Category Archives: Stitched Bruins Jerseys

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For the first time since Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, John Moore will have a uniform waiting in his stall, as the 29-year-old will make his season debut after missing the first 28 games of the year due to offseason shoulder surgery.

“When you sit and watch almost 30 games, you understand and you’re reminded what a privilege it is not only to play in the NHL, but to play for such a great franchise,” Moore told the official team website. Moore, who totaled four goals and 13 points in 61 games with the B’s last year, also noted that he was “very fired up” for this contest.

The feeling is mutual throughout the room, too, with every Boston skater noting how excited they were to see Moore back in action after what’s been a difficult rehab process, and with Moore’s return making the Bruins that much closer to finally operating at 100 percent for the year.

And with Moore back, Connor Clifton will move to the press box as the team’s healthy scratch, joining No. 8 defenseman Steven Kampfer. Moore’s activation will also see his partner, Matt Grzelcyk, move from the left to the right on Boston’s third pairing.

“I think they’re both better on the left, [but] I think last year Grzelcyk played more on the right, more comfortable there,” said Cassidy. “I’ve actually discussed it with both of them because I don’t have a strong opinion either way.”

Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for the Bruins. Rask is a perfect 6-0-0 with a .943 save percentage over his last six starts, and is coming off a 28-of-29 performance against the Canadiens this past Sunday night.

The Bruins as a team, meanwhile, come into play riding an eight-game winning streak, and have captured points in all 16 of their home games to date this season by way of a 12-0-4 record.

It’s a much different story for the visiting Blackhawks, however, as they come to town with losses in six of their last seven contests, and have been outscored 26-13 over that stretch.

Here are the complete lines and pairings for the Bruins…

Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen

Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – David Pastrnak

Anders Bjork – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner

Joakim Nordstrom – Par Lindholm – David Backes

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo

John Moore – Matt Grzelcyk

Tuukka Rask

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After seven straight games on the shelf, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron will find himself back atop the B’s depth chart and between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak for Monday’s road meeting against the Senators.

“It will really help [Brad Marchand] and [David Pastrnak],” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who has experienced some quieter nights from his top two wingers in recent games, said of Bergeron’s return to the lineup. “They’re a good line and they function well as a threesome, so take any one of those three guys out and I think it hurts their performance.”

???? Patrice Bergeron on returning to the lineup tonight: “We took this extra time right now to make sure I wouldn’t have to go through [sitting out] and feel good for hopefully the remainder of the season.” — Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 9, 2019
Bergeron appeared in two games prior to this most recent seven-game absence, and recorded five assists and won 24 of 40 faceoffs. Bergeron’s production over that two-game stretch upon his initial return would indicate the team erring on the side of caution given their long-term goals after what was an obviously short summer, and with consideration for Bergeron’s chronic lower-body ailments.

“Obviously, you don’t want to miss [practice] time, but you hate to miss games,” Bergeron admitted. “If it needs to take a couple practices here and there and not miss games, obviously that’s what I’ll do. We took this extra time right now to make sure I wouldn’t have to go through that and feel good for hopefully the remainder of the season.”

The 34-year-old Bergeron has eight goals and 24 points in 21 appearances this season, with the Bruins posting a 14-3-4 record with No. 37 in the lineup this year (32 of a possible 42 points).

Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start in the Boston crease.

Rask took an overtime loss behind a 27-of-31 performance against the Blackhawks last Thursday, but comes into this contest with nine straight wins and a .949 save percentage in his last nine starts against the Senators.

The Senators will counter with Anders Nilsson.

With Bergeron back, the Bruins are expected to sit David Backes, Par Lindholm, and Connor Clifton as their healthy scratches.

Here are complete expected lines and pairings for the Bruins…

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Danton Heinen

Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie

Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo

John Moore – Matt Grzelcyk

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Boston Bruins’ Jack Studnicka celebrates the goal by Sean Kuraly during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers in Boston, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By The Associated Press | MassLive
BOSTON (AP) — David Krejci scored 1:40 into overtime, David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 24th goal and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Friday for their sixth straight win.

