In Prague with the Bruins: Pregame scene


In Prague with the Bruins: Pregame scene

By Mary Paoletti

PRAGUE -- I am not used to seeing Bruins fans in Prague yet.

There were some out this morning, wandering around the sun-streaked Charles Bridge. Because I've been here before, I have certain expectations for the way things are supposed to look. It's strange to me that the Franz Kafka statue now has "ART IS WAR" spray painted across his right leg. So when I see a family in Bruins windbreakers posing in front of "The Lamentation of Christ," it throws me off a little.

There are fewer 'Yotes fans. My guess at the ratio is 3:1 Boston to Phoenix.

The pregame scene at O2 Arena, site of this auspicious NHL Premiere 2010, is also a degree off from "normal."

People are milling around outside two hours before game time. They wear Chara shirts, Bourque jerseys; they drape Bruins scarves around their necks--all the usual gear--but I'm put completely on tilt when I hear these "Boston fans" speaking in Czech.

At least I think it's Czech. Oh Thursday morning I spoke with a Slovakian woman, a group of Scots and some Swedish businessmen before I found someone native to Prague.

It reminds me of the story Claude Julien told Wednesday about Europeans being so happy to see good hockey that they'll give applause to whichever team finds the back of the net.

Another difference? Many of the people are sitting around, waiting to get it. There aren't any bars around; there's no Fours, Porters or Sully's Tap to gather in for pregame drinking. Maybe nobody wants to take the time to figure out how many korunas a Guinness costs. Or maybe it's just a complete absence of hockey culture.

In a way it makes sense.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season


Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

Joe Haggerty looks at a number of trade possibilities for the Bruins with the NHL deadline little more than a week away

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Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while spring training is ramping up in a big way down in Florida.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to wear their great, green, old school St. Pat’s sweaters around St. Patrick’s Day this season.

*Jonathan Quick is on the ice and participating in hockey activity, but isn’t quite ready to return for the Los Angeles Kings.

*This is one of the best things you’ll see today with Vladimir Tarasenko making the 11th birthday celebration for a special little girl.

*The Edmonton Oilers could potentially make a lot of moves at the NHL trade deadline, and unsurprisingly, there is quite the call for them to dump Benoit Pouliot after that bad contract they signed him to a couple of years ago.

*Lyle Richardson is predicting the biggest buyers at the 2017 NHL trade deadline and the Bruins are not among the nine teams listed.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle goes 1-on-1 with Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello a wide range of subjects for the Athletic up in Toronto.

*Tommy Wingels continues to fight for inclusion in hockey even as he’s gone from the San Jose Sharks to the Ottawa Senators this season.

*For something completely different: A perfect pool trick shot video will blow your mind and probably get a few pool tables ruined with people trying to recreate it.