"At approximately 5:34, we entered the West entrance and hopped on the escalator. Ah. We're back.
Big crowd at the turnstiles. Only TWO turnstiles open. Fabulous. Loads of annoying pushy fans with clear pro shop bags filled with shirts, hats, foam fingers and foam claws.
The fan relations crew handed out applications for the Winter Jerseys. Adult blank jersey is $150. Adult customized $220. Youth blank $85. Youth Customized $155. (dang!)
Another escalator and we're told to enter at Loge 6/7. They offered free popcorn, hot dogs, soda, and water.
The seating was similar to last year. They had us sitting on the roundy part of the rink, but this time, the seats came down onto the ice itself. We sat down there...about row 4 or 5 from the front. Now it's 5:45. After contemplating the universe, making fun of freak fans, and putting my husband into a coma with ramblings about work, I focused on the back of someone's head and fell asleep with my eyes open. The fans: the usual fanatics that you see at every event. The elderly lady who is infatuated with Lucic was there in the front row greeting every walk of life that entered her realm. Will this EVER start??
Finally, at approximately 6:35, Andy Brickley walked out. No one did anything. Hello, this is Brick... doesn't anyone know who this is?
Brick said his hello and introduced the panel: Derek Morris, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron (surprise!), Claude Julien, Peter Chiarelli, Old man Jacobs, Little Jacobs, and Cam Neely.
PC spoke first and gave a nice speech about last year's expectations and this year's expectations. He spoke about losing some players, and the reasoning for it (nothing you haven't heard before) such as the players not "fitting" into what they want for a team this year.
Then the Jacobs spoke. Little Jacobs talked about the Winter Classic. He said the rink will be in place by around December 20th. There will be events planned at Fenway (that will be offered to the world not just STHers) after the installation of the rink to celebrate and get everyone geared up for Jan. 1. He rambled on about how excited he is.
Old man Jacobs spoke about stuff but I got bored with him. Sorry.
Cam Neely spoke wanting players who want to be Bruins, wear the jersey, etc. His expectations are having players who want to be here, and players who generate excitement with the fans.
Morris, Lucic, and Bergeron all basically had the same speech. Lucic and Bergeron spoke about feeling like it was "unfinished business" last year. And they expect to work very hard to be very successful this year. Morris is happy as hell to be in Boston.
The Q&A from the fans: same old thing, really. Some fans kept asking PC to answer the same question over and over. Just fill in the blank with any player who is not with us this season. Peter, why didn't you sign BLANK. Why didn't you make room for BLANK. Why did you sign BLANK, and not sign BLANK? To which Peter answered with "I cannot discuss why I didn't sign BLANK. I will not discuss why I did sign BLANK and not BLANK. But I will explain the rationale." Some darn fool asked what was going on with Kessel. Yeah, like PC was going to enlighten just us, just the STHers, because we're special? Guess what he said... that's right: "I can't discuss what's going on with Kessel." DUH. A couple of kids asked some stuff like ... what does Lucic eat for breakfast? Cute.
If you're curious, it was hard to hear him but I believe he answered with honey nut cheerios (me, too!!), three strips of bacon, and fruit. Some guy asked how to pronounce Lucic. Some girl asked if Derek liked Boston (why do people ask this? What's he gonna say? "No. I hate it." )
The microphone/audio system was very weird. I couldn't hear anything very well. And the panel couldn't hear us.
Some fans asked kinda fun questions like, hey, Bergeron, we liked seeing you fight last season. Will we see you fight more? Bergeron got a kick out of that, and the whole place cheered really loud. He said not to get used to seeing that, it's not really his style, so don't get too excited. He said the fight was "in the moment", but he has no plans to change his style of play.
Another question was to Lucic "how are you gonna top smashing the glass panel?" and Lucic answered "smash two at the same time?" Oh fun! The crowd liked that.
Q&A was over, and we were told to watch the screen. It was a Winter Classic thingie. And it began with the snowflakes from last season's wintery/holiday reel. The lights went down, and we realized that...hey... what's that coming from the ceiling... it's snowing fake snow in here?! It was actually tiny bubbles/lather of soap that was made to look like snow drifting down on the crowd. Ahhhh, clever! The crowd went for it.
Suddenly...(well, not suddenly... but I wanted to make it sound exciting)...a huge cloud of smoke appeared, and then a spotlight on the stage... and POW! There's David Krejci in the Winter Classic Uniform. "Ahhhhhh," everyone said. Crowd cheered. Applause. Krejci looked like he wanted to disappear.
The Winter Classic uniform was described by Neely. The whole thing is compiled from several B's uniforms from the past. Kinda cool. (my opinion: I wish it was black. The yellow is too yellowy/gold. And I don't like that spoked B design either. It's some anniversary B, and I understand why it's used, but I still don't like it. I love the striped socks.)
Brick told us to wait a sec and watch the tron for the new B's commercial. It's the one with Neely with the Big Bear stealing the Winter Classic jersey. I just got it in an email.
We filed out slooowwwwwly because people just can't move normally, for some reason, and prefer to walk like the Dead. When we got out there, the crowd was worse because people wanted to turn in their Pre-Order form for the Winter Classic jersey to the fan relations crew because... they just couldn't wait any longer (!!!).
$34 at the Govt Center garage for 3 1/2 hours. AND you have to pre-pay now if you're using cash. FYI. It's all different now. Fantastic.
I think little Jacobs said we had 2700 people here tonight. Neely said there's 5100 STHers now."