Krejci’s goal, his fifth of the season, came on a left-circle wrist shot against an out-of-position Henrik Lundqvist after Pastrnak created space with a deke in the right circle before feeding Krejci through the slot.

Sean Kuraly also had a goal and Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves for the Bruins. Boston matched its longest winning streak of the season and its longest point streak at 10 games (7-0-3).

Pavel Buchnevich and Filip Chytil scored for the Rangers. Lundqvist had 24 saves as New York’s three-game winning streak was snapped.

Buchnevich’s fifth goal this season put New York up 1-0 with 5:46 to play in the first period. Buchnevich beat Halak high to the glove side on a shot from the low slot after Tony DeAngelo’s pass from the sideboards.

Chytil’s eighth of the season doubled the Rangers’ lead at 6:21 of the second. Chytil charged into the slot and scored five-hole on Halak after Ryan Strome’s shot from the right circle bounced off Halak right to Chytil.

Kuraly’s second of the year made it 2-1 with 1:32 left in the second. Jake DeBrusk’s blue-line shot caught a piece of Kuraly’s stick, bounced off the left post and trickled in after Lundqvist’s inadvertent stick swat.

Pastrnak tied it 4:27 into the third on a one-timer from the left circle after Krejci’s feed through the slot. Pastrnak finished November with 12 goals after also scoring 12 in October.

New York failed to convert on an extended power play after Boston’s Par Lindholm was assessed a double minor for high-sticking against Brendan Smith. Smith immediately grabbed his face and skated off the ice with 7:02 to go.

NOTES: Boston remained the only NHL team without a regulation home loss this season at 10-0-4. … Rangers C Artemi Panarin assisted on Chytil’s goal, giving him a team-record 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) in November. Panarin has at least a point in 16 of his last 17 games and 20 of 24 this season. … Bruins C Patrice Bergeron (lower body) remains day-to-day after sitting out for the fifth time in seven games. … Lundqvist entered with the best career save percentage (.929) against the Bruins among all goalies with a minimum of 30 games against. Lundqvist allowed four goals on 31 shots before being pulled after two periods in New York’s 7-4 home loss to Boston on Oct. 27. … Boston debuted its newest alternate jersey, a black sweater with a large “B” logo on the front and yellow accent stripes. The logo is a throwback to the 1940-era Bruins teams that won two Stanley Cup titles.

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BOSTON — David Backes couldn’t help but smile after scoring his first goal of the season in his first game in nearly a month.

The Bruins right wing picked a big moment against a big-time rival to accomplish the feat.

Backes scored the deciding goal with 9 minutes, 31 seconds left in the third period, David Pastrnak added his league-leading 25th goal, and Boston won its seventh consecutive game, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Sunday night.

“You could see [the emotion] on my face. That was elation,” Backes said. “I’ve been watching this team do this for a month, and now it’s great to be part of it.”

Backes’ goal came off a feed from David Krejci through the right circle. Jake DeBrusk added his sixth goal of the season on a give-and-go with Charlie Coyle a couple minutes later and the Canadiens’ season-high losing streak reached eight (0-5-3).

Backes was in the lineup for the first time since being injured during a scary collision with Ottawa’s Scott Sabourin on Nov. 2.

“We didn’t know what he’d have, to be honest with you,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He hadn’t played in a while. I thought he gave us some good energy, had a couple looks, was banging bodies.”

Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins.

Boston extended its points streak to 11 games (8-0-3) and entered the third month of the season as the only team without a home regulation loss (11-0-4).

Joel Armia scored and Carey Price had 31 saves for Montreal.

“For 45, 46, 47 minutes, we were playing solid hockey,” Montreal and former Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “We needed that win desperately, and now we’ve got to go back home and find a way to win the next one.”

Montreal had allowed 24 goals in four prior games, including a season-worst 8-1 loss to Boston at home Tuesday that featured a hat trick by Pastrnak.

Price gave up five goals on 11 shots in Tuesday’s loss to the Bruins and has surrendered 19 total over his past four games.

