Ten questions with a Wicked Bruins Fan

It's my pleasure to introduce the brains behind the popular Wicked Bruins Fan blog, Jaclyn D. Like any good hockey fan, she has a nickname -- Jaci and it’s pronounced Jackie.
Jaci, who is wise beyond her 24 years, is a woman of many talents. She's a Webmaster/site designer, a student, a caregiver to her grandmother and, in the near future, will be managing an eBay business. She's a pretty talented photographer, too.
Living in Cambridge, Mass., it's very easy for her to keep Bruins Nation up to date on the Black and Gold.

Puckhound: Why hockey and the Bruins?
Jaci: I’ve always joked that there must be some hockey DNA that runs in my family. My mother and her brothers were hockey fans back when the Bruins were Stanley Cup Champions, and my cousins played hockey growing up.
Hockey is the greatest sport in the world. I can’t say enough good things about the sport and why I love it because I’m always coming up with new reasons.
As for the Bruins, I really think it’s all about the history and location. If I didn’t live 15 minutes outside of Boston and in another hockey city, I might be rooting for another team.

PH: When did you attend your first Bruins game?
Jaci: I attended my first NHL game on Sept. 21, 1996, when I was 14 years old. It was a preseason game against the Chicago Blackhawks and the tickets were free, courtesy of a friend whose company had season tickets. The seats were in loge 6 and a handful of rows off the ice.
The only things I can remember from the game, other than the date and opponent, is what it felt like walking from the concourse out to the seats and seeing the ice for the first time.
I can’t tell you which players played or what the score was or anything else from that night, other than a passion was born.

PH: Who's your favorite Bruins players today and of all time?
Jaci: My current favorite Bruins players are forward Brad Boyes, and defensemen Andrew Alberts and Brad Stuart. My favorite Bruin of all time is center Adam Oates, with honorable mention going to center Joe Thornton and defenseman Nick Boynton.

PH: What's your best Bruins memory?
Jaci: There are so many, I have no idea how I’m going to pick one! At first I thought it was when the Bruins advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 1999. I was at Game 6 when Thornton scored the game-winner to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes and clinch the series.
Next, I was going to say it was the string of events that started after the Bruins lost in the second round to the Buffalo Sabres. I went to the AHL playoffs in Providence and was at the game when the Providence Bruins won the Calder Cup Championship.
That same year, I attended the NHL Entry Draft in Boston (editor’s note: Puckhound was there, too) when Nick Boynton was drafted. I was sitting there with the program on my lap, all ready to write down the Bruins 21st pick’s name, when I recognized it.
I remembered Boynton from the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, and exclaimed to my mother, "The Capitals drafted him in 1997! He must’ve re-entered the draft!"
I was so excited because it was at that moment that I realized I had some hockey knowledge. (The reason I knew this was when Oates was traded, I became a Washington Capitals fan by trade for the rest of the season, and during the 1997 Draft, I kept track of both the Bruins’ and Capitals’ picks.)
Some more recent memories were attending three Bruins games in a row in three different cities. I went to back-to-back road games in San Jose (on a Friday) and Los Angeles (on a Saturday) in March 2003, and they turned out to be the games Mike O’Connell made his coaching debut after he fired Robbie Ftorek. I flew back to Boston on Sunday, and attended the next home game on Monday night. It was against the Toronto Maple Leafs. I won a raffle that allowed me to be the bench assistant during warm-ups and gave me two free tickets in the promenade level.
Then, in 2004, at a Lightning game, I was selected to compete in the Lucky Laptop contest. I wasn’t the contestant who got to choose which box, so I stood there enjoying the moment while the other contestant picked the gold box. The laptop turned out to be under the black box that I was standing at and I won a laptop! It’s the same laptop that I am typing on right now.

PH: What's been the biggest story in your time as a Bruins fan?
Jaci: I would have to say the Joe Thornton trade. I didn’t think anything could top Adam Oates being traded from my young fan perspective, but the Thornton trade was both the biggest story and the biggest shock.

PH: How did you get started with your Web site/blog?
Jaci: I started writing about going to Bruins games in my online diary. Hockey eventually took it over, so I tried to start a blog on AOL, but it never really took off and I preferred a sense of anonymity.
My official start came over at soveryobsessed.com in late 2003, as a co-contributor to the Web site. I had my own blog and photo gallery over there. I decided to branch off and make my own Web site (nickariffic.com) in 2004, just before the lockout. That was bad timing, but I kept up with the Providence Bruins during the lockout.
In the summer of 2005, I was getting tired of the domain name. I wanted something team-oriented and easy to remember. I came up with a few different domain names late one summer night, and wickedbruinsfan.com was born with the first post published on July 28th, 2005, four days after the last post on nickariffic.com.
It was the perfect timing for a fresh start as the lockout ended a week before that.

PH: Between attending practices, taking pictures and posting them, how much time do you put into the blog on a weekly basis?
Jaci: It really depends on the week. If there’s a lot of things going on with the Bruins, there are times my laptop never shuts down. On practice days, my routine is I’ll go to practice, come home and immediately upload the photos to edit them. I generally like to get the photos up on the same day if I can, or as soon as possible if it’s from a game.
Of course, that entire process doesn’t include writing and posting on the blog. There are times when I’m working on a post and I suddenly look at the clock, and it’s an hour or two later. I guess you could say I put too much time to count into the blog and photo gallery during the season.
It’s the main focus and gets more attention than family and other things sometimes.

PH: Are you surprised by its success?
Jaci: I am and I think it’s because I never expected it to be what it is today. I never expected to have photos published in an OHL All-Star program or be linked on NHL.com or receive e-mails from hockey players with requests for pictures.
I considered it as a hobby where I could write about something I was passionate about and share my own views from games, practices, take some pictures and interact with other Bruins fans.
I never thought I would have had close to 50,000 page views, averaging over 1,000 page views a day, and an average of 200 visitors a day for the month of September. It seems crazy to me, but that’s exactly who I do it for.
I do it for the fans, so its success is only measured by all of the fans who visit the Web site.

PH: Is it odd for a woman to have a hockey-related Web site/blog?
Jaci: I don’t think it’s that odd for a woman to have a hockey-related site/blog, but I do think it’s uncommon for a woman to have a hockey-related site/blog that doesn’t constantly talk about how cute the players are.
If a woman wants to focus on how cute players are, then more power to them. I prefer my site be taken seriously and have some integrity.
I recognize that I am a woman who loves a sport men play, and I am also aware that I am in the minority, but it’s based on how I want my site and blog to be perceived. There’s a time and place for girl talk.

PH: What sites/blog do you visit?
Jaci: My homepage is set to the Bruins section on the HF Boards, so that’s the first thing I see when I sign on. There are a few sites that I visit every few hours, which are mostly Bruins-oriented like the media sites (the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and the New England Hockey Journal, but especially the blogs.
A few of my bookmarks that I check on a fairly regular basis include your blog, of course (editor’s note: Good answer!), Kukla’s Korner, Boston Rinkrats, Behind the Jersey, Vancouver Canucks Op Ed, James Mirtle's blog, Jes Globez’s Hockey Rants, The Ice Block, Canucks Hockey Blog, Sharkspage, Boltsmag and The Bruins Report.

I check a lot of other blogs when I have more free time.

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