depth Winter Classic fedora story you didn’t ask for||12.31.15 at 3:21 pm ET|
This is a story about fedoras and the genius coaches who wear them.
With coaches unable or unwilling to wear hats in arenas (perhaps because it’s impolite to wear a hat indoors), the Winter Classic gives them the option to express themselves in the classiest way possible: by wearing a nice hat.
Three of the 11 head coaches to participate in the Winter Classic, now in its eighth season, have worn fedoras. Among the Frozen Federlines is Bruins coach Claude Julien, who donned a snazzy camel-colored number with a dark brown ribbon in 2010 at Fenway Park.
Many coaches — most of them, in fact — have opted against wearing a hat. Yet there’s something that five of those six guys had that the others did not: hair.
Bald coaches typically wear hats at the Winter Classic. The only one of the three bald and/or balding coaches in Winter Classic history to not wear a hat was then-Caps coach Bruce Boudreau, who won his game in 2011 despite looking pretty cold.
|Tuukka Rask puts Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Stephen Gostkowski on Winter Classic mask||at 11:20 am ET|
FOXBORO — Wednesday saw Canadiens goalie and local product Mike Condon reveal quite the Patriots tribute on his Winter Classic. Tuukka Rask has done him one better, as the Bruins’ goaltenders Patriots-themed mask features the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Stephen Gostkowski.
FOXBORO — Look who took a twirl at Gillette Stadium before Thursday’s Bruins practice.
‘ DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) December 31, 2015
Julien and Belichick Pt. II pic.twitter.com/6et7Y1ORtl
‘ DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) December 31, 2015
“It’s always great to catch up with Bill,” Julien said. “I was fortunate enough to be a guest of his yesterday at his practice, and we walked through it, and it was nice to see him work with his team. I’ve admired him for a long time for how he handles his team, how he coaches, how prepared he is.
“We play different sports, but as coaches, I think there’s a lot of things we can learn from each other and admire from each other. And that’s the one thing I have learned from Bill is his preparation is second to none.”
|Sources: Bruins to host Canadiens in 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium||01.19.15 at 12:21 pm ET|
The Bruins will host the Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, WEEI.com has learned from league sources.
The Jan. 1 meeting between the two clubs, which has long been speculated, will be the second Winter Classic the Bruins have hosted. The B’s defeated the Flyers in overtime at the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, have never participated in the Winter Classic and will become just the second Canadian team to compete in the annual outdoor game. The Maple Leafs beat the Red Wings in a shootout in the 2014 game at Michigan Stadium.
The Habs aren’t complete strangers to outdoor games, however, as they did play in the Heritage Classic in 2003 against the Oilers in Edmonton and in 2011 against the Flames in Calgary.
It is unknown how preparations for the event will affect the Patriots, as Jan. 1 typically falls right around Week 17 of the NFL season.
After TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported in December that the Bruins were the favorites to host the game, Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said that the Red Sox hoped to see the game return to Fenway Park, but acknowledged that Gillette’s seating capacity of 68,756 might make it difficult for the Sox and Fenway (37,400 capacity) to win the bid.
The NHL has yet to make an official announcement, but Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton said Monday that he would love to play in a Winter Classic soon.
“I think it would be awesome,” Hamilton said. “It’s something that you kind of follow every year. In [recent] years I watched the HBO show in juniors and kind of pictured what the NHL was like. Then watching the games, it’s obviously special with the different jerseys and the venue and the crowd and rivalries and everything; it’s something you’d really want to be a part of.
“I think when [speculation] came out last year and we kind of thought it was going to be this year, I think it was kind of disappointing that it wasn’t us. Hopefully we get it and have that chance. It [would be] something to really forward to next year.”
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|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.”
|Turn up the volume: A ‘skate-off’ win for B’s||01.01.10 at 11:06 pm ET|
It was like a huge holiday feast: almost too much to digest.
From the pageantry of the pregame ceremony to the singing of Sweet Caroline with eight minutes remaining to the game-tying goal by Mark Recchi on the power play to the game winner by Marco Sturm on a great feed from Patrice Bergeron, the 2-1 overtime win over the Flyers at Fenway Park gave Bruins fans something they will remember for the rest of their lives.
And when Sturm scored, the Bruins felt the exact thrill the Red Sox do when they win a game on a dramatic walk-off homer.
Afterward, the key players spoke about their emotions and what it was like to play in the first-ever Fenway Park hockey game.