But the Canadiens star saw improvement in his team’s effort.

“If we definitely play like [we did today], the majority of our games are going to be a better result,” Price said.

In The Crease

Postgame analysis and highlight show airing each night throughout the season from Barry Melrose and Linda Cohn. Watch on ESPN+

The Canadiens got off to a fast start this time after giving up three first-period goals in Tuesday’s matchup.

Armia’s backhand shot from the right circle deflected off Charlie McAvoy’s skate and into the net for his 10th goal of the season 1:58 into the game.

Play was stopped with 2:47 left in the second as a scuffle broke out involving all 10 position players on the ice after Shea Weber interfered with Pastrnak.

Pastrnak evened the score at 6:16 of the third after skating into the right circle and firing a one-time shot past Price high to the stick side.

“Twenty-five [goals] by December 1st, I wouldn’t have predicted that,” Cassidy said. “I know he’s certainly, maybe could have had 30. I don’t think he’s had a lot of freebies, let’s put it that way.”

Backes’ goal came with 9 seconds left on a Bruins’ power play after Montreal’s Nick Cousins was whistled for holding Boston’s Torey Krug.

“It’s unfortunate. It was a bad call,” Julien said. “Krug’s stick was stuck under his own player. As a referee in a 1-1 hockey game, you’ve got to make sure when you make those calls. I was pissed off at the way that was handled.”

The Canadiens beat the Bruins 5-4 in their first meeting on Nov. 5 in Montreal.

NOTES: Bruins LW Brad Marchand played despite being a game-time decision after playing through flu-like symptoms on Friday. … Boston C Patrice Bergeron (lower body) was out for the sixth time in eight games. Bergeron skated before Sunday’s practice and is still day-to-day. … Canadiens D Victor Mete did not travel and was to be reevaluated Sunday after suffering a lower-body injury Saturday against Philadelphia. … Montreal LW Jonathan Drouin (torn tendon in left wrist) has missed eight games following his surgery but has been medically cleared to ride a stationary bike. His return date, originally thought to be eight weeks, is still uncertain. RW Paul Byron (knee) also missed his eighth straight. … Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur underwent surgery Thursday in Montreal to remove ganglions and a lobe on his lung, the team announced Sunday. LaFleur is expected to return home soon to continue his recovery.


Canadiens: Host New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Bruins: Host Carolina on Tuesday night.

