Prague with the Bruins: Meeting the fans

Prague with the Bruins: Meeting the fans
October 7, 2010, 12:28 pm
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By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

MEDIA SCRUM MEET AND GREET

The Bruins finally get a break from practice on Thursday. Instead of the usual ice time and Q&A, they do a media scrum outside of the team's hotel. That's a sentence that isn't impressive until "outside of the team's hotel" is explained.

The back entrance leads out to a ground-level, cobblestone terrace. Various podiums and cafe tables are set up for players and media members to congregate at. Two huge banquet tables are set up with water, tea and coffee. Bruins players file into this area to be attacked by reporters at will. The whole mess is safely cordoned off by a waist high metal fence.

This is on the other side of the fence.

The Charles Bridge: "Karl&367;v most".

It's one of Prague's most visited landmarks in part because it's a conduit between Old Town (Star M&283;sto) and Praha Castle (Prask hrad), but also because it's aesthetically and historically imposing.

It's a continuous alleyway, decorated by 30 statues and statuaries, that gently arcs over the gray Vltava river. And behind that? A bountiful panorama of rolling green hills broken up by some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. The whole scene is as impressive a backdrop as the Boston Bruins have ever had. It gives ice hockey an interesting air of refinement.

The fun starts when the fans show up. Over 100 of them.

Once the media backs off, a AAA travel group lines up for its turn at the team. People are decked out in Bruins jerseys and hats. One young lady has a spoked-B painted onto her manicure. They carry homemade banners and photos to have signed as they file into the gated terrace. With a short angle lens the whole scene could have been a Thursday night outside the TD Garden.

Zoom out.

These people spent thousands of dollars to be here. Some of them didn't know they would have an opportunity to shake hands with Shawn Thornton or ask Milan Lucic personally how his hand is feeling. The players are warm and gracious. I'm impressed that the organization wants to give back to the people who traveled so long and so far to support the team.

And there's more to come. Later today David Krejci and some of his teammates will be hosting a street hockey clinic in Old Town. This event will have more local flavor as far as the crowd goes.

Stay tuned.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti