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Boston Bruins practise thise week in Lake Placid (Photo:  Chris Morris)
Boston Bruins practise thise week in Lake Placid (Photo: Chris Morris)

For Bruins, road to playoffs leads through Lake Placid

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Coming off a key win in their playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins stopped in Lake Placid to regroup on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Bruins are down two games to one in the series, after bouncing back Monday night with a key 4-2 victory over the Habs.

As Chris Morris reports, the Bruins took advantage of Montreal's proximity to Lake Placid, where players found some peace and quiet before tonight's Game 4.

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Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

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Pucks were flying here in the USA Rink Wednesday morning, while hordes of young fans crowded the athletes’ entrance, eager to catch a glimpse of their NHL heroes.

Countless hockey players have taken to the ice here at the Olympic Center over the years, but the Boston Bruins are the first professional team to practice in Lake Placid while chasing Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The team’s coaching staff opted to take the team to Lake Placid for a pair of off days rather than stay in Montreal, where the city’s bright lights, bustling night life, and a rabid fan base provide plenty of distractions for a visiting team – especially when that visiting team happens to be your biggest rival.

Future hall-of-famer Mark Recchi plays right wing for the Bruins and appreciates the peace and quiet that exists in Lake Placid this time of year.

“It was a great day yesterday and we got some stuff accomplished yesterday, but it was more relaxation than anything,” he said. “We’re in a beautiful place here. We had a good couple days here and now we’ll go back to Montreal, have a good dinner, and get ready for tomorrow.”

 It’s nearly impossible to talk hockey in Lake Placid without mentioning the Miracle on Ice.

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, a Michigan native, was just 5 years old when he watched Team USA notch an improbable victory over the Soviets.

Thomas seemed almost star struck when he took a seat in the same locker room once graced by his idol, USA goalie Jim Craig.

“I already had some inkling that I wanted to be a goalie, but those Olympics and Jim Craig sealed the deal,” he said. “That’s why I became a goalie – my goal from age 5 until really age 20 was to play in the Olympics, not the NHL. Not that I didn’t want to play in the NHL, but the main goal was to play in the Olympics.

Thomas made that dream a reality last year, playing for Team USA and earning a silver medal for his country at the Vancouver Olympics.

And while the players and coaches espoused the benefits of spending downtime in the Olympic village, local officials were thrilled to have a high profile professional sports team in town.

Jon Lundin is spokesman for the Olympic Regional Development Authority.

“To have a Lake Placid byline in so many newspapers, on radio stations, and on television stations this time of year is a tremendous value not just to ORDA but to Lake Placid as well,” he said. “People who are fans of hockey pick up the paper and see Lake Placid associated with the Boston Bruins – that’s priceless for this time of year.

Members of the Bruins were pretty psyched to be in Lake Placid, but they didn’t actually skate in the historic 1980 Rink, because its dimensions don’t meet NHL standards.

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