WINNIPEG, MB - The Bruins hit the ice today around 11:30 local time at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg for pregame skate prior to tonight’s match-up against the Jets.
Though, they had to wait a few extra minutes before the Zamboni finished clearing, and some B’s took to hanging out with legs dangling over the bench, while Nathan Horton took aim at a spot on the boards across the blueline, Tyler Seguin stickhandled and Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara had an in-depth discussion on the bench.
Once the skate started - without David Krejci taking the ice - 13 forwards and seven defensemen, along with Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, took line rushes.
Ryan Spooner, who was recalled on an emergency basis Monday, joined the team and took rushes centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. A remarkable opportunity for the young centerman in Krejci’s absence, while the other lines stayed intact.
Following the skate, Coach Julien gave an update on Krejci, saying that he was “doing better, and that’s a good sign.”
Coach also said Krejci had been biking, so “things are looking better,” but did say that the center will not play tonight. In his place, Ryan Spooner will get the biggest opportunity he’s had thus far in his career, with the second NHL call-up.
"This is something that we’re giving him the opportunity, being a real good centerman, to play with some good players," said Coach Julien postskate. "He’s a great playmaker, so I think it’s a great opportunity for Spoons to take and see where he goes with that. If it doesn’t’ work out we can always make some changes, but we’ve seen him play enough that he can probably be a good fit there."
"Again, he just has to go out there – we told him just to play his game. Like I said, I’ve see him play enough, they play a very similar system down there [in Providence], so it’s not like he’s going into uncharted waters."
"He knows exactly what we expect of him, it’s his second call up, so just give him little tips there at the end on his faceoffs, everything else trying to help him out."
-Caryn Switaj ^CS
Winnipeg, MB - Is Portage and Main really the “coldest and windiest intersection in Canada?”
A few days ago when we were in Buffalo, B’s Assistant Coach Doug Jarvis was telling me on the bus ride about Winnipeg and the weather… Having never been here before, I hadn’t known too much about the city.
And what peaked my interest the most was when he told me that the crossroads of Portage and Main in downtown Winnipeg were often considered the coldest corner in Canada. I thought, “I wonder what makes this so….”
So, when we arrived in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon - in the dead of February - I knew I needed to do some investigating…
WOW, was it COLD. I’m not sure if I had it in my mind that there would be a wind tunnel whipping at me, ice covering the road, snow mounds on either side… But it was colder - and windier - than the walk over to the intersection, that is for sure. Shedding the gloves to take that photo above probably didn’t help — but right at the spot of the sign in the photo below, at the outside of Scotiabank, felt about 20 degrees colder than the area of sidewalk - near the bank and blocked from the wind - that I sprinted to minutes later.
Being from Michigan - and living in Boston - we get our fair share of cold spells. And I haven’t been to every intersection in Canada, but I’ll side with the long-standing legend.
For those not familiar, I dug up some information on the famous corner in the center of Canada, that links the East and the West…
The well-known corner is located in downtown, where Portage Avenue (Route 85) and Main Street (Route 52) intersect, and was once the center for the banking industry in Western Canada. The corner still houses a slew of national banks, with access below ground through the pedestrian underpasses (something else I encountered for the first time) that make up an underground mall.
In 2012, the intersection celebrated its 150th birthday (quick history lesson time…) - according to the Winnipeg Free Press, Henry McKenney purchased the parcel of land that was “low and swampy, covered with scrub oak and poplar” where the north-south and east-west “ox cart” paths crossed - and eventually built the business and banking center of the city.
As for the corner’s famous frigidity, the long-standing cold weather legend remains unproven.
But for all those who have been to the intersection, you can give your own proof - or disproof - in the comments below.
-Caryn Switaj ^CS