(Photo: Boston Bruins)

Monday morning began with the Boston Bruins hitting the ice for practice. They spent about an hour going through a variety of drills and working on passing, among other things. The mood was surprisingly reserved considering their win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and having had Sunday off.

With the injuries that the Bruins defensive line has seen—loss of Kevan Miller with the dislocated shoulder and then the loss of Zdeno Chara on Thursday night in the first period of their game against the New York Islanders—both Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman were called up before the Bruins took on the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Trotman played with the team having 12:23 total ice time and was there for practice on Monday. Morrow was released back to the Providence Bruins on Sunday.

For Seth Griffith, the past week has been somewhat of a roller coaster. On Tuesday during the Bs’ win against the San Jose Sharks, he scored his first career NHL goal. Then on Thursday, despite the Bruins one-goal loss to the Islanders, Griffith notched his first career NHL assist. These accomplishments came just after having been reassigned to Providence on Sunday, October 19, and then recalled on Monday the 20th. So not only were his games highs and lows, but his residence was changing too. However, despite his young age, he has a level head and calm demeanor to go with his hockey sense.

After practice, some of the players—Kevan Miller, Matt Fraser, Matt Bartkowski, Seth Griffith, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton donned Halloween costumes and went to visit some of the kids at Boston Children’s Hospital. In true form, their costumes elicited some surprise and some giggles, as they represented characters from the popular Disney film Frozen.

 

 

All in good fun, the players were definitely good sports to dress up like the princess Elsa, along with Kristoff, Anna, Sven, Hans, and Olaf. In the past the children have seen Chara as a big pink rabbit, but each year the players don’t seem to mind wearing dresses and animal suits if it brings smiles to the children. And it’s the children who get the treats–in the form of gift bags, a chance to chat with the players, pictures and autographs. And they will definitely remember a 6’7” Hamilton as Princess Elsa and 5’9” Krug as Olaf the snowman. Most of the players have younger cousins or nieces and nephews who know the story, so it just added to their understanding and willingness to visit the hospital and spread a little Halloween cheer.

Many of those children are suffering from some form of cancer and the Bruins are often visiting other hospitals where children battle daily with shots, needles, chemotherapy and other unpleasant things. In fact many of the players stand in awe of how strong those children are and how they still have smiles despite what they go through.

Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild is the Bruins Hockey Fights Cancer night. The Pro Shop has special lavender items on sale and proceeds from these sales will go towards various cancer fighting organizations. In addition to the items that are for sale, the team will be wearing special warm-up jerseys that will be auctioned off. And those attending the game are encouraged to purchase an “I Fight For” cards and personalizing them for someone they know who has fought or is fighting cancer. A Moment of Recognition will take place during the second period. The Boston Bruins Foundation will distribute proceeds to patients who are currently undergoing treatments at Boston’s local hospitals.

Hockey players are some of the most approachable and community committed professional athletes. You are encouraged to help them help others during Hockey Fights Cancer Night at TD Garden.

A family historian by profession, Rhonda R. McClure has loved hockey since she was a child in New Hampshire. Any opportunity to combine her love of writing, hockey and research is something she looks forward to with much enthusiasm. She's been accused of seeking out shinny games when there are no other hockey events taking place. She is a member of the Society for International Hockey Research. Follow her on Twitter at @HockeyMaven1917.

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