Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday morning homily XXIII

Two buddies will renew acquaintances later today when Colin sees Boston's Patrice Bergeron before this afternoon's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. I'll have to tell you something, though. I wouldn't mind if it were their last.

After watching Patrice sustain his second concussion in as many seasons, our concern is not about autographs, but for Patrice's health and well-being. Another concussion, no matter how serious, could come easily. And each one will only have more complicated consequences.

Concussions, I'm afraid, have a cumulative effect. Just ask former NHLers Jeff Buekeboom, Pat LaFontaine and Eric Lindros.

To us, Patrice has nothing more to prove. He made the NHL as a rookie out of training camp. He's won championships. He's shown tremendous athletic ability. He made an inspirational comeback from a fairly serious injury. Most importantly, though, is he's served as a perfect role model for one of his younger fans.

Colin, however, was greatly concerned when Patrice was hurt this season against Carolina. With his own hockey career in its fledgling stages, he was worried about getting hurt like Patrice.

As a father, more than a hockey dad, I told Colin that it could happen to him, too. I also told him that it's okay to walk away as a result, that his health is more important than any goal, assist or blocked shot.

If asked, I'd offer that same fatherly advice to Patrice.

Whirlwind tour

Today's trip for the Bruins caps a very busy 16 days down here in Hockey Bay. Seven teams have traveled here, and we've hounded five of them (not counting the Bruins), making it the busiest homestand of the 2008-09 campaign.

Who were the biggest names we added so far? How about these teams and players:

~ New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise and Brendan Shanahan;
~ Chicago's Brian Campbell, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews;
~ Toronto's Jason Blake and Luke Schenn;
~ Atlanta's Zach Bogosian, Ilya Kovalchuk and Kari Lehtonen; and
~ the Islanders' Josh Bailey, Bill Guerin, Kyle Okposo and Doug Weight.

That also doesn't include a quick trip for the Lightning, that yielded autographs from Vinny Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos.

Going fishing

It seems that there's a standing joke among Chicago Blackhawks players any time Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews get swarmed by hounds before the team's morning skate last Tuesday.

Teammate Adam Burish spoke a bit too loudly last Tuesday with this observation when Kane and Toews stepped outside the team's hotel: "It's time to feed the fish."

Burish chuckled as he said it three times. Oddly, the smile vanished, though, as I asked him to sign at gametime: "Hey, Adam, it's time to feed the fish." Know what? He didn't sign. No great loss, I'd say.

5 Big Sigs

With only the Boston Bruins in town today and the Lightning hitting the road tomorrow, we'll be one-and-done with these items:

~ the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron on a Reebok Bergeron model stick;
~ Zdeno Chara, Phil Kessel and Blake Wheeler on the Bruins jersey;
~ Bergeron, Milan Lucic and Marc Savard on the Team Canada jersey;
~ Goalie Manny Fernandez on Wild and Stars pucks; and
~ General manager Peter Chiarelli on a Harvard University puck.

1 comment:

bamlinden said...

I gotta say.....that is an awesome photo of Colin.

Definitely anticipating Patrice's arrival.