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BOSTON -- Defenseman Dennis Wideman won the fashion prize among Bruins players Thursday during practice for wearing a tinted visor. Wideman doesn't usually wear any shield.
"I don't care," Wideman said when asked about being ribbed by his teammates for the choice of headgear. "I've heard a lot worse than they're going to say about my visor. But if I can see, that's good."
Wideman said he liked the way it blocked the glare and the snow, and that if it snows Friday during the Winter Classic he will wear it for the game.
Winger Blake Wheeler doubted Wideman's motives.
"I think Dennis just wanted to wear the tinted visor to look cool," said Wheeler.
Meanwhile, defenseman Andrew Ference had a better idea for keeping snow and glare out of his eyes, even if he wasn't able to accomplish it.
"I was going to look for the Red Sox goggles from their celebration a couple years ago," he said. "Those might help out a little bit. When you start skating pretty fast, it's actually pretty tough to keep your eyes open much."
On the serious side, none of the other players reported any glare problems. Goaltender Tim Thomas even said that the gray sky was better for finding a puck in the air than the black roof at TD Garden. If any of the players change their minds and want to add a visor or switch to a tinted one, the equipment staff of Mark Dumas and Keith Robinson will be at the ready to get that done as fast as possible.
Players and coaches alike took turns shoveling the ice before and during practice Thursday. Some of the best with a shovel were Wideman, Steve Begin and Patrice Bergeron. Coach Claude Julien even got in the act. Julien said he knew why Bergeron and Begin were able to clear the ice so easily.
"Yeah, Quebecers, especially where they're from, there's quite a bit of snow in their area," Julien said. "I'm sure they grew up with a shovel in their hands."
If it has to snow Friday, Thomas has one wish.
"I'd want the kind of snow that looks like it's snowing a lot on TV but doesn't really stick to the ice," he said. "Because it accumulated [Thursday] a lot faster than I thought it would on the ice. It piled up pretty quickly," he explained.
Thomas will learn after the Winter Classic if he was picked to Team USA team for the Olympics.