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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

For the love of hockey

Published: October 16, 2009
Section: Sports

I have a very one-track mind when it comes to sports, which means I tend to focus on one sport at a time. Luckily for me my two favorite sports, baseball and hockey, have very little overlap. One of the few times is October, but now that my team is out of the playoffs, I am going to leave the baseball in Los Angeles (no offense Red Sox fans, I just want to see Torii Hunter win the World Series) and give hockey the proper time it deserves.

Unlike baseball, I have a more general enjoyment of hockey. Maybe it is because I heard as much at home about college hockey as the NHL, or probably because there is only so much you can watch of a team playing the trap like the Minnesota Wild. Do not get me wrong; I love the Wild and would love to see the entire team lifting the Stanley Cup (which is without a doubt the coolest tradition in all of sports), but there are so many amazing players around the NHL that if you focus solely on one team you are going to miss out on so much more.

Despite that warning, for this week I am going to do just that: focus on the Bruins. The Bruins are coming off an amazing season; they were the best in the Eastern Conference in regular season play and got to the conference semifinals of the playoffs. Over the summer there was a lot of drama about Phil Kessel, who is now gone and will be playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs as soon as his shoulder is better.

The Bruins started the season with some big goals. Many people were, and most probably still are, picking them to go to the playoffs, and I am sure that all hockey fans in Boston are hoping that they will be more successful than last season. They are returning a lot of players and have a young team, who I am sure wants to prove that they are as good as they were last year.

Unfortunately, they have not come off with a strong start. In their first five games they are 3-2 and are third in the Northeast Division. I usually do not get too worried about the beginning of the season, and I think this is not a case to panic. The first few games have been blowouts, both in favor of the Bruins and opponents, but they have been getting better. Unfortunately the losses are becoming harder to handle. The team barely eked out a win against the Islanders in a shootout, and then came back from two goals behind the Colorado Avalanche on Monday only to give up two more goals. They did not have enough time to come back a second time and lost 4-3.

Although this five-game opening homestand did not go as well as they originally hoped, the team is looking forward to going on the road. Coach Claude Julien is hoping that not playing in front of the home crowd will make the players stop worrying and play as well as they are able. The people of Boston are finally attending games: attendance has so far been the highest since the 1995-1996 seasons, and everyone wants to see a team perform and win games. Hopefully, whatever problems the players are having will pass and the Bruins will turn their season around soon.