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Here's Bill Belichick looking graceful on ice skates with the Bruins coach

Solidarity runs deep in Boston. On Wednesday, while the NHL was finishing up preparations for the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, Bill Belichick and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien spent some time on the ice.

Belichick looks really graceful on skates here:

At a press conference on Thursday, Belichick revealed that this wasn't his first foray into ice skating -- he played in a "huff-and-puff" league designed for "30, 40-year-old men playing at midnight" -- and he dropped a lot of coaching insight in his comparisons between football and hockey:

"What's the huff-and-puff league?"

Belichick: "Oh you know it's like 30, 40-year-old guys playing at midnight -- it's the only time you could get ice time -- drive 45 minutes to go out there and fall around and slash each other. I wish I could have played hockey. That's a great sport. It's fast, lot of action, contact, skill, speed. I mean football, lacrosse, hockey -- they all kind of have those elements of contact, speed, skill in variant forms, but I think they're all exciting.

There is a lot of correlation between hockey and lacrosse, too -- kind of defending that same space where you can go behind the goal, you can go in front of the goal, and you're centered around a point. Like you are in basketball, you're defending a point whereas in football you're defending 53-and-a-third yards. It's a lot different when you've got to defend a line as opposed to a basket or a goal or just a small space. It changes the defensive and offensive [strategy] because everything is funneled to that one [area].

And of course you've got the goalie that is so critical to those sports. That adds another dynamic. We've had a lot of conversations about that. That's really the big difference in terms of football and defense in basketball or lacrosse or hockey or those goal-oriented sports where you're defending a point as opposed to defending a lot of width."

He also spoke openly about his respect for the Bruins coach, showing appreciation for "the job that he's done" for his team (via WEEI.com):

"Great, yeah. I love Claude. He’s a great guy," Belichick said. "I think we probably have a lot in common just in the way we coach and look at the game and look at the team and things like that. I don’t know anything about hockey. It’s a pretty simple game, put the puck in the net. Love Claude and the job that he’s done."

It was also at the same press conference that Belichick gave a smile, which, considering that this is Bill Belichick we're talking about, is pretty rare:

The only thing that can improve that footage of Bill Belichick and Claude Julien skating together is an appropriate soundtrack, and I know just the thing: