BOSTON -- While the Bruins players were taking the mindset, publicly anyway, that the 2010 Winter Classic would be just another game all week, defenseman Andrew Ference found right away that today would not be a normal day.
Ference crossed paths with the player many call the greatest ever -- Bruins legend Bobby Orr.
"I saw him the bathroom. So it was kind of funny," Ference told ESPNBoston.com shortly after the team bus arrived at Fenway Park this morning. "And then I saw him in the locker room. I didn't shake hands with him in the bathroom."
All morning there have been differences and similarities from a normal game day.
"Well, we usually don't get the police escort on the walk over. So that was pretty cool. I've never gotten across Boston faster than that," said Ference. "But other than that, we woke up like a road game, had breakfast this morning, had dinner last night. I guess the very general basis of our routine is the same but everybody's pretty giddy."
Ference explained the feelings of all the players like "the first time you're ever in the playoff, you don't really know what to expect. You know it's going to be really cool. So something like that."
And the fact that the weather has held up has made the Bruins' morning even better. Just 90 minutes before gametime the temperature was in the 30s and there was no rain or snow predicted.
"I think precipitation is the one thing we didn't want. The temperature, whatever," said Ference. "Even yesterday it was chilly and some of us were too hot because we put on a little thicker underwear."
Ference said he doesn't think there's much more risk of injury while in the elements as long as he and his teammates do their usual stretching and warm-up routine. Then the players will try to strike a balance between business and fun.
"It's fun and you try to find a line between being in the moment and being professional about it with so much going on. & Once the puck drops, it is a hockey game, and we all kind of revert back to our muscle memory and being pros about it. It's not against the rules to smile."