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The Blackhawks arrive at TD Garden tonight at 7:00PM to face the Bruins, watch on NESN.
The Blackhawks arrive with their moms in tow, and with a Monday loss to the Blues marking 3 losses in their last 4 games. NHL
What’s better than one stellar goaltender? A league-leading tandem. The Bruins’ roster depth doesn’t end with their forwards and defensemen. Boston Globe
Please reunite Brandon Carlo with Zdeno Chara for tonight, Bruce Cassidy. Causeway Crowd
When the going gets tough, Boston buckles down to find ways to win. This is often after glacial starts, as fans are biting their nails in the third period, Boston Herald
Of course, with notable players returning from injury soon, there will be a clog in the pipeline. Providence Journal
Brandon Carlo has been money 5-on-5, defensively. It is nice to see him slip in a goal now and again. Boston Sports Journal
As for the Bruins postseason hopes, much depends on Charlie McAvoy and his performance at the blueline. Bonus- There’s a new biography of Lionel Hitchman available for your gift list, and please call the Bruins’ backup netminder “Yar-0” Halak. South Coast Today
Putting David Pastrnak ’s hot start into perspective and musing the likelihood of re-signing Jaroslav Halak and David Krejci , and the state of the NHL as far as bigotry is concerned. Kevin Paul Dupont is the guest on The Skate Podcast. (Link to audio, 49:39) WEEI
Lend your ears to this discussion of the Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner contracts as well as planning to actively manage the workloads of a few key Bruins. (Link to audio, 42:50) NESN
Meanwhile, in Providence, the news is good. The cupboards are stocked with young talent and former Panther Alex Petrovic is pouncing on his chance to prove he is resdy to return to the NHL. Bruins Daily
For more in PBruins news, this podcast covers Providence standing atop the AHL’s Eastern Conference right now, and prospect Jeremy Swayman making the most of his time at UMaine. (Audio, 38:53) CLNS
NHL Standings:
The Bruins are still tops in the Atlantic Division NHL, but are behind the Capitals (with a game in hand) in the Eastern Conference NHL and the NHL overall. (Standings have been pretty sticky, but links are NOT STATIC) NHL
David Pastrnak is solidly number one as the NHL’s top goal scorer- he and Brad Marchand are still among the Offensive Leaders, the latter in every category. Marchand, David Krejci,and Zdeno Chara are in the Plus/Minus Leaders. On the netminding side, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak are the cream of the crop and also within spitting distance of each other in every category but wins. (Links are NOT STATIC) NHL
Elsewhere around the rink:
Their sage Director of New Media has taken steps to eliminate injuries to Penguins players with notable success. Other NHL teams should follow suit. @AndiPerelman
Is it hubris to brag that Boston’s autumn professional teams are all undefeated at home? Prime Time Sports Talk
What is the likelihood that recent revelations mean curtains for Mike Babcock’s NHL coaching career? The Hockey News
Have a hankering for sports stories from diverse viewpoints? Try this interview of Kristen Shilton, who covers the Maple Leafs for TSN, from this new source- Limitless Media.
31 Thoughts breaks the news that the NHL is preparing a Code of Conduct to roll out soon. Brad Marchand apologized for his ire at the concussion spotter that pulled him from the recent Rangers game for observation. Sportsnet
Things are not going well in Toronto, so TSN has resorted to trigger warnings on their Maple Leafs related content. NO, REALLY! The Beaverton

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MONTREAL — In a classic start-up setting — in a former textile plant four miles from where the first hockey match was played a century and a half ago — a group of high-tech computer engineers are changing Canada’s most revered pastime.

There — in sterile cubicles amid lots of wood and windows, with a jelly-bean dispenser and the inevitable dog, all planted in a gentrifying Jewish section of Montreal where Mordecai Richler set his landmark 1970 novel “St. Urbain’s Horseman” — they examine the 4,000 motions they detect players make in the course of each 60-minute game. The result is millions of data points unavailable to fans in the stands, but indispensable for coaches and, ultimately, players.

The work being done here is changing the world of sport. But its real significance is as a measure of how artificial intelligence is changing our world.

The conventional wisdom is that metrics have taken over the elegant game of baseball, but the lesser-known truth is that the rougher game of hockey is being shaped just as decisively. Indeed, analytics is the new power play of a game that began modestly, with nine players on a team batting around a wooden puck in the old Victoria Skating Rink near McGill University in an area now known as the Square Mile on present-day Rene-Levesque Boulevard.

The game has changed since March 1875; forward passes now are permitted, and boards, glass and netting now surround the playing surface. But these new insights — think of them as the result of the collision of techies and goalies — that are being produced at a firm called Sportlogiq are transforming hockey at a ferocious speed.

“The game now is being played differently,” says Craig Buntin, a former Canadian Olympic pairs skater and co-founder of the company. “There’s always been a disconnect between analytics and coaches. We’ve made millions of data points suddenly useful for coaches. Artificial intelligence has given teams eyes where they didn’t have them.”

To the naked eye, or at least to mine, a recent game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Black Knights was a push-and-shove match that the Habs won, 5-4, in overtime, simple as that. But the next morning, Buntin pulled up an image of the game’s passes to the slot in the neutral zone. In that spaghetti image was the future of hockey, available in time for coffee and Montreal’s famous wood-fired bagels.

No traditional statistic reveals nearly as much information. “You win games scoring more goals than are scored against you,” says Buntin. “You need to know how you score those goals. So you need to know where the high-probability shots come from and how they are generated.”

The data that Sportlogiq conjured from examining every motion of every player 30 times a second revealed the Canadiens had higher-quality power-play shots than the Knights, but the Vegas players got a lot more even-strength shots when the player wasn’t being pursued and had much more accuracy on outside shots. The data also showed Montreal had an early advantage with high-quality shots, but by the third period, Las Vegas was dominant in that category.

