The U.S.A. hockey orientation camp has just recently concluded and players are returning back to their respective hometowns to train for the upcoming NHL season. The NHL will take a two week mid-season break and allow players under contract to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Boston Bruins fan favorite Tim Thomas will be competing for the starting goalie spot against Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres. Thomas says that the first half of the NHL season is crucial to how things will shape up for the Olympics. “I think I have to play well leading up to the Olympics,” said Thomas, who has represented the U.S. in six world championships. “I don’t take my spot for granted. The way I focus on competition, it’s not me against other goalie. It’s me vs. myself.”
Forward Phil Kessel is not a complete lock for the U.S.A. roster, but NHL analysts have made clear that he is a likely candidate for the 2010 games. Boston fans are hoping for him to suit up for U.S.A. and also for the Bruins this upcoming season. Although Kessel has emphasized that he would like to stay in Boston, he says that “it’s at a stalemate and I don’t know what’s going to happen. I think it could go either way at this point.” The Bruins are scheduled to face off against the New York Rangers for their first preseason game on Tuesday, September 15th at 7:00 pm.
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