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Bill Belichick welcomes Bruins' Claude Julien to Patriots practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With the NHL's Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens set to be played at Gillette Stadium on Friday, the intersection between hockey and football has been notable in the past few days.

Here are a few things that have caught the eye:

Belichick welcomes Julien at practice. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has spoken about his respect for Bruins counterpart Claude Julien in the past, and the two reconnected Wednesday. The Patriots' official website posted video of Julien visiting Belichick at practice.

Canadiens goalie a Belichick booster. Montreal goaltender Mike Condon grew up in Holliston, Massachusetts, and his mask has a Patriots-type theme -- "Do Your Job" and with the shine of four Lombardi trophies.

Patriots wish Bruins good luck. On the Bruins' official Instagram account, they posted a picture of some signs the Patriots erected wishing them good luck.

Gostkowski gets into the hockey spirit. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski took a closer look at the rink inside Gillette Stadium and was impressed. "It looks like a cool setup; wish we could go to the game. ... Living up here, met a lot of guys on the team, became a pretty diehard Bruins fan, and I've been supporting them ever since I've been here," he said on NHL.com.

Patriots revamped schedule for Thursday. Belichick is holding an 8 a.m. news conference, which is a change from the norm. The team is practicing in the morning, with media access scheduled for 10:30 a.m., then player interviews shortly after noon before the team departs for South Florida. The Patriots will practice at Florida Atlantic University (closed to public).

Richards a budding Bruins fan. Patriots rookie safety Jordan Richards wore a Bruins winter hat during interviews Wednesday. "A budding hockey fan," he said with a smile. "I didn't go to a whole lot of Sharks games [in California growing up]. I know that's probably not a good word to say out here, but I'm a Bruins fan now."