Who knew? And who cares?

The Pittsburgh Penguins, for example, care about knowing such things. They made a trade for Ian Cole in March 2015 — “one of the most intelligent trades I’ve ever seen,” says Buntin — based in large measure on data points.

“He was a really strong puck-driving player,” says Buntin. “He could move the puck forward from the defensive zone to the offensive zone really well. He wasn’t going to score a lot, but he could get the puck to the players who could. That wasn’t showing up in any other metric.”

The Columbus Blue Jackets care, too, especially since Sportlogiq last spring helped them pull off a dramatic upset playoff sweep over Tampa Bay by understanding that the Lightning was vulnerable off fore-checks in its defensive zone.

Sportlogiq did that by noting the location of every player at every moment and producing a full three-dimensional reconstruction of their bodies and their sticks. “We’ve built a box that can see, understand and describe the game,” says Buntin. “That can help teams find the specific style players they are looking for, identify an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and see how certain lines are being beaten.”

The key is a combination of artificial intelligence and the intelligence of Christopher Boucher, a former goalie and onetime hockey-statistics blogger who spent a decade in his basement watching, and analyzing, hockey videos. He was literally a game-changing Sportlogiq acquisition, the high-tech equivalent of the Boston Bruins’ acquisition of Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield in 1967. The three became stars, and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972.

As a result of the insights of Boucher and his Montreal team, hockey teams around the globe — all but a handful in the National Hockey League, the American Hockey League and the Swedish Hockey League — are harnessing AI.

“Analytics and data have become a part of how we evaluate players and how we evaluate performance,” said Penguins president David Morehouse. “It’s an important element of our toolbox. We’ve made big moves because of it.”

So have sports networks, which use the data, drawn from 600 separate types of game events, for their broadcasts. So have sports bettors.

But what of the romance of the sport, and of its tradition of leaning on hard-earned hockey intelligence from hard-bitten hockey men who played in more primitive circumstances? Is that obsolete?

“There’s still something intangible about a team’s ability to assess, react and improve,” says Buntin, who retains a strain of romance about the game. “We look to sport to see human beings doing seemingly impossible things. We help them do that. The [old-fashioned hockey hand] doesn’t see what we reveal. But he’s going to see players excel at what they do well. For me, it’s goose-bump territory.”

Then again, there’s no romance in sport to compare with hoisting the Stanley Cup. Emotional intelligence is one thing, but in the language of hockey, artificial intelligence is emerging as a game-winning assist. It’s coming to every aspect of our lives.

David M. Shribman is the former executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Follow him on Twitter at ShribmanPG.

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EXCLUSIVE: Casey Sherman, the Boston-based author and journalist whose bestselling books were turned into movies The Finest Hours and Patriots Day, is set up to write the script for and produce Turk, a movie based on the rise, fall and redemption story of 1970s Boston Bruins hockey star Derek Sanderson. The film will be produced under Sherman’s Fort Point Media banner with Black Mass producer Michael Bassick and Sherman’s partner Dave Wedge.

“Turk” Sanderson was a key cog of the Bruins’ 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup victories — he assisted on Bobby Orr’s iconic Cup-winning OT goal in ’70, when he was named the NHL rookie of the year and became a pop culture star with his bachelor good looks. In 1972, he bolted the NHL to sign the highest-paying contract in pro sports history with the upstart World Hockey Association’s Philadelphia Blaze.

Willie O’Ree Documentary Checks The Remarkable Life Of NHL’s First Black Player
His highflying life came with a price: injuries sidelined his brief WHA run, and he became a drug addict and alcoholic which cost him his career after he bounced around several teams in his return to the NHL. He ended up homeless until those he loved helped pull him from the abyss and set him on the road to redemption; he now runs a financial advisory firm for athletes.

Sherman, who with Wedge this year published a book about New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, saw his bestselling disaster-at-sea tale The Finest Hours adapted into the 2016 Disney film starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. The pair also penned a 2015 book about the Boston Marathon bombing, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy, which was used in the adaptation of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg’s 2017 pic Patriots Day.

Sherman and Wedge’s 2017 book, Ice Bucket Challenge: Pete Frates and the Fight Against ALS, is in development as a Netflix movie with Affleck attached. He also working is with Fox 2000 and producer Greg Berlanti on the mob pic Thacher Island, based on Sherman’s 2014 book Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob’s Most Feared Assassin.

Sherman and Wedge are repped by The Gotham Group.

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The Bruins just revealed their new third jerseys. Safe to say, they’re a lot better than last week’s Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings monstrosities.
Just like the Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings, the Boston Bruins were about to release their own new third jerseys. Unlike the Kings and Avalanche, the Bruins jersey wasn’t leaked and they had their own chance at a reveal.

Also unlike, their jerseys, people seemed to be more receptive to Boston’s new threads.

The new jersey isn’t that much of a departure from the Bruins current home jersey. Like Bruins third jerseys of the past, black had become the predominant color and the yellow influence on the shoulders and stripes seem all gone. Fans of the gold shouldn’t worry that much, as the yellow stripes remain on the arms and on the jersey itself.

Some more photos of the Bruins’ new third jersey:

— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 24, 2019

The Bruins logo has been simplified with just an oversized “B”. Although larger, the new “B” appears to be in the same typeface as the Bruins current logo, and in the same matching gold color. What’s missing from the center crest is the spoked wheel that usually accompanies the Bruins “B”.

It looks like the exact same “B” that was on last year’s Winter Classic jersey, but with a reversed color scheme (the Winter Classic jerseys had a black “B” with gold outlining since they were the away team). That’s nowhere to be found.

With the Bruins opting for a minimalist approach, the spoked wheel understandably got the boot. Even without the spoked wheel, the new jersey still has a distinctive Bruins identity.

In the aftermath of the abstract Avalanche jersey and cocaine roller skate Kings jerseys for the upcoming stadium series, it was refreshing to see a jersey that’s easy on the eyes that the fans seem to enjoy as well. The internet being the intent, of course, not everyone is in agreement. One of the lone dissenting opinions I saw came from Sam Minton at Chowder and Champions.

The Bruins need to bring back the pooh bear jerseys. These were the jerseys that a lot of us grew up on. I can remember seeing guys like Glen Murray and Sergei Samsonov wearing these beauties.
For those who don’t know exactly what the “pooh bear” jerseys were, they had a cartoonish looking bear as the center logo instead of the “B” and spoked wheel. Here’s a link to them if you want to take a look for yourselves. While I personally don’t like the aptly named “Pooh Bear” jerseys, Minton might be onto to something here.

Cartoonish as they may be, the “pooh bear” jerseys answered the question of what exactly is a “Bruin”? I didn’t know what a “Bruin” was supposed to be until the only Boston sports fan in my suburban, central New Jersey high school told me it was a bear. Sure, hardcore hockey and Boston fans know that, but to others not so much. The Bruins mascot is a bear, but for people like me ho as a young hockey fan only saw Bruins games through my television screen, that was completely lost on me.

The 2016 Winter Classic had a Bruins jersey with a less cartoonish bear front and center, but I’m more of a fan of the 2008 to 2016 third jersey. The “B’ and the spoked wheel moved to the shoulder patches, as a realistic-looking bear with moved front and center under the “Bruins name”. Those third jerseys even followed the black color scheme of the new third jerseys, just with more striping on the arms.

Thing is, the Bruins new third jersey look just fine the way they are. Adding a bear logo as a shoulder patch, kind of like how the Nashville Predators did with their Winter Classic jerseys, is an option, but that would have too much going on. The Bruins should reintroduce the bear, but not on this one.

For the first time in a while, the NHL got a third jersey reveal right. Safe to say, the internet is relieved. Congrats to the Bruins, who debut their new jersey in the NHL’s Thanksgiving Showdown versus the New York Rangers this Friday.

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This special Sunday Winter Classic Edition features TSN hockey analyst, former NHL player and University of Notre Dame alum Dave Poulin:

Dave Poulin doesn’t bleed blue and gold, but there’s no mistaking his feelings about the University of Notre Dame.

“From a beautiful, picturesque standpoint, it rivals anything in terms of its beauty,” Poulin said.

Poulin played four seasons at Notre Dame (1978-82), and after a 13-season NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, he returned to his alma mater in 1995 and coached the Fighting Irish for 10 seasons.

He’ll be back on campus, this time as a fan, to see the Boston Bruins play the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

Poulin has been to outdoor games before. He played for the Flyers in the alumni game at the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and he watched as vice president of hockey operations for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But the 2019 Winter Classic will be extra special for him.

“The way they do things, there’ll be a magical sense to it,” Poulin said. “Every football game you go to, it’s an event, every aspect of it. I’m sure the university will do this game in exactly the same manner. And the NHL, they’ve figured it out to a pretty good degree, how to do these games.”

Here are Five Questions with … Dave Poulin

Could you ever have imagined a hockey rink being dropped into the middle of Notre Dame Stadium?

“Absolutely. I remember the first football game we played, we had a pretty good quarterback named Joe Montana. Looking at the stadium, the uniqueness, there’s no space around the field, no track around the field. It was built for football only so it’s a very limited space. From the end zone to the start of the stadium is minimal distance. And from the sidelines outward to the start of the brick structure … what you think is, a rink would fit perfect in here because it’s so tiny. I was in the Big House (Michigan Stadium) in 2014, the Maple Leafs-Detroit game, and that’s a massive stadium and the space outside the stadium has a full track, so it’s so significant. This one doesn’t. That’s the uniqueness of it. I think the rink is going to look great in there.”

2019 Winter Classic time-lapse
00:40 • December 28th, 2018

How did you go from Timmins, Ontario, to Notre Dame?

“We had a big-time player on my Tier-2 junior team. He was being recruited by everyone; he was a straight-A student, so all the schools were coming up to see him. And I had generated interest from the [Ivy League schools], Cornell specifically, and it grew from there. He got letters from Notre Dame maybe in October, early November, and I remember the big, gold “ND” on the envelope and it was sitting on his stall in the locker room and I said, ‘What’s up with that?’ He said, ‘I’m getting letters from everybody.’ I said, ‘Are you going to use that?’ He said, ‘No, I’m going to Michigan State.’ So I said, ‘Can I have that letter?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ So I took that letter and it had an information sheet on it. I filled it out and wrote a cover letter saying thank you for your interest in me as a player and sent it in.

“You were allowed six recruiting trips at the time, so I picked three schools in the East and three in the Midwest. … The break of it all is I went to Notre Dame first on my recruiting trip. I arrived on a Saturday morning, it was freezing cold, February, and I called my dad — and I was going to be the first one from the family to go to college — and said I’m going to tell them I’m going to come here. So I didn’t take the other five trips.”

If you were to take someone around campus who never had visited, what are the first spots you’d take them to?

“You start right in the middle at the (Golden) Dome. That’s the head administration building, and that’s the original college. Just to the left is the Basilica (of the Sacred Heart). I’ve been in basilicas all over the world and cathedrals and it’s as stunning and beautiful as anyone I’ve ever been in worldwide, and that includes the Vatican, Notre Dame in Paris, all the way to Notre Dame in Montreal. And then the Grotto (of Our Lady of Lourdes) is just below that. The Grotto is a replica of the famous Grotto (in France). Those are probably the starting points.”

How did Notre Dame prepare you for the NHL?

“It was the discipline of the place. It was a really competitive place academically and athletically. I was a good student, wasn’t a great student, but I was in an environment with a lot of great students. A lot of how I learned to compete in the classroom helped me immensely on the ice. And then the break of it all was my sophomore year. I had a great freshman year, and the start of my sophomore year I got meningitis. It really kicked me bad. I ended up playing games that year but [I was] just was a shell of myself, lost a lot of weight, and that summer I stayed at summer school to catch up. That’s when the whole lifting and conditioning went to a different level for me. I trained with the football team in the summer and it was like, I just totally bought into it. And that became a real conditioning drive. I was really tiny, I was a late bloomer growing, but that filled out the physical side.”

You coached Notre Dame to its first NCAA Tournament berth in 2004. Did that accomplishment mean more to you as an alum?

“I think so, the pride part of it. And to this day, the pride of seeing where the program is now, as a nationally competitive program, top-10 program every year and vying for a national championship. (The Fighting Irish lost to Minnesota Duluth in the 2018 championship game.)

“When I got back in 1995 I was still operating with 12 scholarships and everyone else had 18. Gradually we just kept going. It’s been through some different phases. Now you look at Compton Ice Arena and it’s a magnificent facility, the rival of any facility in the country. You look at the program, you look at the success they’ve had and say well, that’s always been there. But it hasn’t always been there. There were a lot of steps along the way and a lot of people involved.”

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Sheldon Keefe is already the first coach in Toronto Maple Leafs history to begin his NHL career with three consecutive wins. He’ll try to stay perfect when the Maple Leafs visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center (4 p.m. ET; MSG-B, TSN4, NHL.TV) in one of 12 games on the NHL schedule Friday.

Toronto was 9-10-4 when Keefe took over after Mike Babcock was fired on Nov. 20. Since then, the Maple Leafs have won three straight games, each on the road, and outscored their opponents 14-4. That includes a 6-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, when they had 54 shots on the way to their biggest offensive performance at Detroit since March 4, 1994.

The Maple Leafs will start backup goalie Michael Hutchinson in the first of a home-and-home series. Toronto is 0-5-1 this season when using backup goalies Hutchinson (0-4-1) or Kasimir Kaskisuo (0-1-0); starter Frederik Andersen is 12-5-3. He is expected to start when the Sabres visit Scotiabank Arena on Saturday.

Devils extend winning streak against Canadiens to seven
The New Jersey Devils won their seventh consecutive game against the Montreal Canadiens, 6-4 at Bell Centre on Thursday. The victory left New Jersey two short of their longest winning streak against the Canadiens, a 9-0-0 run from Nov. 18, 2005-Nov. 30, 2007.

It was the third win on Thanksgiving in Devils/Kansas City Scouts/Colorado Rockies history, and the first since the Devils defeated the Los Angeles Kings 6-1 on Nov. 23, 2000.

Mackenzie Blackwood made an NHL career-high 44 saves, becoming the sixth different franchise rookie goalie to make at least that many saves in a regular-season game – and the first since Martin Brodeur made 45 on April 10, 1994.

Marchand, Pastrnak lead Bruins into Thanksgiving Showdown
Forwards Brad Marchand (43 points; 18 goals, 25 assists) and David Pastrnak (39 points; 23 goals, 16 assists) are third and fourth in the NHL scoring race entering the Boston Bruins’ game against the New York Rangers in the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown at TD Garden on Friday (1 p.m. ET; NBC).

A point by Pastrnak would make 2019-20 the first season in 45 years (and fifth since Boston entered the NHL in 1924) to feature multiple Bruins each with at least 40 points through the team’s first 26 games.

Boston is 9-0-4 at TD Garden this season, the second-longest season-opening home point streak in its history behind a 21-game run in 1973-74 (19-0, two ties). The Bruins are the only team without a regulation loss at home this season.

Forward Artemi Panarin (32 points; 12 goals, 20 assists) leads the Rangers in scoring and has had at least two points in nine of New York’s past 11 games. He can become the first New York player to record multiple points 10 times in a span of 12 games since Jean Ratelle did it from Nov. 13-Dec. 9, 1971.

Panarin has 22 of his 32 points since Nov. 1; he trails only Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (24 points) and Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (23) for the most among all NHL players during that span. Panarin needs one point to set a Rangers record for the most points in the month of November; he’s tied with Ratelle, who had 22 (eight goals, 14 assists) in November 1971.